Governor Larry Hogan has announced that 49,200 Maryland students will receive scholarships totaling $82,764,420 through the Maryland Higher Education Commission. These scholarships represent the 2017-18 initial awarding of the Howard P. Rawlings Education Excellence Award Program, the state’s largest need-based student financial aid program.
“Access to higher education is more important now than ever to prepare students for the jobs of the 21st century, and these scholarships will provide much-needed opportunities for thousands of Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration remains committed to strengthening our higher education system by making it both accessible and affordable, ensuring Maryland remains one of the most competitive and best states in the country.”
The Howard P. Rawlings Education Excellence Awards Program (EEA) is comprised of two need-based grant programs which provide financial assistance to low income students: the Educational Assistance Grant (EA) and the Guaranteed Access Grant (GA). Both of these need-based grants are the most sought-after financial aid programs for college education funding as they do not need to be repaid. To be eligible, the student must be a Maryland resident, plan to enroll at a two-year or four-year Maryland college or university as a full-time (12+ credits per semester), degree seeking, undergraduate student.
EA grant awards take into account the expected family contribution towards the cost of tuition, books, and fees, and range anywhere from $400-$3,000. This year more than 47,000 students received EA grants.
GA grants are designed to help the neediest students by providing 100% of the student’s cost of attendance, as determined by the school’s financial aid office, or $19,000, whichever is less. This year the program awarded more than 2,200 grants to the state’s neediest students. Of the 2,200 total students awarded under the GA Grant, the number of first time recipients more than doubled totaling 1,154 compared to only 474 in the prior year.
“Education has never been more important. It is not only the single greatest driver of economic mobility, but our state’s future prosperity depends on it. For it to be accessible, it must also be affordable,” said Dr. James D. Fielder, Secretary.