Key Takeaways

  • Understanding In-State Tuition Eligibility: Familiarize yourself with the requirements and criteria for establishing Maryland residency to qualify for in-state tuition rates for undergraduates.
  • Leverage Maryland Dream Act: Explore the Maryland Dream Act and tuition exemptions available for eligible undocumented students, making higher education more accessible.
  • Utilize Nonresident Tuition Differential Exemption: Take advantage of the University System of Maryland’s exemption to reduce nonresident tuition differentials, easing the financial burden for out-of-state students.
  • Explore Financial Aid Opportunities: Research grants, financial assistance, and scholarships tailored for out-of-state students in Maryland to alleviate the cost of education.
  • Consider Student Loans, Room, Board, and Payment Plans: Evaluate student loan options and payment plans designed for out-of-state students to manage tuition expenses effectively.
  • Prepare for Additional Costs: Plan and budget for additional costs as an out-of-state student, such as housing, transportation, room, board, and other living expenses.

Navigating the complexities of Maryland in-state tuition for student types can be daunting. Understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, benefits, and state residency is crucial for residents seeking affordable higher education options. Stay tuned for valuable insights to help you make informed decisions regarding your educational journey.

Understanding In-State Tuition Eligibility in Maryland

Official Policy on In-State Tuition Classification

The Maryland Board of Regents has promulgated VIII‐2.70—POLICY ON STUDENT CLASSIFICATION FOR ADMISSION AND TUITION PURPOSES. This section lists nine criteria for determining residency status for tuition purposes:

1.  Owning or renting and continuously occupying living quarters in Maryland.
2. Having substantially all personal property in Maryland.
3. Paying Maryland income tax.
4. Registering all vehicles in Maryland
5. If licensed, possess a valid Maryland driver’s license.
6. If registered, being registered to vote in Maryland.
7. Receiving no public assistance from a state other than Maryland.
8. Having the legal ability to live permanently and without interruption in Maryland.
9. Rebutting the presumption that he or she is in Maryland primarily to attend an educational institution.

Unfortunately, for in-state tuition-seeking students, the policy says that there is a presumption that the student is classified as out-of-state if they were attending school or living outside of Maryland at the time of application.


As with many states, and as may be required under the US Constitution, Maryland has a reclassification process. This, too, is quite strict. The student must show a clear intent to remain in Maryland indefinitely. According to the policy, “[e]vidence of intent must be clear and convincing and will be evaluated not only by the amount presented but also based upon the reliability, authenticity, credibility, and relevance of the evidence and the totality of facts known to the institution.”

This is a challenging standard, especially for those students who originated and whose family continues to live outside Maryland. It is possible, although unlikely, that a reclassification request will be successful for those whose parents have not moved to Maryland themselves.

Criteria for Establishing Maryland Residency for Tuition

Proof of Domicile

Maryland in state tuition

To qualify for Maryland in-state tuition, you must show proof of domicile. This means demonstrating that Maryland is your permanent home. You can do this by providing documents like a lease agreement for a room, utility bills, or a driver’s license showing your Maryland address.

Factors to Establish Residency

Factors such as employment, being registered to vote in Maryland, and filing state income taxes can help establish residency. If you are a student under 24, additional documentation may be required to prove your independence from your parents or guardians.

When applying for in-state tuition at a Maryland college or university, gathering and promptly submitting all necessary documents is crucial. Providing clear and convincing evidence of your domicile and ties to the state will strengthen your case for receiving the lower in-state tuition rate.

Maryland Dream Act and Tuition Exemptions

Maryland Dream Act

The Maryland Dream Act allows certain undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition. To be eligible, students must meet specific criteria, including attending a Maryland high school. This act aims to provide educational opportunities for all students residing in the state.

Undocumented students who have attended a Maryland high school may benefit from the Maryland Dream Act, allowing them to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities. This initiative strives to make higher education more accessible and affordable for all residents of Maryland.

Other Tuition Exemptions

Other tuition exemptions are available in the state besides the Maryland Dream Act. Military personnel and their dependents may also qualify for these exemptions, enabling them to receive reduced or waived tuition fees at institutions within Maryland.

  • Pros:
  • Provides access to affordable education for undocumented students.
  • Supports military personnel and their families with reduced or waived tuition fees.
  • Cons:
  • Some individuals may not meet the eligibility criteria set forth by these acts.

University System of Maryland Nonresident Tuition Differential Exemption

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for Maryland in-state tuition, students must meet specific criteria. They must have attended a Maryland high school for a certain period, graduated from a Maryland high school, received a GED, and registered with the Selective Service System if required.

Students should also provide proof of filing state income taxes or their parent’s tax returns if they are dependents. They must demonstrate an intent to become permanent residents and meet any other requirements set by individual universities within the University System of Maryland.

Application Process

Applying for Maryland in-state tuition involves submitting documents such as residency verification forms, transcripts from high schools attended in the state, proof of payment of state income taxes, and completing the necessary application forms provided by the university. It is essential to carefully follow all instructions and deadlines outlined by each institution within the University System of Maryland.

