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Challenge and GTP Scholarship FAQs

A limited number of scholarships are available for need-based Challenge students and GTP (Graduate Transition Program) courses, pending funding availability, through Montgomery College Workforce Development and Continuing Education.

What is the source of the funding?

Funding is provided by Montgomery College. Funding is limited! WDCE Montgomery College processes and policies apply.

GTP graduation ceremony
Announcements

 Applications are accepted by mail only between November 30, 2020 to December 11, 2020. Application and all supporting documents must be in one sealed envelope and MAILED with a postmark of December 11th or earlier, and received by Monday December 14, 2020 at the latest. Late or incomplete applications are not eligible for funding.

Important Notice about COVID and  Verification of SSI Benefits.  

During COVID the Social Security offices are apparently not open. Instead of a Certificate for Tuition Waiver form, students are instructed to call SSI at  1-866-838-5341 and request a “Benefit Verification Letter”. This will take 5-7 days to be delivered via USPS.

The Benefit Vertification Letter or the Certificate for Tuition Waiver form should be renewed every August prior to the start of the Fall Semester. See below for more details. 

Students must meet ALL these requirements to be eligible for the scholarship:

  • GTP or Challenge students only
  • Scholarship is for Challenge or GTP courses only
  • Montgomery County residents who qualify for in-state tuition according to College guidelines
  • May NOT be listed as dependents on someone else's tax returns
  • Student will obtain a Social Security  Benefit Verification Letter which confirms you receive SSI or SSDI Benefits. Students are instructed to call SSI at 1-866-838-5341 and request a “Benefit Verification Letter”. This will take 5-7 days to be delivered via USPS. 
    • Return the completed Benefit Verification Letter to  Workforce Development and Continuing Education (WDCE) with your application. 
    • The SSI Benefit Verification Letter or the Certification for Tuition Waiver form is only valid for one academic year (Academic year starts with the Fall semester), and must be renewed each August.
    • If you are unsure if you have current Certification for Tuition Waiver form/ SSI Benefit Letter on file, Customer Service 240-567-5188, will be able to assist you with that information.
  • Must meet financial eligibility requirements and Receives SSI or SSDI Benefits.

             

 If I meet the conditions for eligibility to apply, will I be awarded a scholarship? You are not guaranteed an award! The scholarship committee meets to review all applications and allocate funding (as available). 

When will I hear about the scholarship? Approximately two weeks after the application deadline has passed, students will be notified of the committee's decision by letter sent to the student's address of record on file at the College.

If I am awarded a scholarship, what does the funding cover? If you receive an award letter, the scholarship is applied to tuition only, NOT fees. The student is responsible for paying 100% of the fees for the course(s).

If I am awarded a scholarship, will it cover the tuition for ALL my courses? If you receive an award letter, the scholarship is applied to tuition only, NOT fees, for ONE course up to the amount of the award.

If the amount of the scholarship is $250.00, and the amount for the course I choose is less than $250 (the amount of the award) in tuition and fees, do I get the difference? This is just an example, as funding is limited the amount awarded may be less. The award will cover only the amount of tuition for the approved course on your application for one class up to $250. If the tuition for the course you submit on the application is less than $250, you will not receive the difference. 

How much would I owe? See example below for a class with $160 tuition + $69 fee = $229.

Example: an eligible course less than $250
Challenge Course: $160 tuition + $69 fee = $229
$160 tuition (this would be covered)
$69 fee (this is NOT covered)
Scholarship Award would be: $160, Student owes $69

 
Graduate Transition Program (GTP) Scholarship amounts may differ from the example above. For students who have been admitted to the Graduate Transition Program the scholarship amounts may differ. Contact Karla Nabors, Program Director, 240-567-1660, Karla.Nabors@montgomerycollege.edu for more information.

How often is the scholarship offered? The Challenge and the GTP scholarships are both offered twice a year (Fall, Spring terms). Applications are due prior to the start of the term, application dates are posted Challenge / GTP Scholarship web page.

How do I submit the application? 

Please note that due to COVID, the application process has changed!
Applications are accepted by mail only between July 27, 2020 to August 12, 2020. Application and all supporting documents must be in one sealed envelope and MAILED with a postmark of August 12th or earlier, and received by Monday August 17, 2020 at the latest. Late or incomplete applications are not eligible for funding.

MAIL to:

Montgomery College, Workforce Development & Continuing Education
Attn: Challenge Scholarship

51 Mannakee Street, CC220, Rockville, Maryland 20850

If I get an award, what do I do next? 

Please read carefully the following instructions for accepting this funding award and registering for the approved class(es).

