Entrepreneurial spirit is the core value that defines an Anne Arundel Community College Ratcliffe Scholar. The AACC Ratcliffe Scholars Program distinguishes itself from other scholarship programs by solely focusing on supporting entrepreneurs as they learn skills to launch and grow businesses.
Phil and Carole Ratcliffe, the supporters behind the program, defined the characteristics and qualities used to select Ratcliffe Scholars. They include entrepreneurial spirit and drive, but also the potential and motivation to succeed as a business owner. Approximately 70 students from Anne Arundel County are part of the Ratcliffe Scholars program each year.
The Ratcliffe Scholars Program is much more than scholarship money for classes. It is a robust pathway that helps students move from idea generation to monetization. By moving along this pathway, students gain knowledge and experience in starting, running and growing their new venture. We provide mentors who guide, motivate, encourage and hold our scholars accountable. If the notion of a new venture, business ownership, or idea generation appeals to you - apply today!
There are four types of scholarships and one grant. New and current students can enter the program through the Entrepreneurial Discovery Scholarship. Students who have completed specific business or entrepreneurial coursework and seek real work experience are eligible to apply for the Internship Scholarship. Students who have completed specific coursework and have a clear and viable business plan may apply for the Business Incubator Scholarship. When departing from the Incubator, residents may apply for a grant from the Enterprise Fund. Current business owners aiming to improve their skills in a particular area of business may apply for the Small Business Owners Scholarship.
Entrepreneurial Discovery Scholarship
Small Business Owners Scholarship
Eligibility: New or returning student taking a minimum of 18 credits per year, intends to start a for-profit business, has and maintains a 2.5 GPA (high school or AACC), and is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Scholarship pays for: Tuition, fees, and books for business management or entrepreneurial studies courses
Maximum Award: $2,800 to be used over two years.
Eligibility: Returning AACC student who has completed BPA/ESI 111 and BPA/ESI 103, intends to start a for-profit business, has a 2.5 GPA at AACC, enrolled in or plans to enroll in ESI 275: Internship in Business 1, and is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Scholarship pays for: Tuition and fees for ESI 275: Internship in Business 1 and associated internship requirements.
Maximum Award: One time award of $1,800.
Business Incubator Scholarship
Eligibility: Returning AACC student who has completed 9 BPA or ESI credits (one course must be BPA/ESI 111) OR new student with comparable credentials from another college or university, intends to start a for-profit business, has and/or maintains a 2.5 GPA at AACC, and is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Scholarship pays for:: Tuition, fees and books for all credit courses, but each term must include one or more BPA/ESI course/s. Includes 2 years of residency in the AACC Business Incubator and a faculty mentor.
Maximum Award: $10,000 to be used over two years.
Enterprise Fund Grant
Eligibility: Student moving from the Incubator into office or retail space.
Grant pays for: Business startup costs such as permits, signs, equipment, renovation insurance, etc.
Maximum Award: One time award of up to $25,000.
Currently owns and operates a Maryland business in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation, maintains a 2.5 GPA and is a U.S citizen or permanent resident.
Scholarship pays for:
Tuition and fees for business management or entrepreneurial studies courses.
$2,000 to be used over two years.
How to Apply
To be considered for these scholarships, all applicants must meet the application criteria and complete the following by the application deadline:
1. AACC Online Application
(if not a current student)
2. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application
3. Ratcliffe Scholars Online Application. Choose the application you would like to apply for from the drop down menu below. All applications require an essay. You will be judged on the quality of your essay including both content and grammar. The AACC writing center is available to help you with essay writing. To learn about hours and location, or to access writing resources, go to: www.aacc.edu/writingcenter.