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The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship

The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship is a new statewide program for recent high school graduates to attend one of Maryland’s community colleges during the 2019–2020 academic year.

This scholarship program is administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). Please refer to its website for the most up-to-date information.

Does this scholarship make community college free?

No, the scholarship does not make community college free, but it can help some students have a more affordable community college education.

Please know that the scholarship is available only to students who meet the state eligibility requirements, and there is limited funding of $15 million that will be awarded to students with the greatest need across the state. Students should be aware that they must fulfill a service obligation or the scholarship will convert to a loan.

How much will it cover?

The scholarship is considered a “last-dollar” scholarship toward tuition and fees, which means it is applied after all other financial aid and scholarship awards are used first. Students with the greatest financial need who meet the eligibility criteria and program requirements will be awarded the scholarship first. Eligible students will be wait listed after funds run out.

Scholarships are available up to $5,000 for tuition and fee expenses, after all other grant and scholarship aid has been applied.

Who is eligible?

The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship is for students who apply within two years after high school graduation or completing a GED within Maryland. Scholarship recipients must be attending a Maryland community college and working toward a first associate degree, or a credit certificate.

For the full list of eligibility criteria, visit the Maryland Higher Education Commission website.

What are the service requirements?

Students who receive a Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship must sign an agreement to work full time in Maryland within one year after earning their credit certificate or associate degree. Students must work full time for one year for every year they receive the award.

If a student does not fulfill the service obligation and work within Maryland, the scholarship converts to a loan, and the student must pay back the full scholarship to the state. Learn more at: https://mhec.maryland.gov/Pages/Community-College-Promise-Scholarship.aspx

How do you apply?

By March 1, complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Undocumented students who are eligible for in-state tuition must complete the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) at MHEC’s website by March 1. For more information, visit the MHEC website.

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