Department of Defense Education Activity

Education Allowance

DSSR Education Allowance

Prior to choosing an education option for your child, it is important to be familiar with the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR) education allowance rates.  The allowance is established to assist sponsors in meeting the expenses that may be incurred while stationed in an NDSP location.  The education allowances may not cover every expense and are set by the Department of State (DoS) and are:

  • Your maximum allowance 
  • Used to defray the costs of education
  • Are published in the DSSR


NOTE:  It is extremely important to know your DSSR education allowance PRIOR to choosing an education option.  A child's tuition, transportation and any other authorized fees can be funded by NDSP up to the DSSR education rate limit for the sponsor's duty location.  Any expenses incurred above the DSSR allowance will be the responsibility of the sponsor.

One-time fees (registration, enrollment, etc.) are not factored as part of the DSSR education allowance when choosing to use a school at post and are paid once per tour unless the school does not offer the next grade.  One-time fees are not applicable for students utilizing Home Study/Private Instruction or attending a school away from post (boarding school).  All fees charged for Home Study/Private Instruction or a school away from post are included as part of the educational allowance.  Students may attend boarding school in grades 6-12 up to the limits of the DSSR away from post allowance for the duty location.

Each location has a DSSR allowance by grade level.  The allowance is based on the location of the sponsor's duty station, not where the child attends school.  There is an "At Post" rate and an "Away from Post" DSSR allowance. Please click the tabs below to see the difference between At Post and Away From Post DSSR allowance.

At Post: School at post means an elementary or secondary school is within daily commuting distance of the employee's duty location.

data sheet

When the "At Post" and the "Away from Post" DSSR rate are the same amount, it means that there are adequate schools available.

School away from post means an elementary or secondary school so far beyond daily commuting distance of the employee's duty location as to necessitate board and room in connection with attendance. The away from post rate is only used when a boarding school is selected.

away from post data

When the "Away from Post" rate is HIGHER than the "At Post" rate for grades 6-12, there is not an adequate school at location.

One Time Fees

  1. Application,
  2. Admission/Registration/Enrollment,
  3. Building/ Facility/Maintenance/Development/Enhancement/Capital
  4. Entrance Exam/Evaluation/Assessment
  5. Matriculation
  6. Value Added Tax (VAT)
  7. Security

Annual Fees

  1. Technology fees charged by the school, provided the fee does not include the ownership (lease to own or purchase) of any devices, especially personal, computing devices
  2. Laboratory
  3. Matriculation
  4. Fees for group-instruction activities such as music, art, and physical education; if these fees are included in courses regularly offered in the curriculum of the school and included as part of the publically advertised rates
  5. Costs or fees for course-required or end-of-year examinations/tests, consistent with U.S. public school requirements
  6. Musical instrument rental fee required for course as part of school curriculum
  7. Fees for ESL instruction provided by the school are paid in addition to the amount authorized in the education allowance

Tuition and Education Resources

  1. Publically advertised tuition rates
  2. Necessary elective courses offered by the school
  3. Textbooks, or access to online textbooks, used as a standard work for the study of a particular subject and are required as part of the curriculum and supplies normally provided free of charge in public schools in the U.S.
  4. Transcript conversion

Local Transportation

  1. One daily round-trip ride from home/bus-stop to school and return, the distance from home to school must exceed one mile.
  2. Transportation is provided or arranged by the school or, when due to exigent circumstances such as safety/force protection concerns, by the U.S. Government.
  3. If neither school transportation nor U.S. Government transportation is available, sponsors may use commercial transportation or privately owned vehicle; sponsors may claim mileage reimbursement using the Defense Travel Management Office mileage rates outlined in Chapter 4 of The Joint Travel Regulations Uniformed Service Members and DoD Civilian Employees.
  4. Sponsors electing to live outside the commuting area designated for the school shall arrange for alternate transportation for their children to the nearest point in the commuting area that is served by the school.
  5. Transportation is provided in accordance with the student IEP or 504 accommodation plan.

Pre-Approved Supplemental Instruction

  1. Foreign Language. The school provides its curriculum in a foreign language which the child does not know well enough to progress in the curriculum.
  2. Gifted Education. The school does not offer a gifted or equivalent program and additional support is in academic content only.
  3. Academic Support. The school requires additional instruction to enable the child to:
    1. Enter a grade, remain in the same grade, complete a grade; or,
    2. Successfully complete an academic course in order to progress to the next level in the sequence of courses.
  4. Supplemental Coursework. Academic subjects generally offered by public schools in the U.S., such as U.S. history, civics, computer, American literature, English grammar, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses.
  5. Other: Following authorized/ordered departure/evacuation when school requires additional instruction to successfully complete the current school year.
  • School meals
  • School Uniforms
  • Elective courses for dancing, horseback riding, sports or other specialized instruction
  • Field trips/school excursions/camps/ athletic events of whether the trips are predominately academic in nature or if participation is mandatory or voluntary
  • Before/After school activities
  • Personal devices including, but not limited to, computing devices, internet, personal telephone, satellite or communications
  • Magazine or newspaper subscriptions
  • Admission to school events
  • Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT); American College Testing (ACT); and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
  • Fees for locker or towels
  • Fees for museums, culture events, or performances
  • Fees for graduation, yearbooks, parent-school organizations
  • Fees for before and after school care
  • Personal expenses
  • Insurance
  • Debentures that pay for shares of stock in the school which make either the employee or the U.S. Government a shareholder in the school
  • Transfer fees charged by bank
  • Postage fees