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Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility/Registration

Can NDSP pay for the school application fee before we arrive in country?

No, you must be in country before NDSP can fund any school fees. If you have to pay an application fee or any other start-up fees prior to arriving at your new location, save your receipts. NDSP can refund you those costs once you arrive in location.

I am assigned to XXX location. What are the school choices in that location?

You may find a listing of schools for your location by reviewing the Non-DoD Schools Listing and DoS Office of Overseas Schools.

I have received orders for an unaccompanied tour to South Korea. The Service will pay for my spouse and children to live in Thailand near family while I am serving the unaccompanied tour. Will NDSP pay for my children’s education?

NDSP eligibility is predicated on school age dependents being authorized to be at the sponsor’s duty location (command sponsored). NPSP may not fund education in any location if the sponsor is serving an unaccompanied tour.

I just got my orders. How do I get my child authorized to attend the school we have chosen?

Review the Initial Registration Procedure on our website.

Must I select a school and indicate that choice when registering using the NDSP Student Online Registration system?

No, you are not required to select a school. If you are not sure which school option is best for your child, it is best to leave this field blank. After eligibility is established, you may email NDSP.Management@hq.dodea.edu once you have selected a school. A new Registration Notification email will be sent to you.

My 3-year-old will be 4 when we arrive at our new location overseas. Will he qualify for preschool paid by NDSP?

No, NDSP pays for school tuition and other associated fees for students in kindergarten through 12th grade unless the student receives special education services. Your child can attend preschool in location but NDSP will not be able to fund it.

Educational Options

(At Post) Allowable/Non-Allowable

I want my child to attend the local French school in Lille, France. She doesn’t speak French. Can I do this? Can she get French lessons?

Yes, you have to option of choosing a local public or private school that provides the curriculum in another language. However, there are a number of factors to consider before doing this. Review the Non-English School Guidance document for further information. You may also be eligible for Supplemental Support instruction in that foreign language. Contact your NDSP Education Specialist for further information.

My child is taking AP calculus and there is a fee for the end-of-year test. Can I get reimbursed for this fee?

Yes, AP test fees are reimbursable by NDSP.

My child’s school provides a bus to and from school but I want to drive her myself. Can I get reimbursed for mileage?

No, if the school provides a bus, you cannot get reimbursed for mileage.

Study trips are mandatory at my child’s private school and they are quite expensive. Since they are mandatory, will NDSP fund the study trips?

Study trips/field trips or athletic trips are not an allowable expense whether they are voluntary or mandatory.

The school requires all children to wear uniforms. Are uniforms an allowable expense with NDSP?

Uniforms are not an allowable expense with NDSP. These costs are the responsibility of the sponsor.

Will NDSP purchase a violin so my child can learn to play at school?

No, NDSP cannot purchase a musical instrument for your child. However, NDSP can fund rental of a musical instrument for your child if the school does not provide the instrument.

(Away from Post) Allowable/Non-Allowable

I am thinking about renting an apartment for my wife near the boarding school that we have chosen. Can my child then attend the day school portion only?

No, the student must attend the boarding school as a boarder and the boarding school must be outside the commuting distance of the duty location.

I would like my child to attend boarding school to accommodate my schedule. The school is at my duty location. Is this allowed?

No, when there is a school available at post or within commuting distance, boarding is not an option.

My child attends a boarding school and needs to take an online course. Is this allowable?

When a boarding school is chosen as your child’s education option, supplemental funding, which includes online vendors for additional coursework, is not an allowable expense.

My child wants to come home every weekend from boarding school. It is a 2 hour train ride. Will NDSP pay for this cost?

Weekly boarding is an option for students in grades 6-12. NDSP may fund the cost of transportation home and back to boarding school each week up to the limits of the DSSR away from post allowance for your duty location.

The boarding school we chose for our 10th grader closes for Thanksgiving, Winter Break and for Spring Break. Will NDSP fund the transportation costs for my child to return to our duty location for each holiday as well as at the beginning of the school year to school and home at the end of the school year?

NDSP may only fund one trip at the beginning of the school year to school and one trip at the end of the school year to your duty location. No other trips may be funded by NDSP.

(Home Study) Allowable/Non-Allowable

Are Science/Technology/Engineering/Math (STEM) materials or projects reimbursable?

Yes, these are considered educational and may be included as part of your education plan.

Are there resources to help me research home school law by state?

Visit the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to find out more about homeschool laws by state. Consider selecting a state that your family may return to after your overseas tour, or you may select another state.

Can I purchase maps and posters as a part of my child’s educational materials?

If the maps and posters provide an educational benefit and are tied to your curriculum, then yes.

Can I use an online program like RAZ Kids or IXL math as a part of my curriculum?

Online programs can be used and you may purchase a yearly subscription when they support or provide direct instruction for academic content areas.

