These “gifts” are available from a variety of organizations including, but not limited to, the federal government, Maryland, community groups and AACC. Deadlines and requirements vary, so be sure to read any information provided carefully.
The Federal Pell Grant is available to full- and part-time students with high financial need who have not completed a bachelor's degree. Eligibility and award amounts are based on each student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Payment amounts also vary based on each student's level of enrollment (1/4 time, 1/2 time, 3/4 time, and full time). Students must meet the General Eligibility Requirements.
AACC awards Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) to full- and part-time students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. Funds are limited and are awarded only to students with exceptional financial need and who meet other criteria. Students must meet the General Eligibility Requirements. To apply, submit a FAFSA.
AACC awards these state grants based on financial need. Students must be pursuing a degree, taking 6 to 11 credits per term and be a Maryland resident. Students must meet the General Eligibility Requirements and must be pursuing an associate degree. Certificate students are not eligible. To apply, submit a FAFSA.
The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) awards a variety of grants and scholarships to Maryland residents attending Maryland colleges and universities.
Students interested in applying for MHEC funding must complete the FAFSA prior to March 1 each year and meet the General Eligibility Requirements. Some MHEC programs have very broad eligibility criteria. Some require financial need. Many are based on student or parent membership in a unique group (veterans, Maryland National Guard, foster care, military service in Iraq or Afghanistan, etc.). Other programs are targeted toward specific career fields such as child care, education, emergency medical services, gerontology, human services, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and public service. Most require students to submit an additional application.
Certificate students are not eligible to receive Maryland Educational Assistance Grants, Maryland Hope Scholarships or Maryland Part-Time Grants.
As of the 2016 Legislative session, the Educational Assistance and Guaranteed Access Grants now require students to complete 30 credit hours by the end of the student's second academic year.
While some have called this free college, that's not entirely accurate. Make sure you know the facts. We've outlined the basic elements, and more detailed information is available from the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
AACC offers more than 200 scholarships created and administered by the Anne Arundel Community College Foundation Inc. and funded through the generous donations of private individuals and groups. Scholarship requirements vary. All credit and noncredit students are encouraged to apply each school year by completing an application and a FAFSA annually.
Several academic departments offer and administer their own scholarships and there are many scholarships specific to students studying a particular subject.
Eligible students enrolled in the Student Achievement and Success Program (SASP) and SASP First Year Experience can receive an incentive scholarship of up to $1,000 an academic year in addition to other services.
If you plan to transfer to a four-year school, there are several Transfer Scholarships for which you may be eligible. If you are transferring to another school immediately, contact your new school’s financial aid and/or admissions office to learn what scholarships they may offer.
There is a lot of money out there for students seeking help with college, but it’s up to you, the student, to find and apply for it. Start your scholarship search early and be aware of application requirements and deadlines. Talk to friends and family. Contact local clubs and community organizations. Learn how to spot potential fraud and identity theft. You can get started with the resources below.
Depending on the type and amount of the award, "need-based" aid may have to be adjusted if a student receives additional outside scholarships.