Financial Aid and Student Loans in Maryland

Maryland is a beautiful state known for its crab creations and its wide-ranging regions, from the naval town of Annapolis to industrial Baltimore, the posh D.C suburbs and rolling hills of farms. 

But for students, it can be a costly place to study. Maryland ranks 11th highest in the U.S. for annual cost of college attendance, averaging $29,178 (as of 2017-2018). 55% of students graduate college with debt.

One of the best ways to reduce your out-of-pocket college costs is to apply for scholarships and grants. Maryland offers many in-state scholarships and grants that prospective students can apply for before they head off to college.

We’ve compiled a list of important Maryland loan and financial aid info that will help you get started. We include an overview of a range of Maryland scholarship and grant opportunities, as well as important application and admission dates.

The list will give you an idea of potential funding opportunities you should be aware of to help pay for your education. You can also find a great deal of valuable information about additional scholarships online at,, and

What scholarship programs does Maryland have?

The government of Maryland is strongly committed to making higher education accessible for all state residents. It offers both general and career-specific scholarships that are a combination of needs-based, merit-based, and financial aid programs. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for every scholarship they are eligible for to maximize financing opportunities.

Here are just some of the many scholarships you can apply for in 2020:

Maryland 2+2 Transfer Scholarship

Maryland community college students that are pursuing a bachelor’s degree can apply for the Maryland 2+2 Transfer Scholarship. The scholarship awards $2,000 for students registering for science, teaching, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or nursing degrees, and $1,000 for other fields of study.

The award can be renewed for a total of three years of study, as long as the recipient continues to be registered at a higher education institution and maintains a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

All Maryland community college graduates are eligible for the scholarship as long as they have been admitted into a four-year higher education institution and are planning on completing a bachelor’s degree. Prospective students must demonstrate financial need, which consists of an expected family contribution of $10,000 or less.

Students are encouraged to complete their applications by the 1st of March for priority awarding. Applications will then continue until the 31st of August or as long as funding is available.

Maryland Senatorial Scholarship

The scholarship is offered to graduating high school seniors and degree-seeking undergraduates. Prospective applicants are required to contact their senator and submit a FAFSA or MSFAA document through MDCAPS.

The scholarship is available to all Maryland residents that are enrolling at a two- or four-year Maryland college or university. Students are required to demonstrate financial need and have taken the SAT or ACT.

In prior years, awards ranged between $400 and $11,800. The award renews automatically as long as you perform at a satisfactory academic level throughout the year. Students can receive the scholarship for a total of four years full-time or eight years part-time.

Applications for the Senatorial scholarship close on March 1, and prospective applicants should contact their senators in February for more detailed instructions on how to apply.

Central Scholarship Program

The Central Scholarship Program receives funding from the Jewish Community Services, Rothschild Charitable Foundation, and other organizations. Successful applicants receive up to $40,000 in total, disbursed yearly at $10,000 per year for a four-year degree. The program actually has a wide range of different scholarships, but a single application puts your name in for consideration across all the different choices. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.0
  • You are planning on studying at an accredited U.S. college, university, community college, or career school in the next year
  • You have lived in Maryland for at least a year

Applications can be submitted online, and get awarded on a rolling basis. Students can apply after the 1st of January.

The Bernie Scholarship Award

The awards program was founded by Bernie Tetreault in 1995 to assist low-income students living in Montgomery County, Maryland. After 24 years of service as Executive Director of the Housing Opportunities Commission, Bernie and his colleagues wanted to give back to the community he had served.

The scholarship is geared toward adults that are starting college, returning to college, or pursuing vocational training.

Eligible students must meet the following criteria:

  • Live in Montgomery County, Maryland, and have received housing assistance from the HOC or have a Section 8 or public housing rental subsidy
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Dreamers (who are not eligible for financial aid due to their status) that attended a Montgomery high-school or received a GED at a Maryland community college

Applications for the Bernie Scholarship Award close on March 1, and all finalists go to an Interview Day in May. Successful applicants will be notified a few days after the interview.

What grant programs does Maryland have?

