Residents:  A resident student is one who has been a legal resident in California for more than a year immediately preceding the beginning of the semester in which the student plans to enroll and who demonstrates the intent to remain a permanent California resident.

Non-Residents: A non-resident student is one who has not had a legal residency in California for more than one year immediately preceding the beginning of the semester.  Non-resident students are required to pay non-resident tuition in addition to enrollment fees.

Non-resident Tuition Exemption
Under the provisions of AB 540 (2001), certain nonresident students who have attended high school in California are exempted from payment of nonresident tuition at public colleges and universities in California, including Hartnell. 

SB 68 expands AB540 requirements and enables students to count years spent at a California Community College and Adult School towards AB 540 eligibility. 

If you are an undocumented individual, hold a T and U visa, are a U.S. citizen, and are a lawfully present immigrant that meet the eligibility criteria, you are eligible. 

 Do you qualify for the Nonresident Tuition Exemption?
If you feel you are eligible for this special exemption, submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request Form to the Admissions & Records Office for review.  The fillible form can be submitted to

 To be exempt under this law, you need to:

  • have attended a high school (public or private) or adult school in California for three or more years and
  • have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam) and
  • not be on an F1, B or other nonimmigrant visa


  • If you are a nonimmigrant [for example, you hold an F (student) visa, B (visitor) visa, etc.] then you are not eligible for this exemption.
  • If you are transferring from another California public college or university and wish to continue your exemption, make a new exemption request to us, along with required documentation.
  • If you meet the criteria, you will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but you will not be classified as a California resident. You will continue to be classified as nonresident.
  • If you are an undocumented alien student, AB540 does not make you eligible for state and federal financial aid.  For additional information on resources to undocumented students, please go to our Dreamers page.


Who To Contact

  • Admissions and Records
    Phone: Phone: (831) 755-6711 Fax: (831) 759-6014
    Building: Hartnell College Main Campus
    Office: Building B, Room B-121
    411 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901


  • B - Student Services

    B - Student Services B-121