Maryland financial aid can help students pay for college more effectively. Students can apply for lots of Maryland scholarships and grants through the state, and there are many available options. Here are just a few of the options available to Maryland residents:
- Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant
This grant is for current high school seniors who will work with a college preparatory program that includes college level work. Students can apply for this grant by filing the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. They can also file the Guaranteed Access Grant application, which can be found at www.MDgoforit.org. High school guidance counselors in Maryland should also have these forms available for students who wish to apply for this award.
This need-based grant goes to students who want to enroll in two or four year Maryland colleges and universities. Students must take at least twelve credit hours per semester to quality, and they must demonstrate financial need through the FAFSA. The amount of the award is between $400 and $13,700, depending on financial need. The award is renewable automatically as long as students continue to maintain satisfactory academic progress and file the FAFSA by March 1st each year.
- Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance Grant
This grant is for degree-seeking students and current high school seniors. To qualify, students should fill out the FAFSA each year between January 1st and March 1st. Students and their parents must be Maryland residents, and students must enroll at a two or four year college or university for at least twelve credit hours per semester to qualify for this award.
Applicants for this award are ranked based on Expected Family Contribution, which is found through the FAFSA application. The amount of this award is 40% of the financial need for students attending four year colleges. Students at community colleges can receive 60% of the total financial need. The award will be renewed automatically as long as students maintain their academic standing and continue to file the FAFSA.
You can find out more about both of these awards at http://www.mhec.state.md.us/financialaid/RawlingsFA_Flyer.pdf.
- Delegate Scholarship
This scholarship is for current high school seniors and students who are currently seeking a college degree. To apply for the grant, students should contact the office of their state legislator. Some delegates make their own grants, while others get the Office of Student Financial Assistance to choose students for them. Students chosen by OSFA are chosen based on financial need.
Students must enroll in two or four year Maryland colleges and be residents of Maryland to gain these awards. The minimum award amount is $200, but it may be more. This scholarship can be used in tandem with other state scholarships and grants, though the total of all grants and scholarships cannot exceed the total cost of tuition or $19,000, whichever is less. These awards are renewed automatically, but you must reapply each year.
Awards given by OSFA are based solely on the FAFSA, but those given by delegates may have other requirements. To find out, contact your delegate’s office. You can find a list of phone numbers here: http://www.mhec.state.md.us/financialaid/ProgramDescriptions/prog_delegate.asp.
- Senatorial Scholarship
This scholarship is for between $400 and $9,000. Again, it can be used in tandem with other state scholarships and grants, but it is also subject to upper limit requirements along with these scholarships and grants. To apply, students must file the FAFSA and contact the state senator’s office for more information. Students must be Maryland residents attending full time or part time at a degree granting college or university in Maryland to be considered for these scholarships.
- Distinguished Scholar Award
This award offers around $3,000 a year to students in one of three categories: Academic Achievement, National Merit Scholarship and Achievement, or Talent in the Arts. To apply for these awards, students must talk to their high school guidance counselors for details.
In the Academic Achievement category, students must graduate with a GPA of at least 3.7 on a 4.0 scale during their first five semester of high school. They must also submit SAT scores taken from January of junior year or early. Students can submit PSAT or ACT scores if they have not taken the SAT.
National Merit students will be automatically offered an award based on their standing as a National Merit finalist. Students must agree to attend a Maryland institution in order to use this award.
Talent in the Arts students are nominated by their high school as juniors. Guidance counselors submit nominations for students who are talented in visual arts, music, dance, or drama. Most high schools can nominate five juniors for the award. Magnet schools for artistically talented students can nominate ten juniors. In June, nominees prepare an audition or portfolio for review before professional judges.
This award is automatically renewed for students who maintain a 3.0 GPA and whose parents remain Maryland residents. The award is good for up to four years of degree-seeking undergraduate study. For more information on this program, go here: http://www.mhec.state.md.us/financialaid/ProgramDescriptions/prog_ds.asp
- Part-Time Grant Program
This program is for part-time undergraduates who are seeking degrees. To apply, students must file the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st. Students must be Maryland residents and must enroll at Maryland universities for six to eleven credit hours per semester. Students are chosen for this award based on financial need.
The award amount for the part-time grant is between $200 and $2,000, depending on the level of financial need. Students can renew the grant each year as long as their FAFSA continues to show that they have financial need.
The above Maryland scholarships and grants are administrated through the Office of Student Financial Assistance of Maryland. There are several other scholarships and grants available, including grants for graduate and professional schools, scholarships for transfer students, tuition waivers for foster care recipients, and scholarships and grants for people going into certain fields of study. You can find out more about these scholarships and grants here: http://www.mhec.state.md.us/financialaid/descriptions.asp.