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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 beyond.

The law allows Maryland high school graduates who are undocumented immigrants the opportunity to qualify for the lowest tuition rates at their public colleges and universities upon meeting certain eligibility requirements and submitting required documentation.

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 a lower tuition rate - the in-county or state rate - at the Maryland community college they attend.

Second, students who earn their first 60 credits or an associate’s degree from a community college and continue to meet the requirements 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.

Finally, as a result of the new law, Montgomery College now has a secure and statewide foundation to provide an affordable and 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. Who is eligible to apply for 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 Maryland 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 Maryland GED.

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4. If a student is eligible for the Maryland Dream Act, how do they apply for it?

Students who are eligible to apply for the Maryland Dream Act must submit the following forms to the Enrollment Services Office by the deadline:

  • 1. A signed affidavit vowing to file an application to become a permanent resident within 30 days after becoming eligible to apply.
  • 2. If male, proof that student registered with the U.S. Selective Service. Instructions about how to register can be found on the U.S. Selective Service System website. Students can register for Selective Service at any U.S. Post Office. A receipt from the post office that indicates 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 parent(s) or legal guardian. This income state tax return will state Form 502 or Form 503 at the top in bold print. The tax returns must be signed and must be from:
    a. Each of the three years the student attended high school,
    b. Each year that the student attended community college, and
    c. 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. If a student got a Maryland GED, they must submit a copy of their Maryland high school transcript and a copy of their GED.

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5. When are the required documentation due to Montgomery College?

The priority deadline is July 1 for fall semesters, January 1 for spring semesters, and May 1 for summer terms. The latest possible deadline to submit paperwork is by the end of the third week of classes for fall and spring semesters, and by the end of the first week of classes for summer terms.

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

Failure to submit paperwork by the required dates will result in the student being charged out of state tuition until paperwork is received. However, paperwork submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed for that current semester, and will be deferred to the next semester.

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7. After the student submits the required paperwork and applies for the Maryland Dream Act, what are the next steps?

Paperwork may take a few weeks to be processed, but may take longer if the student does not submit all required documentation. The student will be notified via mail or MC email by a staff member in the Enrollment Services Office if they qualify, if additional paperwork needs to be submitted, or if they do not qualify. If the student qualifies for the Maryland Dream Act, their tuition rate will be adjusted to a lower rate. If approved, this tuition rate is applicable through the summer II session of that academic year.

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8. After the student has been approved for the Maryland Dream Act, will they automatically qualify for a lower tuition rate every year?

No. If students have already been approved for the Dream Act at MC, the lower tuition rate is valid through the end of Summer II. They will need to reapply every academic year. For example, if the student was previously approved for the Dream Act for the 2013-2014 academic year, they will need to reapply for the Dream Act for the 2014-2015 academic year. If the student does not reapply for the Dream Act by August 1, their tuition will be changed to out of state. These students are reminded of the need to reapply as stated in their initial approval letters. They will also receive email reminders to do this.

In order to reapply for the Maryland Dream Act, the student must submit a new signed affidavit and signed copies of the student’s, their parent’s, or their legal guardian’s Maryland state income tax returns for the most recent tax year. Paperwork must be submitted by the deadline.

For example, if the student is reapplying for the Dream Act for the 2014-2015 academic year and they wish to take classes during the fall or spring semester, they must submit a new signed affidavit and the signed Maryland state income tax return for 2013.

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

The College communicates to students who may be impacted through the following methods:

  1. Welcome letters sent to students’ homes informing them of the process (if they designated on their admissions application that they want to be considered for a lower tuition rate as part of the Dream Act);
  2. Assistance available through the College’s Response Center, 240-567-5000;
  3. Informational website – www.montgomerycollege.edu/MarylandDream
  4. Informational video;
  5. Personalized attention. Each campus has a designated Maryland Dream Act representative to help students navigate this new process:
  6.         Germantown Campus - Katie Grocki, 240-567-7237
            Rockville Campus - Nicolle Brazil, 240-567-5025
            Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus - Kristal Bent, 240-567-3873

The College will also host information sessions for students. Dates, times, and locations will be posted once they are scheduled.

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

The Maryland Dream Act states that 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 tuition rate. If they graduated before that time, they are not eligible to receive the in-county or state tuition rate through the Maryland Dream Act. Therefore, students will be charged the out-of-state rate for all future semesters.

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11. If a student is still in high school, are they eligible for the Maryland Dream Act?

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 required documentation as specified in Question 4.

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12. The student graduated from high school in May or June, and they are applying for the Maryland Dream Act during the summer months in order to start taking classes at MC in the fall. Their final official high school transcript is not available yet. What do they do?

The student must still submit their final official high school transcript once it is available. They can request an official copy of their transcript from the Registrar at the high school they graduated from. Final official transcripts documenting graduation are usually available sometime in July.

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13. What tax returns do students need to submit?

Students must submit signed Maryland state 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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14. The student, their parents, or their legal guardian did not have any income during a certain year for which the student is required to submit a signed Maryland state income tax return. Do they still need to submit a signed state income tax return for that particular year?

Yes, the student still needs to submit a signed Maryland state income tax return for that year, even if income was zero. Students and families can still file taxes for previous years.

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15. The student submitted their paperwork to apply for the Dream Act, but they have not heard anything yet and the payment deadline is approaching. What should they do?

It is the student’s responsibility to make payment arrangements before the payment due date. Students can set up a payment plan online via My MC or in person at a Cashier’s Office during regular business hours. If students set up a payment plan, they should plan on making that first payment by the deadline. Once paperwork is received by the Admissions Office and if approved, an adjustment will be made to the student’s tuition rate.

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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 admissions application will have an option for students to designate that they want to be considered for a lower tuition rate 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 at 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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19. What is DACA and TPS?

Students who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible for a lower tuition rate provided that the students satisfy the College’s residency criteria. This action is separate from the Maryland Dream Act.

If the student has a Federal Employment Authorization Card that indicates DACA or TPS status, they should bring this to the Admissions Office to update their information. The card must contain the appropriate reference code for DACA, which is (c)(33), or TPS which is (a)(12).

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20. If the student is eligible for DACA or TPS status and they have already updated their information, can they still apply for the Maryland Dream Act?

If the student’s tuition rate was already changed to the in-county or state, and the student meets the eligibility requirements to apply for the Maryland Dream Act, they are encouraged to apply for the Dream Act as well. If a student is approved for the Maryland Dream Act at MC, earn their first 60 credits or an associate’s degree from MC, and continue to meet the requirements of the Dream Act, they are eligible for the in-state tuition rate if they transfer to another four-year public college or university in Maryland.

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Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD

240-567-5000

©2014, Montgomery College