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Maryland Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Whether you are interested in an institution in the University System of Maryland, in a Maryland community college, or in one of Maryland’s many independent institutions, you may be able to get financial assistance to help you meet your post-secondary education goals. There are several sources of financial assistance in the state of Maryland.

Four Main Types of Maryland Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Federal financial aid for students with financial need (grants and loans)
  • Maryland state financial aid (grants, scholarships, loan forgiveness)
  • Maryland university and college scholarships
  • Outside scholarships (organizations, foundations, businesses)

Federal Financial Aid for Maryland Students

Students with financial need may qualify for grants and low-interest loans from the federal government. To see if you qualify, submit a Free Application for Federal Aid. The FAFSA is open on January 1 the year before the year in which you will need the aid. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible because most federal programs are first-come, first-served. The Maryland state FAFSA deadline is March 1 by midnight Central Standard Time. Your school may also have a FAFSA deadline. Check with your school’s financial aid/scholarship office to be sure you submit your FAFSA on time to meet all deadlines.

Your financial aid/scholarship office will decide how much assistance you need, depending on the information you supplied on your FAFSA. If you do not receive federal assistance, you might still qualify for federal loans. You may have to borrow through a private lender. See a financial aid counselor or officer for more information.

Financial Aid Provided By the State of Maryland

Maryland financial aid programs include grants, scholarships, tuition waivers and loans. Here’s a list of them:

Howard P. Rawlings Program of Educational Excellence Awards
High school graduates are eligible for the Guaranteed Access Grant and the Educational Assistance Grant. Full-time undergraduates are also eligible for the Educational Assistance Grant. Both grants require the FAFSA. The Guaranteed Access Grant also requires an additional application.

Part-Time Grant
This Maryland financial aid program is for students who are attending a college or university part-time. File a FAFSA and talk to your financial aid office.

Graduate and Professional Scholarship Program
This program is for graduate students or students who are professionals. File a FAFSA and talk to your financial aid office.

Distinguished Scholar Award
High school juniors are eligible for this program and may receive the award upon enrollment at an accredited post-secondary institution if they are National Merit Scholarship and National Achievement Scholarship finalists. Talk to your guidance counselor for more information.

Distinguished Scholar Community College Transfer Program
Maryland students who have 60 units completed at a community college and is transfering to a 4-year institute may be eligible for this program. Submit a Distinguished Scholar Community College Transfer application and transcripts by March 1.

Charles W. Riley Fire and Emergency Medical Services Tuition Reimbursement Program
This program is available to active or volunteer fire fighters and emergency personnel who are attending accredited post-secondary institutions in Maryland. Download an application here.

Loan Assistance Repayment Program – Primary Care Services
Students in programs which specialize in primary care are eligible to apply for this loan. Download an application from this website.

Nurse Support Program II – Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship and Living Expenses Grant
Students attending an accredited university may be nominated by its nursing program. Download an application here.

Optometry Tuition Reduction Program
Maryland residents attending the Pennsylvania College of Optometry can apply. Download an application here.

Tuition Reduction for Non-Resident Nursing Students
This program is for nursing students from out of state. Download an application here.

Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program
This program is offered to students pursuing the following careers upon graduation: teaching, child care, human services, public service, nursing, and physical and occupational therapy. Download an application here and file a FAFSA.

Jack F. Tolbert Memorial Student Grant Program
Students who plan to attend a private career college may apply. Submit the FAFSA by March 1 to qualify.

Edward T. Conroy Memorial Award
All graduate students, undergraduates, and high school students are eligible to apply. Download an application here.

Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship
Veterans and their dependents are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Download an application here.

Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Recipients
Students must be under 21 and must file an application by March 1.

Tuition Waiver for Maryland National Guard
Students may be eligible to waive up to 50% of tuition.

Scholarships Provided by Maryland Colleges and Universities

Individual universities and colleges provide scholarships for students who go to their schools. Scholarships offered through institutions are usually based on one or a combination of the following reasons:

  • academic achievement (GPA, SAT/ACT)
  • financial need as determined by your FAFSA
  • ethnic background
  • special ability (athleticism, arts, music)
  • leadership/community service

Please see the financial aid/scholarship office at individual institutions for more information on scholarships. Universities and colleges may require different application procedures. For example, most universities award merit-based scholarships through the admissions office. All you have to do is submit your application for admission on time. Most universities also offer department-sponsored scholarships which require separate applications, usually picked up at or requested from department offices.

Outside Scholarships in Maryland

Organizations, foundations, and businesses provide scholarships to students in Maryland. Here’s a list of just some of those scholarships:

Maryland Association of Paralegals, Inc. Scholarships
Award: $500 annually
Requirements: 3.0 GPA and enrolled in a paralegal program at an accredited post-secondary institution. An essay is required.
Deadline: October 15, 2009
Application: Download an application here

Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Scholarship#
Award: $1,000
Requirements: Maryland high school senior with a 2.5 GPA or higher who is planning to obtain teaching certification in a related area.
Deadline: March 30
Application: See website

Emergency Nurses Association Scholarships
Award: $2,000-$5,000
Requirements: Applicants have to be licensed nurses who are pursuing further degrees.
Deadline: Scholarships will be available again January 1st, 2010.

Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Fund
Award: 3 scholarships with various award amounts
Requirements: Student or professional studying a related program (see applications for more specific requirements)
Deadline: April 17
Application: see website

Polish Heritage Association
Requirements: Full-time baccalaureate students who are Maryland residents.
Deadline: March 31
Application: Applications will be available in November.

Three Things to Remember About Maryland Financial Aid and Scholarships

  • There are many Maryland financial aid programs. Make sure you know all the ones you may qualify for.
  • If you don’t qualify for federal financial aid programs, one of the next best places to find financial assistance is through your school. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office to see if you qualify for any scholarships being offered on your campus.
  • There are many scholarships available from local professionals. Some may not have websites, so you may really have to do your research. Your high school counseling office or financial aid/scholarship office may have a list of outside scholarships.

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