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
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.
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 deadline to apply is March 1, 2009.
Click here to apply online.
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 deadline to apply is March 1, 2009.
Click here for the CollegeBound Foundation Competitive Scholarship Application
Khia “DJ K-Swift” Edgerton Memorial Scholarship
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. Applicants must be a 2009 graduate of a Baltimore City or Baltimore County Public High School. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2009.
Click here for the 2009-10 Khia “DJ K-Swift” Edgerton Memorial Scholarship Application.
The Dunbar Class of 1958 Scholarship
The Dunbar Class of 1958 established this scholarship with the intention to give back to the community in which they were raised and went to school. The Class of 1958 views Dunbar as the source of their many successes, and hopes to provide financial assistance so that current graduates have the same opportunities to succeed. Applicants must be a 2009 graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. The deadline to apply is
April 15, 2009.
Click here for the 2009-10 Dunbar Class of 1958 Scholarship Application
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 deadline to apply is March 1, 2009.
Click here for the 2009-10 Leslie Moore Application
SHERO Scholarship Application
The SHERO Scholarship Program seeks to provide financial assistance to qualified high school young women who, without this assistance, may not otherwise have the option of pursuing a college education. Sponsored by the Maryland’s Women and Philanthropy Collaborative, which recognizes unsung “SHEROs” in our community, each young woman selected for this scholarship will have demonstrated through her own actions her understanding of the value of giving of her time and talent to those in need. The SHERO Scholarship Program will choose 3 to 5 recipients to receive awards ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 (renewable). Applicants must be female and must be a 2009 graduate of an Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford or Howard County Public High School. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2009.
Click here for the 2009-10 SHERO Application
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, 2009.
Click here for the 2009-10 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 31, 2009.
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.
The Adams Future Business Leadership Scholarship
The Adams Foundation provides educational opportunities for promising African-American students in Baltimore City by assisting with college educational expenses. The Foundation seeks to foster each student's personal and professional growth to help stimulate business leadership and enhance economic development in Baltimore and among the African-American community. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2009.
Other Important Scholarship Links
The Ron Brown Scholar Program (RonBrown.org)
Gates Millennium Scholarship Program (Gmsp.org)
United Negro College Fund (Uncf.org)
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
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 www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov
The Electronic Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA on the Web) can be accessed at www.fafsa.ed.gov
Access the PIN web site at www.pin.ed.gov
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
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.
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 http://www.mhec.state.md.us.
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
- 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
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
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
Contact the College Savings Plans of Maryland for more details
at 1.888.4MD.GRAD or online at http://www.collegesavingsmd.org.
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
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
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