  1. You must submit the award letter with your signature to  Montgomery College, WDCE Customer Service.
  2. If you are not currently registered in the approved course, submit a completed WDCE Registration form (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) with the signed award letter.  A registration form is included with your award letter, if needed.  Include payment information either credit card or a check for the fee for the course which is not covered by the award with the registration form.
  3. You will not be registered without proof of payment for the entire cost of the course(s).
  4. If a student registered and paid before award notification, the student must still send the signed award letter to Montgomery College WDCE Customer Service  in order to process a refund. Allow at least six weeks for the refund to be processed.
  5. if you have not already done so, you must also return your SSI Verification Certification for Tuition Waiver form. 
  6. Send the signed award letter, and if necessary the Registration Form and SSI Verification Letter / Certification for Tuition Waiver form,  and return to Montgomery College via one of these methods:
    • Mail to: Montgomery College, 51 Mannakee Street, CC220, Rockville Md. 20850
    • Fax to: 240-567-1877
    • Email scanned documents to Workforce Development and Continuing Education at  wdce@montgomerycollege.edu

If I apply for the GTP or Challenge Scholarship, can I register for a class prior to receiving an award letter? Yes, students can register for a course with 100% payment of tuition and fees at time of registration. If a student pays in full and then receives scholarship funding, the student will be refunded the amount of tuition on a course that is funded. Allow at least six weeks for the refund to be processed. If the student is not awarded funding, no refund will be processed.

Can a student apply more than once for the Challenge Scholarship? Students may apply for a Challenge Scholarship only once per academic school year.

What happens if the student does not complete the course(s) funded by the scholarship? Fees will be prorated and the scholarship removed from the student account. No scholarship funding will be refunded to the student.

How long do I have to use the funds if awarded? The funds are available for the course in the term awarded.

Is a new Certification for Tuition Waiver form (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)  or SSI Benefit Verification Letter required each term?

You will need to have the Social Security Administration stamp or sign your Certification for Tuition Waiver form certifying that you are receiving Social Security disability benefits. During COVID, Social Security Offices are not open and you need to call SSI by   phone at 1-866-838-5341 and request a “Benefit Verification Letter”. This will take 5-7 days to be delivered via USPS.

  • Certification for Tuition Waiver form/ SSI Benefit Verification Letter is good for one Academic Year (Academic year starts with the Fall semester). This must be renewed every August prior to the start of the Fall Semester.
  • If this is NOT on file with Montgomery College WDCE or is more than one Academic year old on the WDCE records, the student will be considered ineligible for this funding.
  • If you are unsure if you have current Certification for Tuition Waiver form/SSI Benefit Verification Letter on file, Customer Service 240-567-5188, will be able to assist you with that information.

Are Challenge and GTP courses eligible for disability waiver?  No, per State legislation these courses are no longer eligible for disability waiver.

Is there specific WDCE disability documentation? Yes, we must have a current Certification for Tuition Waiver form on file certifying that you are receiving Social Security disability benefits. This form must be renewed every August as it is good for one academic year.

What If I want to enroll in a course that is NOT part of the GTP or Challenge Program? If students are interested in enrolling in a course other than GTP or Challenge using a disability waiver, the completed Certification for Tuition Waiver form needs to be current, verified by Customer Service, on file as part of the student record for use on courses that are "disability waiver eligible".

  • Note: Students are responsible for verifying course waiver eligibility status if interested in registering for courses other than GTP or Challenge using a disability waiver, and verifying whether the Certification for Tuition Waiver needs to be updated.

What are the financial eligibility guidelines? Visit WDCE Scholarship Financial Guidelines to learn more.

Do we qualify financially if we get SSI or SSDI benefits and are not dependents on their parent's tax returns? Yes

Can I appeal the decision? No, award decisions are final. 

What if class starts prior to notification? It is the applicant’s responsibility to determine if registration prior to award notification is possible. If students have registered and paid prior to award notification, they may apply scholarship funding to their Montgomery College account.  No student can register without proof of payment per Montgomery College, WDCE policy. Once the award is applied to the student account a refund will be generated if a student registered and paid by other funding. Refunds due to prepayment prior to award posting will not be processed until after the start date of the course.

If awarded funds, can I change my course(s) selection? No, however, if the original class (crn#) is cancelled or full, students (with approval of the Program Director) may select a different section (crn#) of the same course in the same term.

What happens if I withdraw from a course, am I eligible for a refund? If you withdraw from a class or drop the class prior to the drop date which is listed on your registration receipt, you are eligible for a refund of the monies you paid. If any scholarship monies were applied to your tuition and/or fees, that money is returned to the College.

What if I also qualify for other funding or a waiver? If a student qualifies for another Montgomery College scholarship and/ or tuition waiver, only ONE may be applied to the course. They may NOT be combined. The balance of any scholarship funding not used to pay for tuition will be forfeited.

Where can I get an application for the Challenge or GTP Scholarship? 

  • Challenge Scholarship Application (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) can be accessed online.
  • GTP Scholarship Application (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) can be accessed online.
  • IMPORTANT: The scholarship applications are specific to a certain term. You may ONLY use the application that pertains to the specific  term and year that you are applying for. 

When can I apply for a scholarship? The dates for the application period are posted online. In general, application forms are available in July for Fall Term scholarship, and in November are available for Spring scholarships. 

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