Department of Defense Education Activity

NDSP Procedures

Change of School

We understand that sometimes there are circumstances when a family feels the need to change their children from one school to another one. The sponsor is responsible for understanding the school's policy and timelines for school withdrawal and to request any applicable refunds. There may be penalties for early withdrawal or insufficient notice. The sponsor should be aware that the NDSP can pay for initial one-time school start-up fees / registration fees for a school at post only once per tour of duty unless the school does not offer the next grade; or the school is not able to accommodate the educational needs of the child; and the maximum education allowance for the school year has not been exceeded.  ( DoDEA Administrative Instruction 5035.01) One-time fees for the new school will be the sponsor’s responsibility unless meeting the conditions listed. One-time fees are only applicable to schools at post. Review Expenses to understand what is considered a one-time fee.

  • NDSP requires documentation for any change in a school.
  • 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. Review Reregistration Procedures for the specific dates and process.
  • If the change of school occurs outside the re-registration period, contact NDSP Program Management to initiate the change of school process. Provide the last day of enrollment at the current school, name of the new school and start date for the new school.
  • A new approval e-mail notification will be sent to you upon finalization and authorization of the change of school request. Upon receipt of the e-mail notification of approval (within 15 business days), you may proceed with completing the application to the school listed in the e-mail.
  • You may complete the NDSP Family Budget Planning Tool to ensure knowledge regarding the DSSR, allowable costs and costs that you will have to bear. We have prepared a  tutorial guide to assist you through this process.
  • If your child receives services as part of a Learning Support Plan/Individual Education Program (IEP) or you have other education concerns, you must contact the NDSP Education Specialist for coordination.

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

Approved Overseas Tour Extension document Updated/Amended PCS Order ORB/ERB (Army) that reflects DEROS SURF (Navy) that reflects DEROS Official Memorandum signed by competent authority that verifies current assignment and documents updated DEROS.

Due to COVID-19 stop movements, if tour extension documents are not available, then a memo from the Command documenting the sponsor's continued status at the Duty Station (and proposed PCS date) will suffice until extension orders are available.

Civilian employees in Priority Placement Program (PPP):

On an annual basis, official documentation must be provided regarding your PPP status. Once the documentation is received, NDSP eligibility will be extended to the end of the current school year.

When a sponsor withdraws his/her child from a school, the sponsor must notify three offices:

  1. The school the student is attending
  2. The local NDSP Liaison
  3. The NDSP Invoice Processing Office at DoDEA NDSP Headquarters

If the child participates in a group transportation option, ensure that the transportation office is notified. Request any applicable refunds and notify NDSP Invoices.

NOTE: If withdrawing and chasing schools, review Change of School procedures.  

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 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; 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 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 in excess of 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 all 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, with the exception of exceeding the education allowance rate, must be made in writing to the Director of DoDEA. When appealing a denial to exceed the education allowance rate you must make your request in writing to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, through the Director of DoDEA.