How do I submit the Home Study Education Plan for reregistration or when the plan changes?

During the annual reregistration process, you must submit the education plan in the NDSP Sponsor Portal. If the child’s plan changes during the school year, you must submit the revised plan in the Sponsor Portal.

How often do I need to submit a Home Study Education Plan?

Yearly, each child is required to have an education plan submitted upon initial registration and subsequently during the annual reregistration process. You must submit a revised plan whenever the child’s program is changed.

I am considering pulling my child out of his international school and homeschooling him. What steps do I need to follow to make this change happen?

Please review our website on the Change of School Procedure.

I am putting together a homeschool program for my child. What materials/classes are eligible for funding by the NDSP?

Our website outlines allowable/non-allowable expenses.  After reviewing this information, contact NDSP.Management if you have further questions.

I have three children and would like to hire someone in the community to teach group music lessons to my children. Is this allowed?

No, this is not allowed. Group lessons as outlined by DoDEA Administrative Instruction 5035.01 are “group lessons already established in the community.” This would include classes such as music or swim lessons at a community pool or recreation center or a person within the community that advertises group instruction.

I understand that my child in 5th grade may attend group Karate classes for physical education instruction for 60 minutes a week. The class is 2 hours per week. How may I proceed with reimbursement?

On the reimbursement form, indicate in the description of the class “Karate 2 hrs/wk- ½ of total cost of $XX.XX for reimbursement”. The paid invoice will indicate the total cost. Include an English translation of any brochures which provide the schedule and description of the course.

I’d like my child to attend the private day school at post for half the day and homeschool the remainder of the day. Is this permissible?

No, this is not allowed by NDSP. A child can attend a school at post OR be homeschooled but cannot access both education options. Review Home Study for more details.

I’m struggling to know how to homeschool my child. May I order a reference book on how to teach math?

Training for parents in homeschool instruction is not an allowable expense. You may purchase teacher curriculum guides associated with the program you have ordered.

May a sponsor submit multiple requests for reimbursement per child/per year? For example, file a claim for curriculum and then file a different claim later for either additional curriculum, group lessons, or other allowable expenses?

Yes, you may file multiple requests throughout the year for the reimbursement of allowable expenses for home schooling.

May I buy art supplies with my home study funds?

Yes, you can buy art supplies to support your art program.

May I obtain reimbursement for transportation to group lessons or activities away from home?

Transportation is not an allowable expense when homeschooling.

May I order magazine subscriptions such as National Geographic Kids? Is that allowed?

Yes, that type of magazine is considered educationally beneficial both for its content and for reading comprehension if tied to your curriculum and education plan.

My child has been identified as gifted by a previous school system. May I access supplemental instructional funds?

Supplemental instructional funds are not available when homeschooling. You may purchase materials/curriculum that are appropriate for your child’s skill level.

My child is in 1st grade and is reading on a third grade level. May I purchase a third grade reading curriculum?

Yes, you may purchase curriculum that matches your child’s reading level. Include on your Home Study Education Plan the level of the curriculum that you are purchasing.

My child is in 4th grade. I’d like to purchase both the 4th and 5th grade Singapore Math? Is this permissible?

You may not purchase multiple grade levels of materials at the same time.

My child will be taking a group guitar class but the instructor does not provide instruments for the students. May I purchase a guitar and obtain reimbursement from NDSP?

Purchase of instruments is not allowed, but rental of an instrument is an allowable expense.

My child would like to go to the private gym in our community for his physical education program. Is the gym membership reimbursable?

No, gym membership is not an allowable expense. A group fitness class already established in the community is an allowable expense.

When I re-register my child for the next school year, do I need to submit my child’s home-study education plan at the same time?

Yes, you must submit a home study education plan at the time of reregistration.

Who is responsible for obtaining my child’s invoice?

The sponsor is responsible for contacting the school, obtaining their child’s invoice, and forwarding it to the NDSP for payment.

Will I be notified when a payment transaction occurs for my child?

Yes, the NDSP will notify you. The NDSP will send you a Funding Detail Sheet whenever a transaction occurred for your child.

Transportation

Is there a priority of options regarding transportation for my child?

Yes, the priority of options that must be followed are: 1) School Transportation or Embassy or US Government Transportation 2) Commercial or Privately Owned Vehicle (P.O.V.).

The school provides a bus but I want to take my children to school and pick them up. How do I get reimbursed for this?

If the school provides a bus, you cannot be reimbursed for mileage. Your children can either take the bus or you can transport yourself at your own expense, but NDSP cannot reimburse for mileage when a bus is offered.

Sponsor Portal

What is the Sponsor Portal used for?

