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Ratcliffe Scholars Program Application

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 program provides its scholars with resources, encouragement and inspiration going beyond financial assistance.Scholars are connected to advisors and to a range of learning opportunities. Our goal is to see Ratcliffe Scholars succeed at AACC and in launching and growing their businesses.

There are four types of scholarships and one grant. New and current students can enter the program through the Entrepreneurial Discovery Scholarship. Current business owners aiming to improve their skills in a particular area of business may apply for the Small Business Owners 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.

Entrepreneurial Discovery 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 and fees for business management or entrepreneurial studies courses
Maximum Award: $2,800 to be used over two years.

Small Business Owners Scholarship

Eligibility: 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.
Maximum Award: $2,000 to be used over two years.

Internship Scholarship

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.
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.

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 (AACC=002058)

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.

Application Schedule Fall 2014 Awards Spring 2015 Awards
Deadline to Apply Wed March 26, 2014 TBA
Notification Mailed to Applicants Wed April 16, 2014 TBA
Agreement Returned to AACC Wed April 30, 2014 TBA

Choose the application you would like the apply for from the drop down menu below: