Student Residency

The cost of education in Maryland community colleges is supported by student tuition, aid from the State of Maryland, and contributions from the sponsoring political subdivisions.  The appropriate levels and percent of support by students and 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 upon a student’s place of legal residence or legal domicile except as prescribed by law. The determination of residency or domicile for tuition purposes is governed by Howard Community College's board of trustees in accordance with general policies set by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).

A student is a state or county resident for tuition purposes if the student maintains legal residence in the state or county and has done so for a period of not less than three months before the start of the term in which a student enrolls at the college.

Students whose legal residence is outside the state of Maryland pay a higher tuition rate than those whose residence is within Maryland. Similarly, students residing in Maryland, but outside the county or counties that support a community college, pay a higher rate than county residents, but a lower rate than the rate charged for out-of-state residents. For these reasons, it is essential that the college be informed of the legal residence of each student.

Each student, at the time of initial enrollment, is required to sign a legally binding statement affirming legal residency for tuition classification purposes. The statement need not be notarized, but must be affirmed as being true, correct, and complete to the best of the student’s knowledge and belief. The college is entitled to request more than one form of proof including government issued ID, and a photo ID. Students who refuse or fail to properly complete such a statement and do not provide requested proof, can be admitted to the college, but will be assessed tuition at the out-of-county or out-of-state rate.

In the course of the admissions process for enrollment in credit courses, each student may be required to show proof of residency upon request. Students may be required to show proof of residency at the time they change their addresses; students requesting a change of residency status must submit an Appeal for Change of Residency and supporting documentation to the office of records, registration and veterans' affairs [RRVA]; the appeal is available at Requests will be considered for the current term during the first three weeks of the fall and spring terms and the first week of the winter or summer terms. After that time, requests will be considered for the next term. Students who have signed the required statements and who can verify through factual evidence that they legally reside in Maryland or Howard County will be afforded the appropriate lower tuition rates and limited preference for some selective admissions programs, such as nursing.

The following factors may be considered as substantiation of legal residency or domicile:

  • Ownership or rental of local living quarters in which the student resides (Please note: Post office box addresses are not sufficient proof of legal residence.)
  • 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 Maryland state and local piggy back income taxes on all taxable income earned outside the state
  • Registration to vote in Howard County or the state
  • Registration of a motor vehicle in the state, with a local address specified, if the student owns or uses such a vehicle
  • Possession of a valid Maryland driver’s license, with a local address specified, if the student is licensed anywhere to drive a motor vehicle.

The only exceptions to residency requirements for tuition purposes are those designated by state law, including:

An international citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States may be considered a resident for tuition purposes if the student otherwise meets the residency requirements as defined by state law. The applicable tuition rate for other international citizens is based upon their ability to establish legal residence/domicile in accordance with state law. Refer to International Citizens for further details.

General questions about residency, tuition classifications and inquiries regarding specific provisions for service members, veterans, dependents, and members of the Maryland National Guard should be directed to RRVA.

Persons who have made false statements or have presented false verification in regard to residency shall be charged the higher rates of tuition and may be subject to further college disciplinary measures. In addition, a person may be charged with perjury in a criminal action.