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.

Petition for Change in Classification for Tuition Purposes

In-State Residency

Policy on Student Classification for Admission and Tuition Purposes

USM Policy

New incoming students should contact Admissions for information about initial residency classification.

deadlines for petition submission

Deadlines for In-State Residency Petition Submission

Currently enrolled students only

  • SUMMER 2021
    1st 5 Week Session - 5/26/21
    7 Week Session 5/27/21
    10 Week Session 5/28/21
    2nd 5 Week Session 7/1/21
  • FALL 2021 - 9/8/21

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.

USM Classification Policy

Students wishing to understand their status, or change it, are responsible for becoming familiar with the complete USM classification policy. Overviews provided here do not supersede or amend any part of the classification policy.

Catalog Reference - Residency Classification

Classification Status  

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. A change to in-state status is not retroactive.

Petitions Denied

Should a petition be denied, an appeal may be filed with the Residency Tuition Review Committee. Instructions on appeals are provided at the time a petition is denied.

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

Consideration for in-state residency tuition is separate from a student’s ability to be considered a Maryland resident.

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 prove all criteria has been met for the requisite time period.

There are 9 criteria. 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 dependence or independence upon a Maryland resident.

According to USM policy, being financially dependent on a person who is not a resident of Maryland, classifies you as out-of-state for tuition purposes. You are presumed to be residing in Maryland primarily for the purpose of attending an educational institution.

You must then prove your financial independence by presenting evidence that you provide 50% or more of your own living and educational expenses.

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

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 honorably discharged members of the US Armed Forces.
  4. Certain members of the Maryland National Guard.
  5. 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.

Towson University is required to adhere to the University System of Maryland (USM) criteria. Your community college may have had a different set of required criteria to meet.

Generally speaking, no. However there are exceptions.

Among the 9 criteria set forth by the University System of Maryland is the “legal ability under federal and Maryland law to live permanently and without interruption in Maryland.”

Non-US citizens who may meet this ability & may be eligible for in-state status are permanent residents, certain VISA types (F1 & J1 visas do not qualify), DACA & the Maryland Dream Act students.