Grants and Financial Assistance for Out-of-State Students in Maryland

State Grants

Maryland offers grants to help out-of-state students with tuition costs. The Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant is one such program that provides financial aid based on need. This grant can cover full tuition at two-year community colleges or a partial amount at four-year institutions.

  • Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant
  • Financial aid based on need


Scholarships are another way out-of-state students can receive financial assistance in Maryland. For example, the Senatorial Scholarship Program awards scholarships to students attending two-year or four-year institutions within the state.

  • Senatorial Scholarship Program
  • Available for students at two-year or four-year institutions

Work-Study Programs

In addition to grants and scholarships, work-study programs provide opportunities for out-of-state students to earn money while studying. These programs allow students to work part-time jobs on campus or with approved off-campus employers.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Out-of-State Students

Federal Grants and Loans

Out-of-state students in Maryland can access financial aid such as federal grants and loans. These resources help alleviate the financial strain of higher tuition fees. Students can receive assistance to cover their educational expenses by applying for these options.

Researching external scholarships is another way out-of-state students can reduce their financial burden. Many universities offer scholarships tailored specifically for non-resident students, providing them with opportunities to offset the additional costs of attending an out-of-state institution.

University Scholarships

Some schools in Maryland provide scholarship aid to undergraduates from other states. These scholarships aim to attract talented individuals regardless of their state residency status. By taking advantage of these opportunities, out-of-state students can make pursuing higher education more affordable and accessible.

Student Loans and Payment Plans for Out-of-State Students

Federal Student Loans

Out-of-state students can apply for federal student loans to cover tuition and living expenses. These loans offer competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options, making them popular among borrowers. By filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students can determine their eligibility for various federal loan programs.

Some universities also provide payment plans, allowing out-of-state students to manage their tuition more effectively. These plans typically enable students to spread out the cost of tuition over several months, easing the financial burden of paying a large sum upfront. Before opting for a payment plan, students must understand any associated fees or penalties.

Loan Considerations

When considering taking out student loans, it’s essential for out-of-state students to carefully review the repayment terms and interest rates attached to each loan option available. Understanding these details is crucial in planning how much must be repaid after graduation. Before committing, borrowers should calculate potential monthly payments based on different loan amounts and interest rates.

Preparing for Additional Costs as an Out-of-State Student

Budgeting for Travel Expenses

Maryland in state tuition

Out-of-state students may need to budget for travel expenses to visit family during breaks or holidays. Travel costs can add up quickly, so planning and setting aside money specifically for trips home is essential. Consider carpooling with classmates or using student discounts on public transportation to save money.

Exploring part-time job opportunities on or off campus can help offset additional costs. Working a few hours a week can provide extra income for travel expenses, health insurance, or other necessities. Some universities offer work-study programs that allow students to earn money while gaining valuable experience in their field of study.

Considering Health Insurance Coverage

Health insurance coverage should also be considered when preparing for additional costs as an out-of-state student. Some out-of-state students may not be covered by their home state’s insurance while studying in Maryland. Researching and understanding the health insurance options available through the university or private providers is essential to ensure adequate coverage in any medical emergency.

Closing Thoughts

In navigating Maryland’s in-state tuition regulations, understanding residency criteria, exemptions, financial aid options, and additional costs is crucial for out-of-state students. By grasping these intricacies, individuals can effectively make informed decisions to pursue higher education in the state. Remember to explore all avenues of financial assistance, from scholarships to student loans, to alleviate the burden of non-resident tuition fees. Stay proactive in seeking resources and support to facilitate a smoother transition into studying in Maryland.

For those eyeing Maryland for their educational journey, thorough research and proactive planning are essential. Delve into the specifics of in-state tuition requirements and financial aid opportunities to take charge of your academic future. Empower yourself with the knowledge to maximize your educational pursuits in the Old Line State.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the criteria for establishing Maryland residency for in-state tuition?

To qualify for in-state tuition in Maryland, you must demonstrate physical presence, intent to make Maryland your permanent home, financial independence (if applicable), and more. Specific requirements may vary by institution.

How does the Maryland Dream Act impact tuition exemptions?

The Maryland Dream Act allows certain undocumented immigrants who meet specific criteria to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities. Eligibility is based on meeting requirements related to attendance at a local high school and other factors.

What is the University System of Maryland Nonresident Tuition Differential Exemption?

This exemption allows out-of-state students enrolled in select programs or institutions within the University System of Maryland to pay reduced nonresident tuition rates or waive the nonresident portion under certain circumstances.

Are there grants and financial assistance available for out-of-state students studying in Maryland?

Out-of-state students may be eligible for grants, scholarships, or other financial aid offered by individual schools, private organizations, or state programs. These opportunities can help offset the higher costs of attending college as an out-of-state student.

What options exist for student loans and payment plans for out-of-state students attending college in Maryland?

Out-of-state students can explore federal student loans, private loans from lenders, institutional financing options offered by their college or university, and flexible payment plans designed to assist with covering educational expenses beyond just tuition fees.