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Maryland Community College Promise: Act Now!

Maryland Community College Promise: Act Now!

The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship could be a smart investment in your education at Howard Community College. If you’re eligible, you will have an amazing opportunity to save on a wide variety of both credit and career-focused programs. Act fast. The window to apply ends March 1.

Who is the Promise program for?

There are specific requirements for the Maryland Community College Promise, and not every community college student is eligible. A comprehensive list of requirements can be found here on the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) website.

Eligible students who have the greatest financial need will be awarded Promise funds first. After those funds have been exhausted, remaining eligible students will be placed on a waitlist.

What costs does Promise cover?

The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship pays tuition and mandatory fees up to a maximum of $5,000 per student. The minimum payment is $200 per student.

For most students, $5,000 per year will be more than enough money to cover full-time enrollment and mandatory fees, but in some specialized cases, $5,000 may not cover all costs. If this happens, please contact our Financial Aid staff, as additional financial assistance may be available.

When can students apply for Promise?

Students must apply within two years after completing high school or obtaining a GED. Eligible students can apply until March 1.

Eligible students may include current high school seniors and students on track to complete their GEDs by July 31, 2020. Recent high school graduates and current community college students may also be eligible, but it must be less than two years since they completed high school or obtained their GED.

How do students apply for the Promise?

Most students should use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If not eligible for federal financial aid, but eligible for in-state tuition, students should use the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) on MHEC’s website. If you are unsure, please consult the MSFAA FAQ page on MHEC’s website. And, if you have more questions, please contact Lori Hartley at HCC at

How can I be sure to keep my Promise funding until I finish my college program?

To continue receiving Promise funding after the first year, students must re-apply each year by March 1, using the FAFSA or MSFAA, as appropriate. To remain eligible, students must continue to meet applicable initial eligibility criteria, and maintain a cumulative college GPA of at least 2.5. Students may receive Promise funding for up to three consecutive years.

What is the service obligation (work requirement) for Promise recipients?

Promise scholarship recipients must commit to obtaining full-time employment within one year after completing college and paying Maryland income taxes for the same time period they received funds. Employment does not need to be in Maryland, although recipients should maintain Maryland residency.

The work requirement can be delayed if a student completes at least 48 credits at their community college and then transfers and continues their degree at a four-year institution. It can also be delayed for certain major life events.

Repayment of the Promise funds as a low-interest student loan is an alternative to the work requirement.

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