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Paying for College 101: Local and State Scholarship Information

Paying for College 101: Local and State Scholarship Information

Let’s state the obvious, right off the bat: college is expensive. We all know that college costs in the last decade have ballooned; and at this point obtaining a college degree is nearly impossible without some sort of financial help. More often than not, that help may come in the form of grants or scholarships, and perhaps a personal or federal loan, or two…or maybe three. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of having to find and apply to grants and scholarships or fill out loan applications before submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1st, we hope you’ll find this post helpful. We’ve compiled a list of resources- links to scholarships for Maryland residents, some specifically for southern Maryland residents. Many of the organizations offering these scholarships report that the funds often go un-awarded because they never receive applicants.

Southern Maryland Online has compiled a list of local organizations offering scholarships specifically for residents of the three counties that make up the Southern Maryland area- Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. Many of these scholarships go un-awarded because the businesses and organizations never receive applicants. Your chances at receiving an award from one of these scholarship programs may be greater because they are lesser known. If your local business or organization offers a scholarship program and you are not listed on this site, you can contact Southern Maryland Online directly with the information.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) is an excellent resource available to Maryland families in financial aid. State residents can find a wide array of grants, scholarships and tuition waivers designed to make college more affordable. From this site, residents can also access the 2017-2021 Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education. MHEC is charged with producing a statewide plan every four years that clearly outlines the priorities and major goals for the State’s postsecondary system.

It is worth mentioning that every year, each Senator and Delegate in the Maryland General Assembly receives legislative scholarship funds from MHEC to award to their constituents. To find out who your Senator and Delegate are, enter your address here. is a site that compiles lists of scholarships, grants and loans and organizes them by state. In Maryland, they offer information on scholarships and grants that are career-specific, population-specific, and ones that are more general.

The Joseph C. Ferrante Foundation offers a yearly scholarship to students who have demonstrated a commitment to give back to their communities. It is not a need-based scholarship, and not necessarily given to the student with the highest grades, but will be awarded based on recommendations from teachers, counselors, church leaders, and civic leaders, combined with grades and an essay. Applications are accepted each January and must be postmarked no later than March 31st of that year to be considered.