MHEC awards $311K of “near-completer” grants to 6 area colleges

| August 11, 2018
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Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) Secretary Dr. James D. Fielder announced more than $311,000 has been awarded to six Maryland higher education institutions, supporting near-completer college enrollment and completion.

The awards under the Complete College Maryland – One Step Away Program will benefit near-completer students who have earned 75 percent or more of their college credits and have postponed their education for at least 12 consecutive months. The program provides funds to support public and nonprofit independent two-year and four-year institutions in their effort to identify, re-engage, re-enroll, and graduate near-completer students. This state-funded grant program is designed to help near-completers earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree by providing financial assistance, tutoring, customized degree plans, and dedicated One Step Away advisors.

“Higher education institutions need to be on the cutting-edge of developing new programs to identify specific obstacles that are responsible for students leaving or postponing their education and develop initiatives to address each obstacle,” Secretary Fielder said. “Efforts to identify and target a near-completer needs to be expanded and these grants will help to achieve that goal.”

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The following higher education institutions were awarded for the 2018 funding cycle:

  • Bowie State University  – $41,488.50
  • Carroll Community College  – $53,568.00
  • Community College of Baltimore County – $56,267.55
  • Goucher College – $51,000.00
  • Harford Community College – $57,214.60
  • University of Maryland University College – $51,552.60

In addition to these grants, Governor Larry Hogan signed House Bill 16 following the 2018 legislative session, creating a new program to provide tuition support for eligible students working to complete their degree.

“We are doing everything we can to help Marylanders who have had to postpone their college degree due to other financial obligations,” Governor Hogan said. “This new program incentivizes Maryland residents who started a degree but have not finished it to go back and complete it so they can achieve their dream of a college education.”

The Near-Completer Grant, administered by MHEC, will go into effect in time for the fall semester of 2019. This grant program encourages students to complete their degree, which may lead to a promotion in an existing career or offer an opportunity to begin a new career.

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