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Paying for College

Each year, millions of college students just like you receive financial aid. In fact, the tuition needed for an entire college education can be obtained free for many qualified youth. You too can join this group, and you do not have to be a straight-A student or star athlete to qualify for financial aid.

The resources below will help you understand the student aid process and perhaps help you to qualify for aid to pay for your college education.

Forms of Financial Aid
Calculating Financial Aid
Major Student Financial Aid Programs
Other Federal and State Programs
Institutional Programs

Forms of Financial Aid
Financial aid refers to the wide variety of programs that help students and families pay for college or graduate school. Financial aid is available in three forms: grants and scholarships, which do not have to be repaid; loans, which have to be repaid; and work-study, which provides aid in exchange for work, usually in the form of campus-based employment.

Three major sources provide the bulk of student financial aid: the federal government, state governments, and colleges and universities.

Most student aid - and almost all aid provided by the federal government - is awarded to students based on their or their families' ability to pay. Other aid is merit-based; students receive it on the basis of their individual achievement and not entirely according to family need.

The following is a partial list of scholarships - click here for more informaion.

CollegeBound Foundation Last Dollar Grant
The Last Dollar Grant is a need-based award for Baltimore City public high school graduates whose expected family contribution and financial aid package total less than the cost to attend college.  Students who are awarded a CollegeBound Foundation Last Dollar Grant are eligible to receive a grant up to $3,000 per year, renewable for up to five (5) years of college or the maximum amount of $15,000.  This money is gift money which does not have to be repaid. The 2012 Online Application will be available December 2011.

CollegeBound Foundation Competitive Scholarships
CollegeBound Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging and enabling Baltimore City Public School students to go to college. One method by which we accomplish that mission is by awarding scholarships to worthy students. Together with the generosity of individuals, organizations, foundations, and businesses sponsoring these awards, CollegeBound hopes to lighten the burden of financing a college education.
The scholarships found in the link above are open to all Baltimore City Public High School students. Some awards recognize and reward community service efforts; others are directed to support efforts of students pursuing specific career goals. Each scholarship lists the amount of the award, the eligibility criteria, and the application requirements. The 2012 CollegeBound Foundation Competitive Scholarship Online Application will be available December 2011.

Baltimore Ravens Scholarship Program
The Baltimore Ravens established this scholarship program to enable local youth to continue their education on a collegiate level. The team has a long-standing history of service to local communities, and this fund will support those who do the same. In addition, this renewable scholarship will be based on financial need and academic achievement. The scholarship committee will award five $5,000 scholarships (renewable). At least one scholar will be chosen from the following areas: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County. The 2012 Online Application will be available December 2011.

Carmen V. D’Anna Memorial Scholarship of the Mars Super Market Educational Fund
The D’Anna family, owners of Mars Super Markets, created this scholarship in memory of Carmen V. D’Anna. The scholarship committee will award one scholarship (renewable) up to $10,000. The 2012 Online Application will be available December 2011.

Khia “DJ K-Swift” Edgerton Memorial Scholarship Application
Khia “DJ K-Swift” Edgerton was a well-known Baltimore DJ, successfully navigating her way into a male-dominated, fast-paced industry. At the age of 18, Khia began interning at 92Q Jams, where she was introduced as DJ K-Swift. Khia worked hard and eventually became a full-time employee, taking on the night show at 92Q. Khia demonstrated the value of hard work and the rewards of passion and commitment to the pursuit of one’s dream. In July 2008 Khia met a tragic and untimely end, but her spirit lives on through the people that loved her and her work in the music industry. The scholarship committee will award two (one from Baltimore City and one from Baltimore County) $1,000 scholarships (non-renewable). The 2012 Online Application will be available December 2011.

Leslie Moore Foundation Scholarship Application
Lenny Moore, former Baltimore Colts halfback and member of the NFL Hall of Fame, established the Leslie Moore Scholarship Foundation in honor and memory of his son, Leslie Moore. Leslie fought a 9-year battle against scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease, and passed away at the age of 43. Leslie inspired many by the courage, strength and character he exhibited. The Leslie Moore Scholarship Foundation was created in memory of Leslie and to offer educational scholarships for local high school seniors who need financial help to attend a post-secondary institution. The Leslie Moore Foundation Scholarship awards five (3 from Baltimore City, 1 from Howard County and 1 from Baltimore County) $2,500 scholarships (renewable). The 2012 Online Application will be available December 2011.

Lorenzo Felder Scholarship
The Lorenzo Felder Scholarship, awarded by the ONOSE, is intended to support the efforts of an African American male who is graduating from a Baltimore City public school. Lorenzo Felder was a founding member of the ONOSE, a local organization of African American men focused on social endeavors. Lorenzo sought to elevate our mission by not only paying back our social obligations but serving our community. In the spirit of giving back to our younger generation, the ONOSE seek to support the college efforts of a “rising scholar.” The scholarship committee will award one $1,000 scholarship (non-renewable). The 2012 Online Application will be available December 2011.

