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Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP)

The Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP) is the culmination of a public-private partnership between Maryland independent colleges and universities and the State of Maryland to help Maryland students and their families bridge the college affordability gap.  The GAPP grant provides a matching award for eligible students who receive a State Guaranteed Access (GA) grant and attend a participating Maryland independent institution, for a total grant award up to $35,800 per year for four years of college. 

GAPP Brochure / GAPP Brochure (En Español)


Participating Colleges and Universities

Capitol Technology University, Goucher College, Hood College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art, McDaniel College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stevenson University, St. John’s College, Washington Adventist University, and Washington College.

Student Eligibility

Students must demonstrate financial need and meet the income eligibility requirements for the State GA grant, which is at or below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines.  Students must also be Maryland residents; have a minimum unweighted cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or higher; and apply to a participating Maryland independent college or university to attend as a full-time, degree-seeking, undergraduate student. 

Interested students must apply for the State GA grant through the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  Students should also complete the GAPP financial aid application required by the institution and demonstrate eligibility for institutional need-based assistance. 

Grant Details

The specific award amounts for the State GA grant and GAPP matching grant are determined by the student’s financial need and the institution’s cost of attendance.  Unless approved by the institution, the combined award may not exceed the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees after adjusting for the Pell Grant. 

For the 2016-2017 academic year, the maximum annual State GA award is $17,900.  So, a student who is eligible for a maximum GA grant award of $17,900 and a matching $17,900 GAPP grant award would receive $35,800 annually.  Students who receive a GAPP grant may still receive other forms of need-based and merit-based financial aid for which they are eligible. 

To Apply

Students should contact the financial aid office at any GAPP participating colleges or universities to which they are applying for admission, for assistance in completing the process.  For consideration, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the State GA grant application, and the institutional application for the GAPP matching grant 


Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP) Frequently Asked Questions

In 2016, Maryland’s independent colleges and universities and the State of Maryland launched the Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP), a public‐private partnership to help close the college affordability gap by supporting capable Maryland high school graduates with financial challenges.   GAPP provides a matching grant award for eligible Guaranteed Access (GA) grant recipients at participating institutions, up to the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees.     

What is the Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP)?   

The Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP) provides a matching grant award to eligible Maryland students who receive a Guaranteed Access (GA) grant from the State and who enroll at a participating Maryland independent college or university as a new undergraduate student starting in the 2016‐17 academic year.     

Which Maryland colleges and universities participate in GAPP?  

Capitol Technology University, Goucher College, Hood College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art, McDaniel College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stevenson University, St. John’s College, Washington Adventist University, and Washington College.  

How do I know if I’m eligible?

You are eligible for a GAPP award if you receive a State GA grant, complete the financial aid application process as required by the participating institution, and demonstrate eligibility for institutional need‐ based assistance.  To be eligible for a renewal GAPP award, you must maintain ongoing eligibility for the GA grant and need‐based financial aid at the institution.   Details about the State GA grant, including income requirements and other eligibility criteria, are available here:    http://mhec.maryland.gov/FinancialAid/ProgramDescriptions/prog_ga.asp

How do I apply for GAPP?  

You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the State GA grant application through the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s (MHEC) online MDCAPS system.   When completing the application for the GA grant, you should indicate that you are applying to at least one of the colleges and universities that participate in GAPP.  You must also contact the financial aid office of the GAPP participating college or university to inform the institution of your interest in applying for a matching GAPP award.    The institution’s financial aid officer will assist you in completing the process.

If I qualify for a State GA award and a GAPP award, how much will I be awarded?

The award amounts for the State GA grant and matching GAPP grant are determined by your financial need and your chosen institution’s cost of attendance.  For the 2016‐2017 academic year, the maximum annual State GA award is $17,900. An eligible student may receive a GAPP grant equal to the State GA grant award up to the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees.  Therefore, a student who is eligible for a maximum GA grant award of $17,900 and a matching $17,900 GAPP grant award may receive $35,800 annually to cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees.   The matching GAPP award may consist of a combination of institutionally‐funded need‐based grants and merit scholarship assistance and may not exceed the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees unless, authorized by the participating institution.

May I receive other forms of financial aid along with GAPP?

Yes. You may receive other forms of need‐based and merit‐based financial aid for which you are eligible, including the Federal Pell Grant.   However, the matching GAPP award, together with the GA grant, may not exceed the full cost of your institution’s undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees, unless permitted by the institution.    

Do I need to attend college full time in order to receive a GAPP award?

Yes. You must maintain full‐time enrollment status to remain eligible for GAPP.

How long am I eligible?  

Students who continue to receive the State GA grant, maintain full‐time enrollment status, make academic progress, and continue to demonstrate need may remain eligible and renew the GAPP grant each year for three additional years.  However, you must remain at the institution in which you originally enrolled in order to remain eligible for the GAPP matching grant.    

Is the GAPP award available for my major?  

All undergraduate majors are eligible for GAPP.

What if I have already applied for a GA grant and am now interested in GAPP?

Great!  You are already ahead of the game!  Please contact the financial aid office at the participating institution(s) where you have applied for admission.  A financial aid officer will assist you with the GAPP application process.