Skip to main content

Prospective Students


Are you worried that your undocumented status will make you ineligible for admissions to a UC? Don’t be! Undocumented students, with or without DACA, are welcomed to apply for admissions to UC San Diego. You do not need to have an immigration status to apply or get admitted to UC San Diego or any of the other UC campuses.   

Find undocumented student support at all 10 UC campuses. 

Application fee waivers 

You read that right! The UC system will waive application fees for up to four campuses for undocumented students who are AB 540-eligible and meet the income guidelines. 

You may apply for a fee waiver within the online application and be notified immediately if you have qualified. Youll get the option to apply for a fee waiver based on how you answer these questions: 

  • Citizenship status: If you choose “No selection” (see the tips for filling out this section below) 
  • California residency: If you attended a California high school for three or more years and will graduate or have graduated from a California high school 
  • Your family's income and the number of people supported by that income 

Fee waivers can’t be applied to more than four campuses, regardless of their source (for instance, you wouldn’t be able to use a College Board/SAT fee waiver and a UC fee waiver to apply to more than four UC campuses). If you qualify for a fee waiver and select more than four campuses, youll need to pay $70 for each additional choice. 

Tips for filling out the undergraduate application 

Social security number 

  • If you have a Social Security Number (SSN) or SSN For Work Purposes— enter that on the application where the application asks for it. 
  • If you do not have an SSN or SSN for work purposes but do have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), use the ITIN in place of an SSN. 
  • If you do not have a valid SSN, SSN for work purposes, or ITIN, leave the question blank. 
  • Make sure that the number you use on the application is the same as the SSN or ITIN you enter on your California Dream Act Financial Aid application. 

Country of citizenship 

As an undocumented student, you have the option to choose “No Selection.” This option is considered a valid response and we recommend this choice for undocumented applicants, including those with DACA status. By choosing “No Selection,” you will avoid being asked other questions about permanent residency and visa status that are not applicable to you. 

California residency 

Youll be asked the following questions to determine if youre a California resident for admissions purposes: 

  • Have you attended a California high school for three or more years and will graduate or have graduated from a California high school? 
  • How long have you lived in California? 
  • Is your parent or legal guardian a legal permanent resident of California? [if you’re under 18] 
  • Is your parent, legal guardian, spouse or registered domestic partner an employee of UC or a UC-affiliated national laboratory? 

UC has developed step-by-step instructions for undocumented students filling out the UC application who may qualify for an AB 540 tuition exemption.

Use the Championing Equity: Systemwide AB 540 FAQ to get clear guidance on navigating AB 540 for prospective and current students, regardless of their educational history. This systemwide AB 540 FAQ was co-created by leaders from Immigrants Rising, the CCC Chancellor’s Office, the CSU Chancellor’s Office, and the UC Office of the President; as well as practitioners from each system.

Note! Being a California resident for admissions purposes does not necessarily mean you’ll be considered a resident for tuition purposes. Find out if you could be eligible for a nonresident supplemental tuition exemption. 

Personal insight questions

Its up to you if you want to use one of the personal insight question responses or the additional comments section to discuss your undocumented status. Its not required, but it can provide more context for your application by helping reviewers understand your circumstance and resources. Immigration status won’t be used outside the application process other than for legitimate educational interests, including the provision of a service or benefit relating to the student, such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid. 

Parent citizenship information 

When you submit your application, you’ll be asked questions about your parents’ citizenship status. For example: Is your parent a U.S. citizen? Has your parent been physically present in CA for the last 3 years? You do not have to answer these questions, but if you do, we encourage you to answer them truthfully — Any information you provide won’t affect your admission decision. This information is used only to help UC determine your residency classification and it’s not shared with government agencies, including immigration enforcement.  

Learn more about systemwide admissions