Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) announced its support for the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship today. The new legislation that passed the general assembly and awaits Governor Hogan’s signature will provide Maryland’s 16 community colleges with $15 million starting in 2019.
“Each year we find that more and more students need financial assistance to start or continue college,” said Dr. Dawn Lindsay, president of AACC. “Even as cost-effective as our college is, many students juggle work and family demands and can’t make ends meet. Education is the path to a brighter, more successful future for them.”
The need-based scholarship would double the amount of state scholarship money available to low-income recent high school graduates/ incoming community college students in the state who meet income, grade point average and other requirements.
AACC student and Student Government President Johnathan O’Dea testified before the senate on a version of the bill. He said it would greatly impact students in his situation, stating in his testimony“With the help of a scholarship… students could turn their focus away from working full time and put their time and energy into going to class full time instead. This would decrease the amount of time, stress and debt involved with simply acquiring their respective credential.” O’Dea said he’s encouraged by the bill being passed, and he’s hopeful it will be implemented.
“It was so great to see the student leadership step up and advocate on behalf of their fellow students,” Lindsay said of AACC students who testified before the general assembly in support of the legislation.
While the legislation has yet to become law, the college leadership fully supports it. “We believe this new scholarship has the potential to help thousands of students achieve their educational and career dreams,” said Larry Ulvila, chair of the AACC Board of Trustees. “And we hope the governor will sign it.”
The legislation reflects a trend that has become popular across the nation. If Hogan signs the bill, the state would join others with some form of a tuition-free program for college students, like California, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Tennessee.
Anne Arundel Community College is an award-winning, fully accredited public two-year institution serving approximately 47,000 students each year through classes offered at more than 50 sites in Anne Arundel County or online. AACC offers national and regional studies leading to a degree, certificate, industry credential, transfer to a four-year institution or career enhancement, personal enrichment and lifelong learning.