Maryland Student Grants for College
Fund Your Education with Free Grant Money
The state of Maryland is an excellent place to further your education. Maryland has a great selection of schools and universities to choose from. There are at least 57 colleges and over 175 career schools to fit your needs.
Regardless of your career choice Maryland has the perfect school and/or program to for you.
Paying for College
Today's colleges, universities and technical schools offer the most innovative and professional education available, but it does come with a hefty price tag. There's no question that your education is well worth it. The question is. How are you going pay for it? Maryland has a vast amount of financial resources available to college students.
There are numerous grants, scholarships and other awards available. Guidance counselors, internet searches and financial aid offices are some of the places to begin searching for college funding that suits your needs.
Using Grants & Scholarships
Grants and scholarships are the type of aid available, because they don't have to be paid back. Some may require that you maintain a minimum grade point average, keep out of trouble and act respectfully and responsibly or they will be revoked.
Others grants are offered to students who plan to study in a particular field such as nursing, teaching, science or a specific area of research.
These grants may have restrictions that come with them, but are generally easy to follow while repaying back tens of thousands in student loans is not.
Filling out a FAFSA
The first step in procuring any financial aid award is filling out FAFSA, free application for federal student aid. FAFSA will ask you things like taxable income, dependency status, parents income and assets, etc..
Then they will use a set formula to determine your expected family contribution and determine your eligibility for financial aid. Then you will be able to apply for grants and scholarships.
Three different types of grants are available. There are local, state and federal grants. Federal grants are based on solely on need, while state and local grants are able to award based on a combination of need and merit.
Private Grants are a bit harder to find. These grants are somewhat like scholarships. They are usually awarded based on merit and may require the student to keep up a minimum grade point average and may have additional requirements such as: community service, belonging to an organization, attending meetings, mentor program, and political involvement.
You may research these on the internet, through perspective colleges, your or your parents work place or your town's chamber of commerce. These are only some ideas there are many more.
The Pell Grant is the most prevalent awarded grant for college students. It is a federal grant based on need as determined by FAFSA and by cost of attendance, and enrollment status (part-time or full-time).
Recipients can be eligible to receive up to $5,550 per year and can be awarded a Pell Grant for up to 18 semesters. You cannot, however, receive a Pell Grant from more than one school at a time.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
Another Federal Grant is the Academic Competitiveness Grant (AC Grant) it is awarded to freshman and sophomores who are eligible for the Pell Grant.
They must also have exceptional grades and show promising signs of leadership and community service. Student may be eligible for up to $750 for their first year and $1,300 for their second. The total amount of aid from the Pell Grant and the AC Grant may not be more than the student's cost of attendance.
SMART GrantThe National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART Grant) provides up to $4,000 to eligible juniors and seniors. In addition, they must be pursuing a career in the field of computer science, engineering, mathematics, or science. Students must also be eligible to receive a Pell Grant.
Along with the above mentioned federal grants, there are many minority grants available such as: African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American. Grants are also available for military veterans, survivors of cancer patients, children of deceased policemen or firefighters and even for women.
Each grant has its own eligibility requirements and may require proof of ethnicity. For instance, a Native American must prove his ethnicity with a Certificate of Indian Blood or CIB and must belong to a federally recognized tribe. The following grants are specific to Maryland only. Some are designed for Maryland residents while others are for students attending school in Maryland.
The College-Bound Last-Dollar Grant is a need-based grant for Baltimore City high school graduates. These students are eligible to receive up to $3,000 per year and the grant is renewable for up to five years, with a maximum dollar amount of $15,000. Students may be eligible if they meet the following criteria.
- Must be a recent graduate of Baltimore City high school.
- Total family income must be under $75,000 per year.
- The student must contribute 15% of college costs.
- Student must be accepted into one of Maryland's nine colleges.
- Student must attend a mandatory seminar and luncheon.
- Mandatory attendance at other programs.
Guaranteed Access Grant-Maryland
This grant is awarded to approximately 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The financial awards can range from $400 to $13,800 per year. This is a need-based grant available only to students who are residents of Maryland, if the student is a dependent his parents must also be residents of the state.
The student must be enrolled in a two or four year college or university and be a full-time student. High school grade point average must be at least 2.5. In addition to FAFSA, the student must also fill out Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant Application to be considered.
JF Tolbert Grant ProgramThe J.F. Tolbert Memorial Student Grant Program is given out to eligible freshmen and sophomores enrolled in private career schools in Maryland with at least 18 work hours per week. Awards given are in amounts up to $500. Both the student and parents must be residents of Maryland to apply.
Sharon Christa McAuliffe Grant Program
The Sharon Christa McAuliffe Teacher Education Critical Shortage Grant Program is awarded to 137 undergraduate and graduate juniors and seniors each year. Students must be residents of Maryland, must have already completed 60 credits of undergraduate school and must have a grade point average of at least 3.0.
The student must also agree in writing to work one year in a Maryland Public School critical shortage area for each year of aid given. Student may receive up to $17,700 based on need, enrollment and housing.
Police Association GrantThe Maryland Chiefs of Police Association is awarded to two students each year who are enrolled in a law enforcement or criminal justice program. These students must be a resident of Maryland and be between the ages of 17 and 21. It is awarded based on academic achievement, community service and school involvement.
The Part Time Grant Program
This is for part-time, 6-11 credits per semester, degree seeking undergraduates enrolled in a two or four year program. They must demonstrate financial need and must be residents of Maryland. The minimum award is $200 and the maximum award is $2,000. This grant can be renewed for up to 8 years.
Education Assistance Grants
This is a need-based grant that is awarded to between 11,000 and 20,000 undergraduate students each year. Each applicant must have completed a FAFSA and is ranked according to expected family contribution.
The Education Assistance Grant amount is determined by a set formula based on the cost of college attendance, expected family contribution, any state scholarships awarded and the Pell Grant. The award amount that is grant may not exceed the cost of attendance. This grant may be renewed for up to four years.
Physical and Occupational Therapists and Assistants Grant Program
For Maryland residents training to be physical, occupational or therapy assistants and attending school in Maryland. The recipients of this award must provide one year of service for each year of award.
The service must be helping handicapped children in a qualified Maryland facility. Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0. The maximum award amount is $2,000. Disabled Student Grants are also available for who who are eligible. The National Association of the Deaf and the National Federation for the Blind are two of the largest resources which provide aid to disabled students who want to further their education.
There is a special Need- Based Senatorial Scholarship that is worth mentioning. High school seniors and full or part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are residents of Maryland may qualify. Students must have a unique major that is unavailable in the state of Maryland and is recognized as qualifying by a state senator.
The student may be approved to further his education in an out of state program and may be awarded up to $2,000. Students may get more information from the Office of Student Financial Affairs.
The Graduate and Professional Scholarship ProgramMaryland provides need-based financial assistance to students attending a Maryland school and pursuing a degree in medicine, law, pharmacy, social work or nursing. This assistance is only available residents of Maryland.
The College Bound FoundationCollege Bound Foundation in Baltimore is a non-profit institution that helps to make it possible for underprivileged students to go to college. This fund allows less fortunate kids the opportunity to pursue a degree or certificate. The program is financed by donations from the community of Baltimore.
Apply for Different Types of Grants
All individuals planning on attending a college, university or technical school should apply to any and all grants, scholarships and awards that they are eligible for.
Post secondary education is very expensive and paying back student loans when you're fresh out of college is not always easy. Don't limit your resources and apply early, once the money is gone it's gone. Even eligible students cannot receive aid if there are no funds left.