Implementing EC 76140 After Receiving Board Approval

Themes/Topics: Higher Education

Geography: California

Audience: Educator

This resource is part of the Building Pathways to AB 540 resource series that discusses opportunities available for different educational institutions to build pathways for individuals who do not yet meet the eligibility for AB 540.

This section provides the recommended steps to effectively implement Education Code 76140 (EC 76140) after receiving approval from the Board of Trustees.

STEP ONE: Update board policies and Administrative Procedures (AP) 5030 Fees.

After obtaining approval from the Board of Trustees to implement EC 76140 permissive exemptions, the Board Policies and Administrative Procedures (AP) 5030 Fees will need to be updated by an administrator on the implementation team. You can view sample policies here.

STEP TWO: Develop a process for how students are coded and charged fees.

Information technology, the bursar’s office, and admissions and records will work together to establish how students will be coded and charged fees. Districts that have implemented EC 76140 have found that they may not have to set up new codes, depending on their student information system. If you have a tiger team at your campus, they can take the lead in streamlining this process on the back end.

Recommendations for coding student fees:

  • Request for an automated system where nonresident students automatically pay California resident fees if they are taking six units or less. This will save time as students will no longer have to apply for EC 76140 every semester.
  • Set up a flag that warns nonresident students enrolled in over six units that they will be charged nonresident fees. The flag should include information on EC 76140. It should also encourage students to check in with their financial aid office, counselor, or undocumented student services liaison for more information. This will prevent students from being charged nonresident fees without their knowledge.
  • Advocate for a student-centered process by requesting to make enrollment simple and with less paperwork.

STEP THREE: Conduct UndocuAlly Trainings on EC 76140 and develop a case management system to effectively triage services.

Develop an UndocuAlly Training specifically on EC 76140 for the following departments within your campuses and district: financial aid, admissions and records, counseling, and outreach.

Provide an overview of eligibility requirements, the application process, the benefits of EC 76140, financial support available for students who cannot afford resident fees, and steps on triaging support. It is important to highlight each department and staff member’s roles in each step of the onboarding process. Once your staff has received appropriate training and is ready to help students apply for EC 76140, you can also train educators in the community (local high schools, adult schools, ESL programs) so they can inform incoming students.

Once staff across all relevant departments have completed their training, create a directory with a list of “UndocuAllies” who can help students with each step in the enrollment process. The goal is to train as many staff members as possible to increase impact and ensure that students receive accurate information and that they know who to go to for each step in the enrollment process. You can also create a team with a liaison from each department that will report back on the implementation progress.

STEP FOUR: Inform the Community.

Inform students and educators in the community by creating new marketing materials and updating the website and any existing outreach materials with accurate information on EC 76140. Collaborate with the undocumented student center, student services team, counselors, adult schools, high school liaisons, ESL programs, community partners, county family engagement liaisons, and English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) to spread the word. Work with your district and the local high school district to translate all outreach materials into the languages representative of your community.

STEP FIVE: Provide Financial Assistance for low-income students who cannot afford resident fees.

Students may not be able to afford to pay the CA residency tuition fees. In this case, consider using the following funding streams to help students cover these fees:

  • AB 1645 Dreamer Liaison Funds: According to the CCC Undocumented Student Support Services FAQ, question 12, funds can be utilized to provide direct aid for non-AB 540 students.

    “Colleges have the flexibility to utilize these funds in a way that meets the current and real-time needs of their undocumented students, including direct aid to students. Examples of direct aid include but are not limited to, gift cards, scholarships, USCIS Fees, internships, and tuition for non-AB 540 students.”

    Reference the FAQ for more information.

  • Foundation Funds: California Community Colleges have Foundations, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, established to raise money from private donors to support students and college programs. Hartnell College Foundation, for example, successfully covered the fees for all of their EC 76140-eligible students who were unable to pay their tuition fees.
  • Payment plans with the bursar’s office: Students can set up monthly payments for the semester balance at the bursar’s office.
  • SB 893 “free college” (San Mateo Community College District): The Free College Fee Waiver (SB 893) is an enrollment fee waiver that applies to students who reside in San Mateo County. Depending on financial need, students may also be exempted from paying the student body fee, student representation fee, student union fee, inclusive access fee(s), and materials fees associated with the course.

STEP SIX: Evaluate the implementation process.

Schedule quarterly meetings with the implementation team to evaluate the following:

  • Enrollment trends: Evaluate the number of students who have benefited from EC 76140 each semester at each campus in the district. To gather this data, request a query from enrollment services, admissions and records, or institutional research.
  • Enrollment process: Evaluate if eligible students can easily apply for EC 76140 and access these benefits within the current enrollment process. Find out what roadblocks students face in the application process or if they need additional financial assistance to pay the resident fees.
  • Outreach to local high schools and adult schools: Report back to the team all outreach conducted within the college, at the local high schools, adult schools, and in the community. Identify any additional outreach needed, including presentations for students and UndocuAlly Training for educators.

What’s Next?

If you have completed all of these steps, congratulations! If you are addressing each step point by point, keep going! In both situations, you are doing incredibly valuable work. Once you complete the sixth step, you might need to adjust some of your strategies to be more effective. That’s a victory as well.

Be sure to take time to recognize that your campus has created opportunities that previously were not available to the community you serve. We commend your hard work! Consider documenting your process so that you can share it with other California Community Colleges who want to follow your lead.


The Building Pathways to AB 540 resource series was co-created by Nancy Jodaitis and Gladys Puente Valentine, who collaborated on the research, writing, and envisioning. Gladys served as a community researcher with Immigrants Rising and formally was the Undocumented Student Coordinator at Sierra College. The layout and design is by Grace Yeo, with copyediting support from Keziah Aurin.

We’d like to thank Bronwyn Moreno, formally of Hartnell College, whose initial research kickstarted our efforts; Hilda Rivera, formally of North Orange Continuing Education, who elevated pathways from noncredit to credit programs; and the powerful team supporting undocumented students at San Mateo Community College District. We’d also like to thank all the innovative changemakers across the state who are actively building pathways toward AB 540 at CA Community Colleges, Adult Schools, and Noncredit programs.

Immigrants Rising helps you make decisions based on your potential, not your perceived limits. Visit our website so you can see what’s possible: Published 3/2024.

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