On Maryland Independent Higher Education Day, held on February 11, 2016, leaders of the 13 MICUA member institutions stood together and announced their participation in the Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP). This first-of-its-kind program was launched to reduce college costs and moderate student debt for Maryland high school students who lack the financial resources to afford an independent institution. Through this program, MICUA institutions will match up to the maximum amount ($17,900) of the State’s Guaranteed Access (GA) grant, for up to four years. This means that students who complete the FAFSA, show financial need, and attend a MICUA member institution may be eligible to receive up to $35,800 per year or $143,200 over four years toward their college degree.
MICUA member institutions also offer individual need-based and merit-based scholarships to promote diversity on their respective campuses. For example:
McDaniel College offers many financial aid opportunities as a way for underserved and underrepresented students to obtain a college education. McDaniel makes competitive scholarships available for CollegeBound and CollegeTracks students, which has led to increased awareness of the College and an increase in applications from Baltimore area students. To encourage students with various collegiate experiences to attend the institution, transfer scholarships are offered, ranging from $8,000 to $18,000 annually. Current full-time undergraduate McDaniel students who have exhausted all sources of aid, demonstrate financial need determined by the FAFSA, have completed at least 15 credits at McDaniel College, and have a minimum 2.0 GPA can receive support through the McDaniel Opportunity Award. McDaniel College Grants, which range from $2,000 to $27,000, are also available to students who demonstrate financial need.
To create an on-campus community reflective of the multicultural world off-campus, St. John’s College provides both need-based and merit-based scholarships. Approximately 70 percent of students at St. John’s receive need-based financial aid, amounting to an average financial aid package of $40,524 toward tuition. Many need-based awards are granted through the Hodson Trust. For instance, the Hodson Trust Scholarship provides four-year grants to students who demonstrate academic promise and financial need, and the Hodson Trust Internship Program funds student internships in the U.S. and abroad, exposing students to different cultures and career fields. The Ertegun Education Fund, created with a donation by an alumnus’ widow, offers need-based financial aid to students of Turkish heritage or who are from Turkey, while the College offers its own need-based financial aid for international students of any ethnicity. The College’s need-based financial aid program enables students and families from all economic backgrounds to afford the College.
Mount St. Mary’s University offers multiple scholarship and grant opportunities for minority students and students with financial need, which supplied 98 percent of last year’s freshmen class with financial aid. In 2007, the University established the Third Century Scholars Program to recruit and assist low-income, underrepresented Washington, D.C. metro area students who are working toward a college degree and want to serve and lead in their communities. The program provides students with scholarships as well as mentoring and social support. Also established in 2007, the Native American Scholars Program recruits students from the St. Labre Indian School in Montana. Each student receives a Presidential Scholarship that is matched by St. Labre, as well as guidance and support in adjusting to university life. The Center for Student Diversity maintains a rotating list of scholarships available for minority students on its website and on a “Scholarship Board” at the University, making financial aid opportunities easily accessible for students.
Goucher College established the Education Opportunity Program (EOP) in 2006 to reflect the College’s commitment to diversity. The EOP provides first-generation, socioeconomically disadvantaged students from Maryland with a four-year financial aid award exclusive of loans. The College offers EOP students financial aid through the Alston EOP and the need-based Feinblatt Scholarship for undergraduate students. The College also provides several endowed scholarships for multicultural students: the Bell Scholarship funds Asian students or American students of Asian descent; the Brady Scholarship funds international students; the Demere Scholarship aids international students who intend to return to their home country following their Goucher studies; the Hearst Scholarship is awarded to economically disadvantaged students from urban schools in Baltimore; and the Waitzer Scholarship provides need-based financial aid to international students from non-western countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. These scholarships are made possible through gifts from alumni, foundations, employees, and others who understand the value of a Goucher education.
A strong need-based grant assistance program is part of the infrastructure of Loyola University Maryland as a way to support a diverse campus climate and make a Loyola education available to all. Full-time students who demonstrate financial need are eligible for between $200 and $38,275 from the Loyola Grant, the amount of which is dictated by need and the availability of funds. The competitive Marion Burk Knott Scholarships are four-year, full-tuition scholarships for incoming Catholic freshmen residing in the Archdiocese of Baltimore who show great academic merit and demonstrate financial need. A list of privately-funded scholarship opportunities is maintained on the website of Loyola’s ALANA Services and, in collaboration with the Office of Financial Aid, these opportunities are promoted to the students they are designed to serve.
Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) introduces students to postsecondary education early by sponsoring Maryland Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA). This STEM initiative, for Grades 3 through 12, targets students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, such as minority and female students, and offers annual scholarships to students planning major in STEM at a two-year or four-year institution.