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Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship

Complete the FAFSA or MSFAA by March 1!

You must complete the FAFSA or MSFAA by March 1 to be eligible for the Promise Scholarship. 

When completing your FAFSA or MSFAA, list your Maryland community college. This will ensure consideration for the Maryland Community College Promise program.

Maryland's Community College Promise Scholarship program is a need-based financial aid program. It's designed to make college more affordable for low-income and middle-income Maryland families. For some students, it may cover tuition in full. 

If you are eligible for in-state tuition and you (or your family) make less than $150,000 per year, you may qualify. To be considered, all you need to do is complete your FAFSA (or MSFAA) by March 1. Be sure to list your Maryland community college on the FAFSA or MSFAA. 

The Community College Promise program is run by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). Visit MHEC's Community College Promise Scholarship pagenew window for more details. 

Please review the eligibility requirements carefully, and be sure to follow the timeline. Funds are limited.

Initial Eligibility
  • Must be eligible for in-state tuition
  • Must 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 the applicant is married or resides in a two-parent household
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.3 at end of first semester/senior year of high school
  • Must, within two years after graduating from high school or within two years after successfully completing a Maryland GED:
    • Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA). There is not a separate application for Maryland’s Community College Promise program. Students must list their Maryland community college on their FAFSA or MSFAA to ensure consideration for the Maryland Community College Promise program.
    • Enroll full-time in and complete at least 12 credits per semester at their local community college for:
      • Associate degree or approved certificate program OR
      • A minimum of 18 clock hours of instruction per week in a sequence of credit or noncredit courses that leads to licensure or certification OR
      • A registered apprenticeship

Renewing Student Eligibility 

Students may receive the scholarship for three consecutive years if the following is completed:

  • Annually, by March 1, file the FAFSA or MSFAA (Students must list their Maryland community college on FAFSA or MSFAA to ensure consideration for the Maryland Community College Promise program.)
  • Stay enrolled full-time at their local community college in credit courses; enroll in and complete at least 18 hours of instruction per week in a sequence of credit or non-credit courses; or registered apprenticeship
  • Maintain a cumulative college GPA of at least 2.5 or its equivalent
  • Make satisfactory progress in the associate degree or approved certificate program, or apprenticeship
  • Continue to meet income requirements

Additional Information

Timeline and Deadlines

Between October 1 and March 1: 

  • Submit FAFSA or MSFAA
  • Students must list their Maryland community college on FAFSA or MSFAA to ensure consideration for the Maryland Community College Promise program

March 1: 

  • Deadline to submit FAFSA or MFSAA for consideration for Maryland’s Community College Promise program
  • MHEC encourages all students to register for an MDCAPS accountnew window to receive timely information about any financial aid application

June 30: 

  • Deadline to provide any requested supplemental documentation to MHEC-OSFA (Late submissions will not be accepted)
Award Process

Renewal awards are prioritized over all others - provided recipients remain eligible. Initial awards are prioritized by greatest financial need.

  • Annual award amounts: $200 - $5,000, or actual tuition, whichever is less
  • “Tuition” includes mandatory fees
  • Promise funds are applied “last dollar” in most cases, after other scholarships and grants
  • Eligible students who do not receive aid will be notified and placed on a wait list
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