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State and County Residency Requirements Procedure - 50.03.01

College Policy Number/Title:

The determination of residence or domicile for tuition purposes is governed by the Howard Community College Board of Trustees in accordance with Maryland State law. 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 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.

Legal residence

Legal residence for tuition purposes is based on a student’s legal domicile for a period of 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/out-of-county tuition rate; and
  • 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 at a location outside of the county or state.

Factors in Establishing legal residency or domicile

General Requirements

To determine the factual basis for legal residency or 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; or
  • 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 immediately 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 and domiciled in Maryland
  • Honorably discharged veterans are immediately 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 Maryland high school diploma.
  • Honorably discharged veterans are immediately eligible for in-state tuition, consistent with the federal Choice Act, if they reside in-state and are using Chapter 30, 31, or 33 benefits.
  • Spouses and dependents of active duty service members or veterans are immediately eligible for in-state tuition, consistent with the federal Choice Act, if they reside in the state and are using Chapter 33 benefits under the GI Bill®, regardless of the student’s formal state of residence.
  • 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).
  • A student enrolled in a program designated as statewide, health workforce shortage, or regional program by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) may be considered a resident for tuition purposes if domiciled in the appropriate region for the program; only courses leading to the applicable area of study will be covered.
  • 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 (HCC) for Laurel College Center sections receives the in-county tuition rate for those sections.
  • Students who are residents of Carroll or Frederick Counties who enroll through HCC for an HCC originated clinical program receive the in-county tuition rate if the program is a part of the Mid-Maryland Allied Healthcare Education Consortium.
  • 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; HCC 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 or state identification card; photocopied identification is not acceptable. Additional proof may include but is not limited to a lease, income tax returns, or 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.

Appeal for Change of Residency

Students are required to submit a residency appeal to inform the office of records, registration, and veterans’ affairs (RRVA) and provide verification when their legal residency and domicile have changed, including any change of address. Students with a change in immigration status must notify the office of admissions and advising. 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. The residency appeal form is available on the college’s website and in RRVA and must be accompanied by evidence justifying changes. Prior to enrollment in classes, a prospective student may notify the office of admissions and advising of residency 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 in a written agreement between the college and the employer under the following conditions:

  • The employee or member is enrolled in credit or noncredit courses that will benefit the employer or non-profit organization.
  • The employer or non-profit organization pays the contractual fee established by the agreement.
  • The contractual fee reasonably reflects the usual costs charged to 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 MHEC 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.

Effective Date: 08/01/21

President's Office Use:  VPSS - CAT

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