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Frequently Asked Questions




1. What is the Maryland Dream Act?

The Maryland Dream Act became law on December 6, 2012, and applies to all future semesters, starting with the 2013 winter session and spring semester.

The law allows certain high school graduates who are undocumented immigrants to qualify for the lowest tuition rates at their public colleges and universities.

The law applies in all 24 jurisdictions within the state of Maryland—every county in the state of Maryland, plus the city of Baltimore.

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2. What does the Maryland Dream Act do?

This law enables certain undocumented high school graduates to obtain a post-secondary education—from an associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree — at an affordable price.

First, if students meet the requirements of the law, they can qualify for the lowest tuition rate—the in-county rate—at the Maryland community college in jurisdiction from which they graduated from high school.

Second, students who earn their first 60 credits or an associate’s degree from a community college and continue to meet the requirement of the Dream Act are eligible for the in-state rate at a four-year public university in Maryland.

Prior to passage of the Maryland Dream Act, Montgomery College students wishing to transfer to public four-year colleges and universities in Maryland had to pay out-of-state tuition. Now, students who continue to meet Maryland Dream Act requirements may transfer and be eligible for in-state tuition and fees.

And, finally, as a result of the new law, Montgomery College now has a secure and statewide foundation to provide an affordable, accessible higher education to our community’s high school graduates who are undocumented immigrants—continuing our long tradition of service to this community of students.

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3. When did the Maryland Dream Act take effect?

The Maryland Dream Act took effect December 6, 2012, and the College must implement the law for the next semester, starting with the 2013 winter session and spring semester.

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4. What is the legislative history of the Maryland Dream Act?

Like a number of other states, Maryland introduced legislation that would allow certain undocumented immigrants (those brought to the country as children) to qualify for the lowest tuition rates at their public colleges and universities. After multiple attempts over many years, the Maryland Dream Act was passed by the legislature in 2011 and the governor signed it into law. A petition drive put the Maryland Dream Act on hold until a referendum vote in November 2012, when a majority of Maryland voters chose to support Maryland Dream Act (also known as Question Four).

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5. What are the requirements of the Maryland Dream Act?

To be eligible for the Maryland Dream Act, students who are undocumented immigrants must have:  

  • Attended a Maryland high school for at least three years, starting no earlier than the 2005 –2006 school year;
  • Graduated from a Maryland high school or received a GED, no earlier than the 2007–2008 school year;
  • Registered at a Maryland community college within four years of high school graduation or receiving a GED.

Eligible students must submit the following forms to the local community college in the jurisdiction in which they graduated from high school:

  1. A signed affidavit vowing to file an application to become a permanent resident within 30 days after becoming eligible to apply.
  2. Proof of registration with the US Selective Service, if the student is male. Instructions about how to register can be found on the US Selective Service System website. Students can register for Selective Service at any US Post Office. A receipt from the US Post Office that indicates that the application was submitted will be accepted as proof.
  3. Copies of Maryland state income tax returns filed by the student or the student’s parents or legal guardian. The tax returns must be from:
    1. Each of the three years the student attended high school;
    2. Each year that the student attended community college, and
    3. Each year between high school and community college.
  4. An official copy of the student’s high school transcript that shows his or her graduation from a public or nonpublic high school in Maryland or a copy of the student’s GED, if not already on file with MC.

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6. Who is eligible for the Maryland Dream Act?

Students who are undocumented immigrants are eligible for the Maryland Dream Act if they meet the following requirements:

  • Attended a Maryland public or nonpublic high school for at least three years, starting no earlier than the 2005 –2006 school year;
  • Graduated from a Maryland high school or received a GED, no earlier than the 2007–2008 school year;
  • Registered at a Maryland community college within four years of high school graduation or receiving a GED;
  • Eligible students must also meet other requirements of the law to qualify.

In order to receive the lowest tuition rate, students also must enroll in the community college that serves the same jurisdiction as the high school from which they graduated. In other words, a graduate of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) must enroll in Montgomery College; a graduate of Frederick County Public Schools must enroll in Frederick Community College.

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7. If a student is eligible for the Maryland Dream Act, what are the next steps?

Students who are eligible to qualify for the Maryland Dream Act must submit the following forms to their local community college:

  1. www.montgomerycollege.edu/MarylandDream.

  2. Proof of registration with the US Selective Service, if he is male. Instructions about how to register can be found on the US Selective Service System website. Students can register for Selective Service at any US Post Office. A receipt from the US Post Office that indicates that the application was submitted will be accepted as proof.