The Sponsor Portal is used for viewing the sponsor information (name, country, email address rank and End of Overseas Tour), viewing dependent information, completing the annual reregistration requirement, submitting documents (Extension Orders, PCS Orders, Invoices, Fee Schedules, School Calendars, Home Study Education Plans, Invoices, Family Budget Planning Tool, etc.)

When may a sponsor access the Sponsor Portal?

After you have received the initial NDSP Registration Notification email confirming NDSP eligibility, you may then access the Sponsor Portal. You must use the email address that NDSP has on file.

Re-registration

If I am departing my duty station, do I need to re-register?

There are steps to take. Access your Sponsor Portal and follow the instructions for informing the NDSP that you are departing. Also follow the school’s procedures for withdrawing your child so that you are not assessed a withdrawal penalty. If you are leaving before the end of the school year, contact the school to request a refund if the full school year tuition has been paid.

Is re-registering my child in the NDSP the same as re-registering my child in their current school?

No, these are two processes. You must re-register your child in the NDSP in addition to following the school’s procedures for re-registering.

Must I re-register my child?

Yes, you must re-register your child in the NDSP Sponsor Portal every school year. Re-registering your child allows the NDSP to fund their tuition for the next school year.

Change of School/School withdrawal

If I change my child’s school mid-year, am I responsible for requesting a refund?

Yes, you are responsible for requesting a refund. Any refund will be applied to your child’s new tuition.

Payments

How does a service provider get paid? Is there a form for the invoice or a specific document to use?

All necessary documents can be found on the Service Provider Payment page.  The sponsor can pay the service provider and then seek reimbursement from NDSP OR the service provider can set up direct billing with NDSP. If direct billing is set up, you must contact the NDSP Administration to coordinate banking information.  

I thought the education allowance would cover the full costs of my child’s tuition. Why am I out-of-pocket for education expenses?

The education allowance is intended to assist but not necessarily fully cover the education expenses encountered in an overseas location. This allowance is intended to cover costs of educational services normally free of charge in U.S. public schools. When the school of choice is more expensive than the maximum allowance established for the duty location, considerable out-of-pocket expenses may occur. Review Allowable and Non-Allowable Expenses.

Will I be notified when a payment transaction occurs for my child?

Yes, the NDSP will notify you. The NDSP will send you a Funding Detail Sheet whenever a transaction occurred for your child.

Will NDSP pay for required fees associated with an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB)?

NDSP will pay for the required fees associated with an AP or IB. Transportation costs to a testing site are not an allowable expense.

Will NDSP pay for required fees associated with the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT).

The ACT and SAT are college admission examinations and are not an authorized expense. 

Academic Support

At my 9th grade child’s school, U.S. History is not offered. I want him to take this course before we return to the U.S. since it is required for graduation. How can I help him earn this credit?

The NDSP Education Specialist can help you access Supplemental Support funding for your child to take a course (typically online) to earn this credit. Any U.S.-specific course, e.g., U.S. History, U.S. Government, American literature, can be funded using Supplemental Support money.

If my child was eligible for gifted services at his/her last public school in the U.S., is there any funding support provide by NDSP for my child?

If your child was eligible in the prior U.S. public school and the current school does not provide a gifted program, you may be eligible for additional materials/courses. All gifted education services require pre-approval by the NDSP Area Educational Specialist.

My 2nd grade student is falling further and further behind his classmates. What should I do to get some help?

Contact the NDSP Education Specialist for your region to discuss ways to support your child. Some informal interventions could be put in place, and this might be enough to help your child catch up. Or the situation might warrant a referral for testing to look at more formal supports and services. The Education Specialist can provide guidance.

My child is struggling in math at his current high school. Can you authorize tutoring to help him?

NDSP may provide funding for direct academic support to students who are failing or who are at risk of failing as demonstrated by report card, progress report, or scores on a standardized or school-wide assessment. Academic support typically equals one hour per week per subject. This support must be pre-authorized by the Education Specialist to be eligible for reimbursement.  

Transition

How can I be proactive to help the next high school understand my child’s grades in her current school?

If the school curriculum is considerably different from a U.S. curriculum, try to keep a record of all grade reports, progress reports, course titles and amount of seat hours. This information will help the receiving school determine credits.

My child is going from a traditional U.S. curriculum to an I.B. curriculum in the U.K. I am worried about that transition as I have heard that I.B. is very rigorous. What can I do?

Contact your NDSP Education Specialist to discuss your options. As your child starts the new program, he/she may be eligible for some transition funding assistance to support the change in curriculum. Your Education Specialist can help.

Our overseas tour ends in April. Can my 12th grade child stay in location and complete the grade at the current school?

If the student is in a school at post, then there is a possibility that the student can complete the school year in location. Contact NDSP Management to request consideration for your student to remain and for NDSP will fund it. Provide documentation from your command/agency that the student and adult staying behind are both authorized to remain in the country.