The Residency Office is a unit within International Admissions and Enrollment (IAE). Residency works with all families, whether international or not. The Residency Office will:
Assist families that are trying to enroll nonresident students into MCPS.
Determine whether a family may enroll directly at a school or should request to enroll as a tuition paying nonresident student or apply for a waiver of the tuition requirements.
A nonresident student is a student whose parents, or court-order custodians, do not have bona fide residency in Montgomery County. Per MCPS Policy JED, Residency, Tuition and Enrollment, bona fide residency is, “one’s principal residence, maintained in good faith, and does not include a residence established for convenience or for the purpose of free school attendance in MCPS. However, intent to reside indefinitely or permanently at the present place of residence is not necessarily required. Determination of a person’s bona fide residence is a factual one and must be made on an individual basis.”
A student is considered a nonresident if:
He/she is under 18 years of age and living in Montgomery County with a court-appointed guardian, or other adult, and whose parents do not have bona fide residency within Montgomery County; or
He/she lives with parent(s) or court ordered custodian(s) who have bona fide residency outside of Montgomery County.
A free public education is for the children of bona fide residents of Montgomery County. A nonresident student’s parent/guardian may request to enroll the student as a nonresident, tuition paying student in MCPS, however not all schools are open to tuition paying students. “Open” schools are determined on an ongoing basis based on enrollment and utilization rates at each school. Tuition fees are established annually by the Montgomery County Board of Education. MCPS Form 335-73a: Request to Enroll Nonresident, Tuition-Paying Student must be completed and submitted to the International Admissions and Enrollment Office.
Yes, there are four ways:
Informal Kinship Care applies to a student who was a resident of Maryland immediately prior to coming into the care of a relative in Montgomery County due to a serious family hardship. Serious family hardships for Informal Kinship Care are strictly limited to:
Death of parent/guardian, as documented by the death certificate, or other proof.
Serious illness of parent/guardian, as documented by the physician’s statement, copy of physician’s report, note, or other proof.
Drug addiction of parent/guardian, as documented by letter from the treatment provider or parent/guardian, or other proof.
Incarceration of parent/guardian, as supported by documentation from the legal system, detention center, or other proof.
Assignment of parent/guardian to active military duty, as documented by military orders or other proof.
Abandonment by parent/guardian, as documented by notarized statements from all legal guardians, or documentation from court, social services, or other proof.
While Informal Kinship Care and Tuition Waivers do have similarities, there are also some distinct differences. For instance:
A tuition waiver, unlike Informal Kinship Care, can be granted for a student regardless whether the student was a resident of Maryland or not, prior to coming into the care of the Montgomery County resident.
Under a tuition waiver, the applying resident does not have to be a relative of the student.
The definition of a crisis warranting a tuition waiver is “unusual and extraordinary circumstances fully documented by the parent/guardian which qualify for a waiver of tuition.” Those situations that qualify are similar to the serious family hardships for Informal Kinship Care. Contact the Residency Office for more information on those categories and the documents needed to submit a request for a waiver of tuition.
The relative of a student in Informal Kinship Care must first apply for a waiver of tuition from the Residency Office before enrolling the student directly at the school.
If the student moves outside of the school’s boundaries the parent/guardian needs to withdraw the student and enroll at the local home school. If the family moves within Montgomery County, the parents/guardians may apply for a change of school assignment (COSA) for the student to remain at the current school. If the family moves outside of Montgomery County, the only way for the student to remain in MCPS is for the parent/guardian to request to enroll a nonresident tuition paying student (MCPS Form 335-73a: Request to Enroll Nonresident, Tuition-Paying Student). The Residency Office cannot grant a waiver of the tuition requirements for a nonresident parent/guardian for a nonresident student.
Yes, a family may enroll a student directly at the future home school with a ratified contract with a settlement date within 60 days or a signed, future dated lease which starts within 60 days.
Yes, a court-ordered custodian may enroll a student directly at a school.
No, a court-ordered guardian must request, and be granted, a waiver of tuition prior to enrolling a student at a school.
*It is advised that you contact the International Admissions and Enrollment Office at 240-740-4500 with any court-ordered document questions.
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