  3. Copies of Maryland state income tax returns filed by the student or the student’s parents or legal guardian. The tax returns must be from:
    1. Each of the three years the student attended high school
    2. Each year that the student attended community college, and
    3. Each year between high school and community college.
  4. An official copy of the student’s high school transcript that shows his or her graduation from a public or nonpublic high school in Maryland or a copy of the student’s GED, if not already on file with MC.

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8. What are the benefits of the Maryland Dream Act?

  • The Maryland Dream Act offers Montgomery College, Maryland community colleges, and Maryland public colleges and universities a solid and secure statewide foundation to serve students who are undocumented immigrants. The Maryland Dream Act is now law, and Montgomery College can continue to serve “Dreamers”— undocumented immigrant high school graduates—in our community.Prior to passage of the Maryland Dream Act, MC students wishing to transfer to public four-year colleges and universities in Maryland had to pay out-of-state tuition. Now, students who meet the Maryland Dream Act requirements can transfer and pay in-state tuition and fees. As an example: Before the law, if an undocumented immigrant at MC wanted to transfer to the University of Maryland for a bachelor’s degree, their total bill at the University of Maryland would cost about $54,000 ($27,000 for each of two years at UM). Upon meeting requirements of the Maryland Dream Act, that same student will pay only $27,000 total to attend both Montgomery College AND the University of Maryland. This important benefit will make a difference to students here in Montgomery County and in all 24 jurisdictions across Maryland. 
  • As a result of the passage of the law, recent high school graduates in all 24 local jurisdictions in Maryland (23 counties and the city of Baltimore)—who are undocumented immigrants and meet certain requirements—will now have the opportunity to receive the lowest tuition rates at their local community colleges.

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9. What efforts are being made to reach currently enrolled students who are impacted by the new Dream Act requirements?

The College is working to inform all students who may be impacted through the following methods:

  1. Letters sent to students’ homes informing them of the transition;
  2. Unique e-mail address created for questions from students and families ( MarylandDream@montgomerycollege.edu);
  3. Assistance available through the College’s existing Response Center: 240-567-5000;
  4. Informational website – www.montgomerycollege.edu/MarylandDream
  5. Informational video;
  6. Personalized attention. Each campus has a designated Maryland Dream Act representative to help students navigate this new process. 
  • Germantown Campus - Sandra Clark, 240-567-7817
  • Rockville Campus - Eunice Akitobi , 240-567-7338
  • Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus - Marjorie Davis , 240-567-1501

The College will host information workshops for students and families, which started on January 17, 2012. The other workshops are as follows:

Monday, January 7, 2013, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Sciences and Applied Studies Building (SA), Room 162
Germantown Campus
20200 Observation Drive, Germantown

Thursday, January 10, 2013, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Theatre Arts Arena
Rockville Campus
51 Mannakee Drive, Rockville

Monday, January 14, 2013, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Student Services Building (ST), Room 203
Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus
7625 Fenton Street, Takoma Park

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10. When are the required forms due to Montgomery College?

For students planning to attend the spring 2012 semester at Montgomery College, they must submit their affidavit and other required forms no later than January 18, 2013.

If students are unable to complete the affidavit and provide the required forms by January 18, they can participate in a one-semester payment plan by paying one-third of their bill for tuition and fees by January 23, and then sign a promissory note for the remaining two-thirds of their tuition and fees.

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11. What tax returns do students need to submit?

Students must submit Maryland income tax returns for the three years they attended high school, every year they attended community college, and every year between high school and college.

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12. What if a student cannot submit the forms by the required dates? 

If students are unable to complete the affidavit and provide the required forms by January 18, they will be charged the out-of-state tuition rate and offered the opportunity to participate in a one-semester payment plan. To participate in the plan, the student must pay one-third of their bill for tuition and fees by January 23, and then sign a promissory note to pay remaining the two-thirds of their tuition by April.

If students on the payment plan are eligible for the Maryland Dream Act and provide all required forms to Montgomery College prior to April, the student instead would be charged the lowest tuition rate.  

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13. What about the student who is an undocumented immigrant and already attends Montgomery College?

Montgomery College is required to fully implement the new law. Montgomery College will work with any students who qualified for in-county tuition under the College’s previous policy to determine their eligibility for tuition rates. Updating information with the College may also help some students qualify for the lowest tuition rate.

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14. What happens if a student graduated prior to the 2007–2008 school year?

