Preparing for the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship
The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship provides tuition assistance for eligible students attending a Maryland community college. Up to $5,000 per year is available to help cover the costs of earning a degree or professional certificate. To receive funding, applicants must complete several steps and meet certain criteria.
This guide covers everything you need to know to apply for and receive the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship.
To qualify for the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship, applicants must meet several eligibility requirements:
- Be a Maryland resident and eligible for in-state tuition at a Maryland community college
- Have graduated from a Maryland high school or earned a GED/High school equivalency
- Have a family income below established thresholds
- $100,000 or less for single or single-parent households
- $150,000 or less for two-parent households
- Maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA at community college
- Make satisfactory academic progress towards earning a certificate or degree
- Enroll in at least 12 credits per semester by August 21
- Not already hold an associate or bachelor’s degree
Meeting these eligibility rules is essential for Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship qualification. Applicants who do not meet one or more requirements will not receive funding.
Completing the FAFSA or MSFAA
The main application for the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA). All applicants must complete one of these forms by March 1 to apply for funding.
Key steps for completing the FAFSA/MSFAA:
- Gather required documents (tax returns, income statements, etc.)
- Create an FSA ID to electronically sign form
- Complete all sections of the FAFSA/MSFAA with accurate information
- List intended Maryland community college
- Submit application by March 1 deadline
Submitting the FAFSA/MSFAA by March 1 is essential to meet the application timeline. Forms submitted after this date will not be considered for scholarship eligibility.
Submitting Documentation to MHEC Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship
After submitting a FAFSA or MSFAA, the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) will notify eligible applicants by email. This email will list all required documents that must be submitted to MHEC to apply for funding.
Typical documents include:
- Final high school transcript
- College/community college transcript (if applicable)
- Completed scholarship program application
- Documentation of Maryland residency
All documentation must be submitted by the deadlines provided by MHEC. Failure to submit complete, accurate materials will make applicants ineligible to receive the scholarship.
Key Scholarship Application Steps and Deadlines
|Submit FAFSA or MSFAA listing Maryland CC
|Receive email from MHEC about potential eligibility
|Submit all required docs to MHEC
|Date provided by MHEC
|Maintain 2.5 minimum community college GPA
|Enroll in 12 college credits
|By August 21
Meeting all provided deadlines is mandatory to demonstrate responsibility and receive funding consideration.
Notification of Eligibility Decisions
Once the MHEC reviews all submitted applications and documentation, eligibility decisions will be determined.
Each applicant will receive an email providing their application status:
- Eligible: Student has met all requirements and will receive annual award
- Ineligible: Student does not qualify based on GPA, income, or other factors
- Conditional eligibility: More documentation is needed to make final decision
Students with conditional eligibility will need to quickly submit any requested information to confirm scholarship funding. Awards are disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Maintaining the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship
If students receive an initial Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship, they must meet several ongoing criteria to maintain annual award eligibility:
Minimum GPA Requirements
Students must keep a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA in their community college program. Falling below this threshold at any time may lead to the loss of scholarship funding for subsequent years. Grace periods or probation may be granted on a limited, case-by-case basis for extenuating circumstances.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Simply maintaining a minimum GPA is not enough. Students must also make satisfactory, on-time academic improvement towards completing their declared program of study. This means successfully earning the needed credits to stay on pace towards an associate degree or certificate. If not earning enough credits, students risk losing eligibility.
Meeting Enrollment Minimums
Scholarship recipients must maintain at least half-time enrollment (6+ credits) during non-summer terms. Full-time enrollment (12+ credits) is required during some terms, per the initial eligibility rules. Dropping below these minimums can jeopardize future scholarship eligibility.
One-Time Funding Limit
The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship funding is limited to one academic year. It is not guaranteed to be renewable for additional years after initial receipt. Students must re-apply annually and demonstrate continued financial need to renew awards.
The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship provides invaluable tuition assistance for two-year college students. But interested applicants must carefully follow provided steps and deadlines to qualify and maintain their funding access. Use this guide and the helpful application checklist it provides to pursue this financial aid opportunity. Reach out with any questions so you can cover the costs of earning your degree.