Hy Zolet Student Athlete Scholarship
This award was created to honor and celebrate the life and accomplishments of Hy Zolet, a high school and college athlete. All who came into contact with Hy, and his love of life, integrity, work ethic and unsung hero mentality, walked away a better person for knowing him. Through this scholarship, we will strive to identify men and women who exemplify the qualities that Hy exhibited every day. The scholarship committee will award four $1,000 scholarships (renewable). The 2012 Online Application will be available December 2011.

Managerial and Professional Society (MAPS) of Baltimore Merit and Service Award Scholarship Application
The Managerial and Professional Society (MAPS) of Baltimore is pleased to support the CollegeBound Foundation in its efforts to provide students with the opportunity for a college education. MAPS has been in existence since 1973 and is the bargaining unit for managers and professional employees for Baltimore City government. The MAPS Scholarship committee will award three $1,000 Merit scholarships (non-renewable) and two $1,000 Service Award scholarships (non-renewable). Only dues-paying MAPS members and their immediate family members are eligible to apply. Winners must attend a MAPS quarterly meeting held in September. The 2012 Online Application will be available December 2011.

Baltimore Community Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) is the fourth largest grantmaker among Maryland’s charitable foundations. The BCF helps people and organizations carry out their individual charitable plans with the common goal of improving the quality of life in the greater Baltimore region, today and for generations to come.

The Baltimore Community Foundation administers scholarship funds established by generous individuals, corporations or organizations to assist students with their educational needs. Each scholarship has its own unique criteria and we encourage applicants to read the eligibility requirements carefully before applying. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2012.
Click here for the 2010 Baltimore Community Foundation Application

Central Scholarship Bureau
Founded in Baltimore in 1924, Central Scholarship Bureau (CSB) helps students in Maryland realize their academic and professional goals through grants, scholarships and interest-free loans to attend accredited institutions within the United States.

Providing access to college education is the cornerstone of CSB’s philosophy. At CSB, students can find the money they need for college and keep their interest-bearing debt to a minimum. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2012.

Independent College Fund of Maryland Urban Scholars Program

A partnership with the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce, this unique program offers scholarships and a road map to employment to Baltimore City students with financial need. The program provides high school seniors who have met college admission standards (at an I-Fund member college) an annual $10,000 scholarship each year for four years plus the opportunity to attend seminars at which they can network with local business leaders. All scholars also receive paid internships every summer.

Other Important Scholarship Links
Zinch Scholarships (
The Ron Brown Scholar Program  (
Gates Millennium Scholarship Program  (
United Negro College Fund   (

Calculating Financial Aid

Undergraduates are offered financial aid in the form of a "package" - a combination of grants, loans, and work-study.

The process of need analysis determines how much students and their families are expected to contribute from their own resources ("expected family contribution," or EFC) and how much aid students are eligible to receive. When the federal government conducts a financial need analysis, it considers the family's income and assets (but ignores assets for families that make less than $50,000 a year), the family's size, the number of parents, the age of the older parent, and the number of other family members enrolled in postsecondary study. The federal formula typically expects a family contribution of approximately 5 percent of net worth.

The amount of financial aid an undergraduate qualifies for is determined by subtracting expected family contribution from the total price of attending the institution. Total price includes tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses. The gap that exists between a family's expected contribution and the price of attending may be filled by a number of federal and state grant and loan programs, aid provided by institutions, and private sources of aid.

Calculate your financial need now.

Major Student Financial Aid Programs

Federal Grant Programs
The federal grant programs are aimed at the neediest students, and provide aid that does not have to be repaid.

    Pell Grant Program
    The Pell Grant program provides grants to low-income undergraduates to help them pay for college. Individual grants may range from $400 to $5,350.

    Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) Program
    The SEOG program provides grants to low-income students, and generally helps supplement the aid they receive from Pell Grants and other sources. Federal funds provide for 75 percent of the award; the college or university contributes the remaining 25 percent or more. Awards may range from $100 to $4,000.

    The FAFSA4caster provides students with an early estimate of their eligibility for federal student financial assistance. The FAFSA4caster is now LIVE and can be accessed at

    The Electronic Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA on the Web) can be accessed at

    Access the PIN web site at

Federal Loan Programs
These loans are guaranteed by the federal government, and are designed to give students flexible repayment options.

    Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program
    The FFEL program makes loans available to students and their families through some 7,100 participating private lenders. The federal guarantee protects FFEL lenders against loss from borrower default.

    William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program
    The Direct Student Loan program uses federal Treasury funds to provide loan capital directly to schools, which then disburse loan funds to students.

    Both FFEL and Direct Loans feature three types of loans.

      Subsidized Stafford Loans - These are subsidized, low-interest loans based on financial need. The federal government pays the interest while the student is in school and during certain grace and deferment periods.

      Unsubsidized Stafford Loans - These loans are offered at the same low rates as subsidized Stafford Loans, but the federal government does not pay interest for the student during in-school, grace, and deferment periods.

