NDSP: Education Related Expenses

What expenses are reimbursable and which are not?

The Education Allowance, set by the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR), is designed to assist in defraying those costs necessary to obtain educational services which are ordinarily provided without charge by the public schools in the United States. The" At Post" rate provides the educational rate for the specific location In those cases where adequate schools are available at the sponsor’s post. If the DSSR "Away from Post" rate is higher than the "At Post" rate, boarding school may be authorized for grades 6-12. If eligible for boarding school using the "Away from Post" rate, the cost of room and board in addition to transportation once at the beginning of the year from duty location to school and once at the end of the school year from school to the duty location up to the DSSR rate is allowed.

The Non-DoD Schools Program pays one-time fees or special costs (i.e., building and maintenance fees, admission fees, registration, etc.) , if listed on the school’s fee schedule and only once during a sponsor’s tour of duty.  Exceptions apply when:

  1. The non-DoD school attended does not offer the next grade, e.g., elementary to middle or middle to high school, or the appropriate program;
  2. The non-DoD school is not able to accommodate the needs of the child and recommends another school, or;
  3. The sponsor is transferred.

1.1 Authorized/Unauthorized Expenses

1.1.1  Authorized Expenses: At Post

The following are examples of authorized expenses:

Tuition: Basic tuition for required courses. Necessary elective courses offered by the school which would be required by public schools in the United States. Group sport classes authorized.

Local Transportation: Transportation expenses are paid/reimbursed up to the DSSR rate for the duty location.

One round trip per day is allowed to school and return. The one-way distance must exceed one mile to qualify for payment/reimbursement. Sponsors may not claim POV mileage from the home to the transportation point of pick-up. Sponsors electing to live outside the commuting area required to pay for transportation of their dependents to the nearest point in the commuting area served by the non-DoD school or established by the local commander.

Transportation expenses are paid/reimbursed in the following order :

  1. Transportation is provided or arranged by the school or by the U.S. government (e.g. Embassy contracted bus).
  2. If neither school transportation nor U.S. government transportation is available, sponsors may use commercial transportation (e.g. buses, trains, or taxis) or POV mileage may be claimed using the Defense Travel Management Office Mileage Rates.

Sponsors may choose to transport their children at their own expense.

Books and Supplies: Books and supplies required by the school but normally provided free of charge in public schools in the United States.

Musical Instrument Rental: Rental fees for instruments required for courses as provided as part of the school curriculum.

Technology Fees: Fees to provide technology services. Technology fees cannot include the purchase or lease-to-own of a personal computing device. In instances when the technology fee is over $300.00, the school fee schedule must include an itemized list of what the technology fee covers (rental of equipment, computer lab, software, internet, etc.).

Required One-Time Fees: One-time fees are non-refundable amounts charged by a school not recurring in subsequent years of enrollment (e.g. fees for application, registration, enrollment, matriculation, building fees, capital fees).

Course Examination: Costs or fees for course-required examination/tests for students in grades 11 and 12 enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Certificate programs.

Advanced Placement Courses: Costs associated with the enrollment in Advanced Placement Program courses or course-required examinations are authorized.

Supplemental Instruction: Additional education support may be available if pre-approved by the NDSP Area Education Specialist. Visit Education Support, for more information.

Assessments: Assessments consistent with U.S. public schools requirements - annual standardized assessments to measure student performance are authorized when administered by the school, or on a case-by-case basis, when there is a justified need.


1.1.2 Unauthorized Expenses: At Post

The following is a sample list of unauthorized expenses when attending a school at post.

  • Lunches/school meals
  • Uniforms
  • Personal computing devices (e-readers, laptops, netbooks, iPads, calculators, etc.)
  • Field trips/school excursions/camps/ of any kind (required or not)
  • Elective courses for dancing, horseback or other sports specialized instruction
  • Locker or towel fees
  • Admission to school events
  • Yearbooks
  • Graduation expenses
  • Parent-school organization fees
  • Before/after school care
  • Internet, personal telephone, satellite or communication services
  • Personal expenses
  • Magazine or newspaper subscriptions
  • FEDEX and bank fees
  • Insurance
  • Debentures
  • Any ACT/SAT associated costs
  • Fees which include items for the students to retain ( such as technology fees for computers, uniforms, cell phones, tablets, e-readers, netbooks, etc.)
  • Other items not ordinarily provided free of charge by public schools in the United States

1.1.3 Authorized Expenses Away from Post

The following expenses are authorized for a school away from post:

Tuition:  Basic tuition for required courses.  Necessary elective courses offered by the school which would be required by public schools in the United States.  Group sport classes authorized.

