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The appropriate levels and percentage of support by students, the State, and local governments are specified in State law and are provided in state and local appropriations.  Equity in funding requires that the level of tuition and governmental support be computed based on a student’s place of legal residence, except as prescribed by law.  The determination of residence or domicile for tuition purposes is governed by Howard Community College’s board of trustees in accordance with Maryland State law.

Legal residence

Legal residence for tuition purposes is based on a student’s legal domicile for a period not less than three months prior to the first regularly scheduled day of a term.  Student residency classifications include:

  • legal resident of Howard County – in-county tuition rate
  • legal resident of another Maryland county – in-state tuition rate
  • out-of-state resident – out-of-state tuition rate


Domicile is defined as a person’s permanent place of residence, where physical presence and possessions are maintained and where the person intends to remain indefinitely.  The student must possess the legal capacity under State and Federal law to establish Maryland domicile to be considered a Maryland resident of Howard County or another Maryland county.  Domicile is lost when a new domicile is established for a period of three months at a location outside of the county or State.

Factors in Establishing legal residency/domicile

General Requirements

To determine the factual basis for legal residency/domicile provided by the student, the college will consider any of the following:

  • documented ownership or rental of local living quarters for a period of three or more months
  • substantially uninterrupted physical presence, including the months when the student is not in attendance at the college
  • maintenance in Maryland and in the county of all, or substantially all, of the student’s possessions
  • payment of State and local income taxes on all taxable income earned outside of the State
  • registration to vote in the State and county
  • registration of a motor vehicle, with the local address specified, if the student owns or uses a vehicle
  • possession of a valid Maryland driver’s license with a local address specified

Specific Provisions

In addition to the general requirements, including waiver of the three months residency requirement, the following provisions apply:

  • Active duty service members, their spouses, and their financially dependent children are eligible for in-county tuition if the service member is stationed in, resides in, or is domiciled in Maryland.  Spouses and financially dependent children may continue to receive in-county tuition if the active duty service member no longer meets the requirements and the spouse/child remains continuously enrolled.
  • Honorably discharged veterans are eligible for in-county tuition if the veteran is residing in or domiciled in Maryland, was honorably discharged within four years, attended a Maryland secondary school for three or more years, and graduated from the Maryland secondary school or earned the equivalent of a high school diploma in Maryland.
  • Members of the Maryland National Guard are entitled to in-county tuition if they provide a critical military occupation skill or are a member of the Air Force Specialty Code.  In addition, Members of the Maryland National Guard are entitled to further discounts, which vary based upon legal residence/domicile (in-county – 50 percent tuition discount; in-state or out of state – 25 percent tuition discount).
  • Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) personnel and their dependents who relocate to Maryland may be considered residents for tuition purposes as long as BRAC-related employment is maintained.  Specific procedures must be followed, including completion of the college’s BRAC certification form, which must be submitted to the office of admissions and advising.
  • A student enrolled in a program designated as statewide, health workforce shortage, or regional program by the Maryland Higher Education Commission may be considered a resident for tuition purposes if domiciled in the appropriate region for the program.
  • A student from outside the State who enrolls as part of a reciprocity agreement negotiated between Maryland and another state may be considered a resident for tuition purposes.
  • A student who is a resident of Howard County enrolled for sections at the Laurel College Center receives in-county tuition rates for those sections.  A student who is a resident of Prince George’s County enrolled through Howard Community College for Laurel College Center sections receives the in-county tuition rate for those sections.
  • A student who is a resident of Howard County enrolled for sections at the Mount Airy College Center for Health Care Education receives in-county tuition rates for those sections.  Students who are residents of Carroll or Frederick Counties who enroll through Howard Community College for a Howard Community College originated clinical program at Mount Airy College Center for Health Care Education sections receive the in-county tuition rate.
  • An individual’s immigration status does not impact residency determination under this policy if the individual has the legal capacity to establish domicile in Maryland; Howard Community College generally considers students with the following immigration statuses as having the legal capacity to establish domicile in the State of Maryland or Howard County – United States permanent residents (PR); asylees; refugees; or those with A, BC, E, G, H1, H4, I, K1, K2, L, N, O, R, SN, T, U, and V visas.  Students who are in the category of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) or Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) are eligible to establish in-state/in-county residency for tuition purposes. Students who are in the process of adjusting their immigration status will be considered on a case-by-case basis dependent on where they are in the process.  Proof of immigration status, in accordance with college procedures, is required.  Students on B1 and B2 visas are generally not admitted for credit coursework in accordance with federal law.  Other foreign nationals attending the college are not normally eligible for county residency or state resident tuition rates.  Undocumented students wanting to be considered for in-county tuition rates pursuant to Annotated Code of Maryland, Education, Division III. Higher Education, Title 15. Public Institutions of Higher Education, Subtitle 1.  General Provisions, §15–106.8 (commonly called The Dream Act) should refer to procedure 50.03.02 – Admissions Requirements. 


At the time of admission or initial enrollment, each student will sign a statement affirming all information regarding legal residency and domicile.  An electronic signature is considered official.  Students have the burden of proving legal residency and domicile when requested.  The college reserves the right to request two or more acceptable documents to verify domicile, one of which must include a government issued photo identification such as a driver’s license, military identification, or a passport; photocopied identification is not acceptable.  Additional proof may include but is not limited to a lease, income tax returns, and utility bills.  International citizens must show proof of immigration status to be eligible for in-county or in-state rates.  Persons making false statements related to domicile and residency will be charged the higher tuition rates, which may be retroactive, will be subject to disciplinary action, and may also be charged with perjury in a criminal action.

Change of Residency

Students are required to inform the college in writing and provide verification when their legal residency and domicile have changed, including any change of address and immigration status.  Legal residency and domicile information and verification must be provided by the student within the first three weeks of the beginning of each major term or the first week of shorter terms; changes or appeals received later will be processed for the following term. 

Application for Change of Residency

A student must contact the office of records, registration, and veterans’ affairs in writing within the first three weeks of the beginning of each major term or the first week of shorter terms in order to appeal tuition eligibility for that term; any appeal received later will be processed for the following term.  An appeal must be accompanied by evidence justifying changes.  Prior to enrollment in classes, a prospective student may notify the office of admissions and advising of resident changes.

Contracted Education and Training

Howard Community College may contract with a public or private employer or non-profit organization that maintains facilities in Maryland, in order to provide education or training for public and private sector employees or members.  A contractual fee, in place of payment of tuition and fees, will be set under the following conditions:

  • The employee or member is enrolled in credit or noncredit courses that will benefit the employer.
  • The employer or non-profit organization pays the fee charged by the college.
  • The fee reasonably reflects the usual costs borne by students in the same or similar courses.
  • The employer or members under this program will be treated the same as any other students in accordance with Maryland Higher Education Commission policies and procedures, with the exception of payment of tuition.

Contractual arrangements under this section may include customized training as well as employer-paid tuition and tuition reimbursement plans.

Policy Manual Review/Revision: 03/14/14