With 18 public colleges and universities, Maryland offers residents many opportunities to seek publicly assisted higher education through in-state tuition rates, students who reside in nearby Washington, D.C. don't meet the state's residency requirements and, in most circumstances, must pay out of state tuition if they attend a public university in Maryland. As long as a student, or his parents, if he's financially dependent upon them and resides in Washington, D.C., he won't qualify for resident tuition.
Maryland Residency Requirements
Maryland only provides in-state tuition rates to students and their families who lived continuously in the state for at least 12 months prior to the last day for late registration at the college the student attends. If a student moves to Maryland from Washington, D.C. in an attempt to establish residency, he must live inside the state for the 12-month period, possess voter registration for the state, receive a driver’s license and motor vehicle registration issued by Maryland and pay Maryland income taxes for all income earned--even that outside of the state--to qualify for residency status. Students must also provide half of their financial support while living in Maryland to qualify for in-state tuition.
A student who lives in Washington, D.C. qualifies for in-state tuition if he’s financially dependent upon a parent or guardian who works at least half-time at a position in the University System of Maryland, regardless of where that student or his family resides. Graduate students who work as graduate assistants also qualify for in-state tuition rates. Students who are home-state residents of Washington, D.C. and move to Maryland with a parent stationed in the military may also receive resident tuition rates.
Establishing Maryland Residency
Students in Washington, D.C. who want to qualify for Maryland in-state tuition may establish residency inside the state, and maintain all tax, voter and vehicle registration records. In addition to those documents, students must prove that they intend to reside in Maryland indefinitely and moved to the state for reasons other than merely to attend college. The burden of proving residency lies on students who seek it, and must be presented to a school’s residency classification office.
Washington, D.C. Resident Tuition
Only one public university, the University of the District of Columbia, exists for Washington, D.C. residents who wish to take advantage of in-state tuition rates. Because the university is the only institution in the state, it sets its own residency requirements. To qualify, a student must have lived continuously inside the District for at least a year before the first day of classes. If he isn’t able to financially support himself, his parents must also be residents of Washington, D.C. as determined by a year of continuous residency in the district.
Wilhelm Schnotz has worked as a freelance writer since 1998, covering arts and entertainment, culture and financial stories for a variety of consumer publications. His work has appeared in dozens of print titles, including "TV Guide" and "The Dallas Observer." Schnotz holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Colorado State University.