Maryland Community College Promise Scholarships

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On May 8, 2018, Governor Hogan signed into law the Near Completers and Maryland Community College Promise Scholarships Act to help eligible students afford community college.

You may be able to attend CSM with up to $5,000 in scholarship support through the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship. You can view detailed information on the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) website, but here are the key points:

  • Starting with the 2019-2020 academic year, there will be a $15 million annual appropriation.
  • This “last dollar” scholarship will cover tuition and mandatory fees after other financial aid (grants and scholarships) is calculated.
  • The maximum annual award will be $5,000 per recipient, or the actual tuition, whichever is less.

Requirements for Applicants:

  • Enroll within two years of high school graduation or GED completion and have an overall minimum 2.3 (on a 4.0 scale) high school GPA.
  • Enroll full-time (12 credit per-semester minimum) for a credit certificate or an associate degree.
  • Have an annual income of not more than:
    • $100,000 if the applicant is single or resides in a single-parent household
    • $150,000 if the applicant is married or resides in a two-parent household

Requirements for Recipients:

  • Must complete at least 12 credits per semester.
  • Maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA at CSM.
  • Must re-apply for the scholarship each year.
  • May receive the award for a maximum of three years or until they are awarded an associate’s degree.
  • Must agree to complete a service obligation for each year they receive the scholarship.

We are excited to have the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship as another way of helping families like yours afford college. 

Learn More on the MHEC Website

How to Apply:

The First Step is Submitting your FAFSA by March 1.

To be eligible for the Promise Scholarship, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) online by March 1, 2019. The MSFAA is now available for any applicant who is ineligible to receive federal aid but is eligible for in-state tuition.

  • Applicants that completed and listed a community college on their FAFSA or MSFAA by March 1 will be notified by MHEC via e-mail of their potential eligibility for the Promise Scholarship. Applicants must submit all of the required documentation to MHEC for further consideration of the Promise Scholarship. Applicants can also login to their MDCAPS and check their “To Do List” for a complete listing of all required documentation. If you have questions, please contact MHEC at
  • Submit all documentation, if required, by June 17, 2019, to MHEC. Documentation received after this date will not be accepted.​
  • Applicants must be enrolled full-time (at least 12 credits) by July 15, 2019, to be eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does it start?

  • The program is expected to begin in fall 2019, pending approval of the $15 million appropriation required by law to fund the scholarship awards.

Who is eligible?

  • Applicants must:
    • Apply annually to MHEC to receive the scholarship
    • Enroll within 2 years after graduating from high school or completing a GED in Maryland on or before July 31 prior to the start of the fall semester
    • Have a high school GPA of at least 2.3 on  a 4.0 scale
    • Be enrolled in a public community college as a candidate in a credit-bearing vocational certificate, a credit-bearing certificate, or an associate degree program
    • Have 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 applicant is married or resides in a two-parent household.
    • Enroll full-time in 12 credits per semester, minimum, or enroll for a vocational certificate

How much aid do you receive?

  • For those who qualify, scholarship awards are limited to $5,000 per recipient per year, or actual tuition (whichever is less). Tuition means the basic instructional charge for courses offered and includes mandatory fees. Initial tuition awards will be provided to recipients based on greatest financial need.

Why is this a "last dollar" scholarship?

  • Students must complete the FAFSA or any other applications for state or federal financial aid
  • All other financial aid is to be calculated before the Promise scholarship is awarded
  • If ineligible to submit a FAFSA, students must qualify for in-state tuition

How do you stay eligible?

  • Students must apply annually and may hold the award for three years after enrolling, with priority given to recipients who remain eligible.
  • Students must be enrolled continuously and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

What is your obligation if you receive the award?

  • Students are required to maintain employment in Maryland for at least one year for each year the scholarship is awarded.
  • Scholarships convert to loans if the recipient fails to fulfill the service obligation.