Residency Classification

The basis for determining in-state tuition rates rests upon whether a student is a legal resident of Maryland and whether that student meets the requirements of the University System of Maryland.

After the first term, students are required to submit a residency petition to request a change in residency classification. New students must resolve any residency issues within the first term. Contact the Admissions Office for further information.

Petition for Change in Classification for Tuition Purposes

In-State Residency

Policy on Student Classification for Admission and Tuition Purposes

USM Policy

petition submission and review

Deadlines for In-State Residency Petition Submission

Students who have completed their first term.

  • SUMMER 2023
    - 1st 5-Week Session: June 1
    - 2nd 5-Week Session: July 10
    - 7-Week Session: June 2
    - 10-Week Session: June 5
  • FALL 2023 - September 6

The deadline for petition submission with all accompanying documents is the final day of the add/drop period in the term for which you are applying for in-state tuition.

Petition Review for Registered Students

  • SUMMER 2023 - Begins March 20
  • FALL 2023 - Begins April 24


Classification Status  

Residency classification is determined by the admitting office based on whether a student meets all requirements of the University System of Maryland policy. Neither an out-of-state nor an in-state status classification is permanent. After a minimum of one term’s attendance, an out-of-state student may petition the Registrar’s In-State Residency Office to request a change to in-state status.

Reclassification of Status

Reclassifications of status must be made by the established deadline of the semester for which they are to take effect. The Registrar's Office cannot retroactively reclassify residency status. There is the option of filing an appeal if a petition is denied or retroactive status is being requested.

Petitions Denied

Should a petition be denied, an appeal may be filed with the Residency Review Committee. Instructions on appeals are provided at the time a petition is denied. The Residency Review Committee is a broad-based committee comprised of representatives from multiple offices and departments.

Ineligible for Continued In-state Status

Students have an obligation to inform Towson University of personal circumstances which may make them ineligible for continued in-state status.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Simply living in Maryland for 12 consecutive months or having mail delivered to you in the State of Maryland does not entitle you to In-State status. A continuous physical presence in Maryland is certainly important, but it is only one of several requirements established by the Policy that must be met. Equally important are the circumstances that brought you to Maryland and then, the extent to which you have taken other actions including the assumption of civic responsibilities which, in the judgment of the Board of Regents' Policy, are minimally needed to objectively demonstrate a reasonable probability you intend to remain in Maryland following graduation and benefit the community. Generally, only this narrowly defined group is granted In-State status.

The following criteria must be met for the 12 consecutive months immediately prior to and including the last day to drop or add courses of the term for which in-state residency is requested.

Documentation is required to verify you meet all criteria for the requisite time frame.

There are 9 criteria, all of which must be met. They may be condensed as follows:

  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, possessing 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 under law to live permanently and without interruption in Maryland.
  9. Rebutting the presumption that you are in Maryland primarily to attend an educational institution.

You must read the full USM policy to learn the details of each requirement. The USM policy can also be found in the Towson University catalog.

A key element for determination of in-state residency for tuition purposes is providing proof of your financial independence or dependence upon a Maryland resident.

According to USM policy, if you are financially dependent on a person who is not a resident of Maryland, the policy presumes you are residing in Maryland primarily for the purpose of attending an educational institution. You may present evidence to rebut this presumption; but, if you are not successful, you will be assigned Out-of-State status.

See Part II.B of the USM policy for more information on the presumptions regarding in or out-of-state status.

Satisfying the requirements listed in 1 through 8 of the policy does not rebut the presumption that a student is in Maryland primarily to attend an educational institution.

To overcome that presumption, you must present additional evidence. The burden of proof lies with you.

There is no formula to rebutting this presumption. You must demonstrate that you intend to make Maryland your permanent home and reside in Maryland indefinitely.

Examples of some of the types of evidence that can be submitted are listed within the rebuttal section of the policy, Section III C.

There are no exceptions on the basis of financial hardship.

However, there are certain groups the USM policy assigns in-state status regardless of the 9 criteria.

  1. Full-time or part-time (50% time or more) regular employees of a USM institution, their spouses and dependents.
  2. Certain full-time active duty members of the US armed forces including their spouses and dependent children.
  3. Certain veterans of the US Armed Forces.
  4. Students using certain VA benefits.
  5. Certain members of the Maryland National Guard.
  6. Graduate Assistants during the term of their appointment.

See the policy itself, Part IV, to learn the full criteria for these exceptions, referred to as temporary qualification of non-residents for in-state status.

There are additional exceptions for in-state status applicable to returning Peace Corps volunteers, individuals who have completed all service hours for an AmeriCorps program in Maryland, and those who qualify for the Dream Act.