Md. lawmakers OK Promise scholarships

Senate President Thomas Mike Miller (left) and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan sign a series of bills during a ceremony in Annapolis, Md., the day after the state’s 2018 legislative session wrapped up. Community college advocates are hopeful Hogan will sign the Promise legislation. (Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky)

Maryland lawmakers on Monday night approved legislation that would more than double state scholarship money available to low-income community college students.

Eligible students include Maryland residents, recently graduated from high school, who meet GPA, income and other requirements, and attend community college full-time. The legislation would apply to students enrolling in community college in fall 2019. It’s uncertain if Gov. Larry Hogan will sign the bill.

“This program will be a game-changer for many of our students, we certainly hope Governor Hogan signs it,” said Bernie Sadusky, executive director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), who lauded lawmakers for investing in the state’s economic future by passing a program to help more Marylanders prepare for a rapidly changing labor market.

By 2020, 69 percent of Maryland jobs will require a postsecondary education according to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce. About 37 percent of Maryland adults lack any postsecondary education.

Across the U.S., there are currently more than 200 College Promise programs in 44 states. These programs motivate students to do well in high school, remove barriers to a postsecondary education, and can expedite entrance to the middle class through preparation for well-paying careers.

About the Author

Brooke Henderson
is director of marketing and communications at the Maryland Association of Community Colleges.