Special Circumstances

Mid-Year Change of School

There are circumstances when a mid-year change in schools is needed. It is important to note that the enrollment contract exists between the school and the sponsor. It is imperative that sponsor reads and understands their responsibilities to the enrollment contract regarding the school's policy and timelines for withdrawal. Failure to adhere to contractual obligations may result in out-of-pocket expenses that the NDSP cannot fund/reimburse.

Additional items to consider:

  • A written notification to the school for withdrawal, and to request any refund of tuition and fees due back to the NDSP in accordance with the school’s refund policy is required.
  • Be aware of the refund policies for your child’s school. Not all schools offer refunds of tuition and fees. 
  • If you withdraw your child and the NDSP has already funded your child’s tuition and fees, that allowance will be offset by the amount paid, and any refund of tuition and fees from the school may be credited back to the education allowance balance. You can track your child’s available funding information via the Sponsor Portal.
  • One-time fees are paid once per tour of duty. If the NDSP has already paid them, then we cannot pay those fees for a second time. For more information about one-time fees, exceptions, and changes of school, please contact the NDSP Management Team.
  • If the change of school is applicable for the next school year, the process will be completed during the re-registration period via the Sponsor Portal.
  • If the change of school occurs outside the re-registration period, contact the NDSP Management Team to initiate the change of school process.
  • If your child receives services as part of an Individual Education Program (IEP), Section 504 Plan, a Learning Support Plan or you have other academic concerns, contact your regional NDSP Education Specialist  for coordination.

Overseas Tour Extensions

To extend the entitlement of eligibility with the NDSP, documentation must be provided that specifically addresses continuing authority to remain in the overseas area.

Acceptable documents include:

  • an updated/amended assignment order
  • a valid SURF (Air Force)
  • an ERB/ORB (Army)
  • an official message (Navy)
  • new PCS orders

In lieu of one of the above documents, an official memorandum signed by competent authority that specifically addresses the overseas tour extension, continued receipt of entitlements such as Living Quarters Allowance, and provides both the current and the proposed/new overseas tour dates may be accepted.

Civilian employees in the Priority Placement Program (PPP):

On an annual basis, official documentation signed by competent authority documenting the sponsor’s continued status in the PPP is required to continue NDSP eligibility. Upon receipt of documentation, the NDSP will re-register the family and will establish the new overseas tour expiration date as the last day of the current school year.

School Withdrawal

A written notification to the school for withdrawal, and to request any refund of tuition and fees due back to the NDSP in accordance with the school’s refund policy is required. Be sure to provide a copy of the written notification via email to our Resource Management Team and our Refunds Team so they can coordinate the refund action with the school.

When a sponsor withdraws his/her child from a school, the sponsor must also notify the following:

  • NDSP Management Team
  • Current NDSP Liaison
  • Student Transportation Office if applicable

Note: If the withdrawal is due to changing schools within the current school year, review Mid-Year Change of School procedures.

Exceptions to Policy

Requests for an exception to policy are reviewed and responded to by the DoDEA Director, or designee.  Any request to exceed the education allowance rate for your location and/or educational option, requires review and approval from the DoDEA Director. The sponsor MUST be registered with the NDSP prior to requesting an exception to policy. With required documentation, the NDSP will consider exceptions to policy in situations related to safety and/or access.

Please review  DoDEA Administrative Instruction 5035.01 before preparing and submitting any request for an exception.  DoDEA can only provide exceptions to DoDEA policy, not to the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR), federal law or fiscal law.

ALL EXCEPTION REQUESTS must be submitted in writing to NDSP Program Management and include:

  • A letter signed and submitted by the sponsor that addresses the extenuating circumstances for which the sponsor is requesting an exception to policy.
  • Any documentation that directly supports the request (letters from school administration, teacher, counselor, report cards, medical)
  • A signed memorandum by the command (or higher ranking official) endorsing the exception to policy.
  • Total amount requested and a breakdown and documentation of all associated costs.

All requests concerning transportation must include answers to the following questions:

  • Is transportation provided by the school?
  • What is the distance from your home to the school?
  • What is the distance from your home to the nearest bus stop?
  • Did you choose your home or was it assigned?
  • Were there closer schools available?  Does the closer school(s) provide transportation?

All requests concerning a change of school must also include:

  • A detailed rationale for the request to include a timeline of events.
  • Evidence that a refund was requested from the losing school; including refund amount and date expected.
  • Evidence that reasonable reconciliation was attempted with the school which should include documentation that includes incident reports, letters/receipts from a doctor or counselor, or letters/emails between you and the school.


  • Requests to exceed the education allowance may take more than thirty days to adjudicate.
  • The NDSP may authorize obligation of funds for the current school year only. No multi-year exceptions are authorized.

NDSP will carefully consider all the information before any decisions are made. A letter will be sent providing the decision and our rationale for the decision. In cases where there is further evidence to present, you may appeal the decision.

Appeals will include a complete review of your claim by our appellate review authority. The reviewer will look at the original evidence submitted and consider new evidence or mitigating factors.

Sponsors wishing to appeal must do so in writing within 30 days from the date the decision letter was received. All appeals must be made in writing to the Director of DoDEA. 

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