      PLUS Loans - These loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students, and have an interest rate of no more than 9 percent. Repayment on these loans begin within 60 days of the final loan disbursement for the year.

    Perkins Loan Program
    This program provides low-interest (5 percent) loans to undergraduate and graduate/professional students who demonstrate financial need. Undergraduates are eligible to borrow up to $4,000 per year, for a maximum of $20,000. Graduate students are eligible to borrow up to $5,000 per year, for a cumulative maximum (including undergraduate Perkins Loans) of $40,000.

Other Federal and State Programs

    Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program
    This program provides part-time jobs to undergraduates and graduate/professional students who use the earnings to finance their educational programs. Federal funds cover up to 75 percent of wages, with the remaining 25 percent or more being paid by colleges and universities or businesses.

Maryland Programs
The state of Maryland has a number of financial aid programs in the form of grants, scholarships and loans for students who want to pursue their education beyond high school. For detailed information please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at 839 Bestgate Rd, Suite 400, Annapolis, MD 21401-3013 or online at

    Maryland Guaranteed Access (GA) Grants
    • Grant- no repayment
    • Awards are equal to 100% of need less Pell Grant up to the cost of attending University of Maryland at College Park.
    • Student must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA in high school.
    • Student must have completed college preparatory or articulated tech prep program.
    • Student must qualify for federal free lunch program.
    • Award must be used at a public or private Maryland College.

    Contact Maryland's State Scholarship Administration (SSA) for details.

    Maryland Educational Assistance (EA) Grants
    EA grants are for students from a family with low or moderate income. The minimum annual award is $400 and the maximum award is $2700.

    Students must have a financial need. Students and their parents (if dependent) must be residents of Maryland. The student must go to a Maryland college, university, or hospital school of nursing and be a full-time student.

    College Savings Plans of Maryland
    The Maryland Prepaid College Trust Program offers several tuition plans and payment options to help residents save in advance for costs of college tuition and mandatory fees. College Savings Plan of Maryland is an independent state agency established by the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly.

    The Maryland College Investment Plan, managed by T. Rowe Price, offers 12 different portfolios, and flexible contribution amounts starting with as little as $25/month.

    Both the Maryland Prepaid College Trust and the Maryland College Investment Plan are 529 plans. As a tax incentive, all Program contributions can be deducted from Maryland State income at a rate of up to $2,500 per contract annually. Earnings on those payments are exempt from Maryland taxes when used for college.

    Contact the College Savings Plans of Maryland for more details at 1.888.4MD.GRAD or online at

Institutional Programs
Grants from institutional sources are the second most common type of aid available to students. Nearly 20 percent of available aid comes from colleges and universities.

    Tax Benefits for College Students
    In addition to financial aid, students and their families have access to several federal tax benefits that help lower their college expenses. Please refer to IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for more details.

      Hope Scholarship Tax Credit
      The Hope Scholarship tax credit allows students, or their parents or guardians, to claim up to $1,500 per student per year for out-of-pocket tuition and fee expenditures. This $1,500 tax credit may be claimed for the first two years of undergraduate study, calculated as follows: the tax credit equals 100 percent of the first $1,000 spent on tuition and fees, and 50 percent of the next $1,000. The Hope credit is available to taxpayers with a gross income of up to $50,000 (up to $100,000 for joint filers). The credit is phased out on a sliding scale for taxpayers earning $40,000 and above (and $80,000 and above for joint filers).

      Lifetime Learning Tax Credit
      The Lifetime Learning tax credit allows college students or their families to claim up to 20 percent of qualified out-of-pocket tuition expenditures per year with the maximum credit being $2,000. The Lifetime Learning credit, which may be claimed for an unlimited number of years for both undergraduate and graduate study, allows qualified taxpayers to claim a tax credit equal to 20 percent of the first $10,000 spent on tuition and fees. The Lifetime Learning credit is available to taxpayers with a gross income of up to $50,000 (and up to $100,000 for joint filers). The credit is phased out on a sliding scale for taxpayers earning $40,000 and above (and $80,000 and above for joint filers).

      Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)
      Penalty-free withdrawals are permitted from Coverdell ESAs for undergraduate and graduate education and can be funded with annual, nondeductible contributions of up to $2,000 per beneficiary. The earnings on these accounts are tax-free if the funds are withdrawn to pay college tuition. Eligibility to make contributions to Education IRAs is phased out for contributors with adjusted gross income less than $110,000 for single taxpayers ($140,000 and $220,000 for joint filers).

      Deduction for Student Loan Interest
      The new deduction for student loan interest allows borrowers to deduct interest paid on any loan used for college expenses. This deduction is available to all taxpayers, regardless of whether they take the standard deduction or itemize their deductions. The maximum deduction is $2,500 in 2001. The deduction is phased out for single taxpayers with adjusted gross income of between $50,000 and $65,000 ($100,000 and $135,000 for joint returns).

      Exclusion for Employee Education Benefits (Section 127)
      This provision allows workers to exclude from taxable income up to $5,250 a year in undergraduate and graduate tuition assistance provided by their employers

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