The Maryland Dream Act says students who graduated from a public or nonpublic Maryland high school no earlier than the 2007–2008 academic year are eligible to qualify for the lowest (in-county) tuition rate. If they graduated before that time, they are not eligible to receive the in-county tuition rate through the Maryland Dream Act.

Therefore, students will be changed to the out-of-state rate for all future semesters, starting in the winter session at Montgomery College. To help students adjust to the new tuition rate, the College will offer students a one-semester payment plan during the spring 2013 semester.

If students choose to drop a class or withdraw from all spring semester classes, they will receive a full refund of any tuition and fees if they drop or withdraw by February 1, 2013.

We understand that this is a time of transition. Montgomery College will assist students throughout the process with representatives at each campus available to talk to students.

Germantown Campus
Sandra Clark
240-567-7817
Rockville Campus
Eunice Akitobi
240-567-7338
Takoma Park/Silver Spring
Marjorie Davis
240-567-1501

Students also may contact the College’s Response Center at 240-567-5000 or e-mail questions to: MarylandDream@montgomerycollege.edu.

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15. What happens if a student is currently enrolled in high school?

Montgomery College encourages high school students and their families to become educated about the necessary paperwork for the Maryland Dream Act and to start gathering the paperwork early. The law specifies that students must be high school graduates to qualify for the lowest tuition rate through the Maryland Dream Act. Therefore, current high school students who take college classes are not covered by the Maryland Dream Act while still in high school.

Once students graduate from high school, they will have to submit the following paperwork to qualify for the Maryland Dream for the summer or fall 2013 semesters:

  1. www.montgomerycollege.edu/MarylandDream.
  2. Proof of registration with the US Selective Service, if he is male. Instructions about how to register can be found on the US Selective Service System website. Students can register for Selective Service at any US Post Office.
  3. Copies of the student’s Maryland state income tax returns or the returns filed by the student’s parents or legal guardian. The tax returns must be from:
    1. Each of the three years the student attended high school
    2. Each year that the student attended community college, and
    3. Each year between high school and community college.
  4. An official copy of the student’s high school transcript that shows his or her graduation from a public or nonpublic high school in Maryland or a copy of the student’s GED, if not already on file with MC.

While still enrolled in high school, high school students will be charged the out-of-state rate for the spring 2013 semester and future semesters at Montgomery College. To help students adjust to the new tuition rate, the College will offer students a one-semester payment plan during the spring 2013 semester.

If students choose to drop a class or withdraw from all spring 2013 semester classes, they will receive a full refund of any tuition and fees if they drop or withdraw by February 1, 2013.

Montgomery College understands that this is a time of transition for students, and there will be members of the Montgomery College community available to assist students throughout the process.

Germantown Campus
Sandra Clark
240-567-7817
Rockville Campus
Eunice Akitobi
240-567-7338
Takoma Park/Silver Spring
Marjorie Davis
240-567-1501

Students also may contact the College’s Response Center at 240-567-5000 or e-mail questions to: MarylandDream@montgomerycollege.edu.

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16. Does the Maryland Dream Act change the admissions policy at Montgomery College for students who are undocumented?

No, the Maryland Dream Act is a law about tuition rates, not an admissions policy. Montgomery College, like all of Maryland’s community colleges, has an open admissions policy that is unchanged by the Maryland Dream Act. Undocumented students will receive the same admissions application as all students. The application will have an option for students to designate that they want to be considered for the lowest tuition as part of the Maryland Dream Act.

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17. Will students who meet the Maryland Dream Act requirements and earn their 60 credits at a community college automatically be admitted to a Maryland four-year public?

No. Unlike community colleges, Maryland’s four-year public colleges and universities have selective admissions policies. Students may be accepted if they meet the admissions requirements of the four-year colleges and universities. The Maryland Dream Act does not guarantee students admission to Maryland’s four-year public colleges and universities. As part of the transfer process, students must still go through the selective admissions process at Maryland’s public four-year colleges and universities.

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18. A student has earned his or her 60 credits and is preparing to transfer to a Maryland four-year public university or college. What should that student do next?

Students should contact the admissions office of the four-year public colleges or universities that they want to attend, and ask the staff at that institution about the Maryland Dream Act procedures.

As a reminder, the Maryland Dream Act does not guarantee students admission to Maryland’s four-year public colleges and universities. As part of the transfer process, students still must go through the selective admissions process at Maryland’s public four-year colleges and universities.

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Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD

240-567-5000

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