The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Program was created to provide an opportunity for students to attend one of Maryland's community colleges by providing tuition assistance for any student eligible for in-state tuition. Although this scholarship became effective July 1, 2018, awards will be made to eligible students beginning with the 2019-2020 award year. Eligibility details and additional information are below. More detailed information will become available as the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) continues to develop the regulations.
Who May Apply
An individual is eligible for a scholarship if he/she:
- Enrolls in a community college as a candidate in a credit-bearing vocational certificate, credit-bearing certificate, or an associate degree program within two years of high school graduation or completion of a GED in the state;
- Enrolls in at least 12 credits per semester at the community college;
- Is eligible for in-state tuition, as determined by the community college in accordance with Education Article, Title 15 and §16-310, Annotated Code;
- Earned an overall high school grade point average of at least 2.3 or its equivalent;
- For the most recent tax year, had an annual adjusted gross income of not more than:
- $100,000 if the applicant is single or resides in a single-parent household; or
- $150,000 if the applicant is married or resides in a two-parent household;
- Has not earned a bachelor's degree or an associate degree; and
- Has not been awarded another educational grant or scholarship that covers the applicant's full cost of attendance at the community college.
How to Apply
An individual must:
- Apply annually with MHEC by the established date; and
- Timely submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov or a separate state application provided by MHEC for any applicant who is ineligible to complete the FAFSA but is eligible for in-state tuition.
Students can receive an award up to $5,000 to cover any remaining tuition and mandatory fee expenses at the community college after all non-loan aid has been applied
Renewing an Award
The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship is renewable for up to two years as long as the student continues to meet the following:
- Is eligible for in-state tuition;
- Enrolls in and completes at least 12 credits per semester or its equivalent;
- Maintains a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5;
- Makes satisfactory academic progress toward a vocational certificate, certificate, or associate degree;
- Meets the income requirements; and
- Timely submits the FAFSA or separate application for anyone who is ineligible to complete the FAFSA but who is eligible for in-state tuition.
Service Obligation Requirements
Recipients of the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship award are required to maintain full-time employment in the state of Maryland for one year for each year they received the award. If the recipient fails to fulfill the service obligation and secure employment within the state, the award will convert into a loan.
In-State Eligibility Requirements
An individual who is ineligible to complete the FAFSA but qualifies for in-state tuition as defined by section §15-106.8 of the Maryland Education Article is:
- An undocumented immigrant which does not include a nonimmigrant alien as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15);
- Able to provide documentation that the individual or the individual's parent or legal guardian has filed a Maryland income tax return:
- Annually for three years while the individual attended a public or nonpublic secondary school in Maryland;
- Annually during the period, if any, between graduation from a public or nonpublic secondary school in Maryland and registration at a community college in Maryland; and
- Annually during the period of attendance at the community college;
- Annually while the individual attended a community college in Maryland;
- Annually during the period, if any, between graduation from or achieving 60 credits at a community college in Maryland and registration at a public senior higher education institution in Maryland; and
- Annually during the period of attendance at the public senior higher education institution.