Grant programs help students in financial need to afford higher education. Unlike scholarships, grants are provided according to financial need and not according to merit. Grants offer a more even playing field and allow disadvantaged students to receive a high-quality education.

Maryland offers several need-based grants as well as occupation-based grants for fields where there is a significant workforce shortage.

Near Completer Grant

Students that started a degree but never completed it are eligible for a near completion grant. The grant presents a financial incentive by paying for tuition, thus allowing students to complete their studies. The grant can cover up to a third of the student’s tuition bill.

Maryland considers the following students to be eligible for the grant:

  • Earned 45 or more credit hours at a community college; OR
  • 90 or more credit hours at a public four-year educational institution; AND
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA.

Applicants must submit their applications by March 1, 2020.

Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant

The Howard P. Rawlings grant provides financial assistance to Maryland high school seniors or adults who are under 26 and have obtained a GED. The award covers 100% of the financial need, up to an amount of $19,100. The grant is specifically for students who will attend two- or four-year accredited programs in Maryland on a full-time basis.

The grant renews every year, as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic performance and demonstrates financial need.

Prospective students are required to submit their FAFSA/MSFAA (the Maryland State Financial Aid Application) applications by the 1st of March and other documents by the 1st of April. You can work on your MSFAA application through this link.

Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program

The grant is for students who want to work in: childcare, human services, social work, teaching, occupational therapy, nursing, or public service.

Eligible majors and employment fields are adjusted regularly to address regional and statewide workforce needs. Individuals who were awarded a grant in a major that no longer has a workforce shortage will still receive their award as long as they are eligible for renewal.

Once students have completed their studies, they must fulfill their service obligation of one year of full-time service per year of the award.

Prospective applicants must be Maryland residents and enroll in one of the following fields:

  • Child development and early childhood education
  • Human services degree programs
  • Education
  • Nursing
  • Law
  • Public social work

For community college students, the award is $2,000 per year for attending full-time or $1,000 for part-time students. Maryland four-year institution students receive $4,000 per year for full-time studies or $2,000 for part-time studies. The total awarded may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance, or $28,000, whichever is less.

Of note, this grant has a service obligation. Recipients must commit to one year of full-time service in their field for each year that they received the award.

What student loan programs does Maryland have?

Maryland does not have any separate state-run student loan programs. Instead, students in Maryland have access to federal loans and to private loans.

Federal student loans in Maryland

Prospective Maryland students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). You can find out more here. 

Private co-signed student loans in Maryland

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in Maryland

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about no cosigner student loans, click here.

What schools does Funding U lend to in Maryland?

Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Bais HaMedrash and Mesivta of BaltimoreNoNoNoNo4185
Bowie State UniversityNoNoNoNo4272
Capitol Technology UniversityNoNoNoNo4872
Coppin State UniversityNoNoNoNo2466
Frostburg State UniversityNoNoYesYes5274
Goucher CollegeNoYesYesYes7178
Hood CollegeNoNoYesYes6678
Johns Hopkins UniversityYesYesYesYes9397
Loyola University MarylandNoYesYesYes8085
Maryland Institute College of ArtNoYesYesYes7087
McDaniel CollegeNoNoYesYes6781
Morgan State UniversityNoNoNoNo3975
Mount St. Mary's UniversityNoNoYesYes6476
Ner Israel Rabbinical CollegeNoNoNoNo4976
Notre Dame of Maryland UniversityNoNoYesYes5382
Salisbury UniversityNoNoYesYes6883
St Mary's College of MarylandNoYesYesYes8087
St. John's College (Maryland)NoYesYesYes7687
Stevenson UniversityNoNoYesYes5681
Towson UniversityNoYesYesYes7385
United States Naval AcademyYesYesYesYes9195
University of BaltimoreNoNoNoNo3768
University of Maryland Eastern ShoreNoNoNoNo3964
University of Maryland-Baltimore CountyNoNoYesYes6888
University of Maryland-College ParkNoYesYesYes8696
University of Maryland-University CollegeNoNoNoNo1538
Washington Adventist UniversityNoNoNoNo3778
Washington CollegeNoNoYesYes6885

Below is a table listing all of the schools in Maryland that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6-year graduation rate. 

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