Scholarships serve as a vital source of funding for many college students. After all, few are independently wealthy, and federal financial aid rarely makes enough of a difference in the cost of attending college. Luckily there are so many scholarships available that nearly all students can find some extra help from one program or another. State-specific scholarships are especially good sources of funding because the applicant pool is much lower than that of national programs. This is the case in Maryland, and there are many scholarships in Maryland that can help the state’s students pay for higher education. Here are some of the opportunities available:
Thursday Network I EMPOWER Scholarship
Thursday Network developed this scholarship program as part of its overall commitment to the community in Washington, D.C. The scholarships are valued at $2,000 and are available to graduating high school seniors in Washington, D.C. as well as Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. To be eligible, students must have at least a 2.8 GPA and be planning to attend an accredited four-year college or university in the fall after graduation. Students must submit the application and all other required materials by February 8 to be considered. Applications and further details are available at www.thursdaynetwork.org.
Junior Achievement Essay Competition
This essay contest is open to students in grades 9-12 at an accredited high school or home school program in Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s, or Saint Mary’s Counties. To be eligible, students must be citizens or legal residents of the United States, must not be previous winners, and must not have been previously disqualified from a Junior Achievement competition. To enter, students must submit essays completed by contest guidelines between August 22 and October 31 via the contest website at www.myJA.org. In addition, applicants must submit an application and verification of school enrollment. The grand prize winner of the competition will receive $20,000. First, second, and third prize winners will receive $10,000 each. In addition, the three schools with the largest number of qualified applicants will receive $6,000 each in grants.
JCS Scholarship for Jewish Students from Single-Parent Homes
These scholarships are provided by Jewish Community Services and are awarded to worthy Jewish students who come from single-parent homes. To be eligible, applicants must be graduating high school seniors from the Baltimore Metropolitan Area who need assistance to pursue a higher education at an accredited college or University in the United States. When making awards, the committee will consider academic achievement and future potential, involvement in the community and extra-curricular activities, Jewish community involvement, part-time and summer employment, and financial need. The number and amount of awards varies based on available funds and qualified candidates. For applications and further details, visit www.jcsbaltimore.org.
Carville M. Akehurst Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship fund was started to memorialize one of the founders of MANTS, Carville M. Akehurst. To be eligible for the funds, students must be a resident of Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia who is enrolled in an accredited landscape/horticulture degree program or related discipline. Applicants must be in good academic standing and be attending school full-time with at least a 2.7 GPA overall and a 3.0 GPA in their major. In addition, applicants must be at least juniors in a four-year program or seniors in a two-year program. Preference will be given to students who plan to work within the industry upon graduation. To apply for these $1,000 scholarships, students must submit the application along with a cover letter, two letters of recommendation, resume, and official transcripts by April 1. For applications and additional information, visit www.anla.org.
Jack F. Tolbert Memorial Student Grant Program
This grant program is created for students who are attending or plan to attend a private career school that is accredited by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Award amounts may be as much as $500 and are made based on financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. Applications are accepted on a rolling deadline, but those who apply by March 1 have the greatest chance of receiving funding. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in and attending one of the GHCS training programs. In addition, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Awards may be renewed one time and are made based on financial need for programs that run 18 weeks or longer. For further program details, or to apply, visit www.mhec.state.md.us.
Letitia B. Carter Scholarship
These scholarships are available to Maryland residents who are students in high school or college, instructors or teachers, or hospitality industry professionals. Applicants must be pursuing a degree related to the hospitality industry and must have applied to a RAMEF recognized program. High school and college students must have at least a 3.0 GPA with at least 400 documented hours of industry experience. Instructors and teachers must have at least 1500 documented hours of industry experience. To apply, applicants must submit a typed application as well as answers to essay questions. In addition, students must submit a photocopy of college curriculum, official transcripts, a recent paystub, and two letters of recommendation. Instructors, teachers, and industry professionals must submit a letter of support and employment validation, two letters of recommendation, and a recent paystub. Applicants are scored on GPA, work experience, presentation of application, essay question answers, and completed application. Applications are available at www.ramef.org and are due by April 15.
The Mid-Atlantic Security Traders Foundation, Inc.
The Mid-Atlantic Security Traders Foundation offers these annual scholarships to sophomore or junior undergraduate business majors with a concentration in economics or finance. Applicants must be citizens of the United States who are enrolled at a four-year state or private college or university. To apply, students must submit a completed application, transcripts, an essay, and summer contact information. Candidates will be evaluated based on GPA, essay, awards and academic honors, extracurricular involvement, and letters of reference. Interested students can get information and scholarship applications at the official website.
Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program
This program is for students who plan to work in high-need fields in the state of Maryland after graduation. Graduating high school seniors as well as full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. To apply, students must complete the online application and submit the FAFSA and other documentation by July 1. Eligible fields of study may vary from year to year, but currently include child development and early childhood education, human services, education, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, law, social work, and others. Within each need area, there are specific careers that are eligible, so it is important to check the website for specifics. To be eligible, students and parents must be Maryland residents. In addition, students must be accepted to an accredited Maryland college or university. Award amounts may be $1,000, $2,000, or $4,000 per year and may be awarded based on merit or financial need. Students may renew awards for up to 5 years as long as eligibility requirements and academic progress guidelines are met. In addition, all recipients must sign a service agreement. To apply for these grants and to check degree eligibility, visit www.mhec.state.md.us.
There are many excellent scholarships in Maryland that are designed to help students of all backgrounds and interests pursue a higher education. If you are a Maryland student, these scholarships can take away a great deal of the financial burden faced by today’s college students.