Room and Board:  Room and board in conjunction with the school enrollment.

Boarding School Transportation:  NDSP will fund transportation from the duty station to school once at the beginning of the school year and transportation from school to the duty station once at the end of the school year up to the limits of the DSSR.  The student must be on orders and travel arranged through the sponsor's command/agency.  If the student is attending a 5-day boarding school, weekend ground transportation is authorized up to the limits of the DSSR.

Books and Supplies:  Books and supplies required by the school but normally provided free of charge in public schools in the United States.

Musical Instrument Rental:  Rental fees for instruments required for courses as provided as part of the school curriculum.

Technology Fees:  Fees to provide technology services.  Technology fees cannot include the purchase or lease-to-own of a personal computing device.  In instances when the technology fee is over $300.00, the school fee schedule must include an itemized list of what the technology fee covers (rental of equipment, computer lab, software, internet, etc.).

Required Fees:  These fees are part of the DSSR away from post rate. (e.g. fees for application, registration, enrollment, matriculation, building fees, capital fees).

Course Examination: Costs or fees for course-required examination/tests for students in grades 11 and 12 enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Certificate programs.

Advanced Placement Courses:  Costs associated with the enrollment in Advanced Placement Program courses or course-required examinations are authorized.

Assessments:  Assessments consistent with U.S. public schools requirements - annual standardized assessments to measure student performance are authorized when administered by the school, or on a case-by-case basis, when there is a justified need.


1.1.4 Unauthorized Expenses Away from Post

The following is a sample list of unauthorized expenses when attending a school away from post.

  • Uniforms
  • Personal computing devices (e-readers, laptops, netbooks, iPads, calculators, etc.)
  • Field trips/school excursions/camps/ of any kind (required or not)
  • Elective courses for dancing, horseback or other sports specialized instruction
  • Locker or towel fees
  • Internet access
  • Personal expenses
  • Magazine or newspaper subscriptions
  • Admission to school events
  • Yearbooks
  • Graduation expenses
  • Parent-school organization fees
  • Internet, personal telephone, satellite or communication services
  • Magazine or newspaper subscriptions
  • Insurance
  • Debentures
  • Any ACT/SAT associated costs
  • Fees which include items for the students to retain ( such as technology fees for computers, uniforms, cell phones, tablets, e-readers, netbooks, etc.)
  • Supplemental instruction funds are not authorized for boarding school students.
  • Transportation for boarding school students during school year breaks (winter, spring break)

1.1.5 Home Study/Private Instruction

Authorized

The following expenses are authorized for Home Study/Private Instruction:

  • Traditional K-12 curriculum and other supplemental materials as may be appropriate (textbooks and other pertinent instructional materials) for math, science, language arts, social studies, and other subjects on a grade/age-appropriate basis
  • Supplies which are normally provided free of charge in U.S. public schools (chart paper)
  • Fees charged for access to libraries, recreation facilities, education-related curriculum activities, or participation on school athletic or extracurricular teams which are normally free of charge in U.S. public schools
  • Fees for curriculum-related online internet services such as study programs, library services and distance learning
  • Rental of curriculum-related equipment such as microscopes or band instruments which would normally be provided by U.S. public schools
  • Required testing materials by either the formal home study course or other authorized program
  • Tuition charges, shipping costs, lesson postage, online internet and facsimile charges associated with a formal recognized home study course
  • Instructional CDs/software/curriculum guides

Unauthorized

The following expenses are unauthorized for Home Study/Private Instruction:

  • Purchase or rental of items which have broader use than the course being studied (computer equipment, furniture, and other items not ordinarily provided free of charge by public schools in the United States).
  • Parental training in homeschooling
  • Any form of compensation to the parent, nanny, childcare provider or supervisory costs
  • Travel and transportation costs
  • Personal telephone, internet, satellite, cable or other communication services
  • Fees for museums, cultural events, or performances that would normally be paid by parents of children in the U.S.
  • Equipment such as computer, keyboard, printer, television, fax/scanner machine, furniture
  • Non-course specific software programs, CDs, videos, DVDs
  • General reading materials, reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopedias, globes)
  • Supplies that are normally purchased by parent in the U.S. (paper, pencils, markers)
  • Private lessons (core or elective subjects)
  • Costs associated with attending a tuition charging school at post
  • Membership in gymnasiums, cultural clubs, spas, and other private clubs
  • Religious textbooks, Bibles, workbooks, daily devotionals, or any material primarily for religious instruction