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Higher Education in Maryland

January 2006 Press Release





Annapolis, MD (January 24, 2006) – The William Donald Schaefer (WDS) Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for the 2006-07 academic year. Named in honor of Maryland’s Comptroller, this award provides funding to full-time students who are preparing for careers in public service. There is $150,000 available in this year’s proposed appropriation and approximately 10 new awards are expected to be made. Applications must be received by March 1, 2006 for consideration.

Applicants must be a Maryland resident, demonstrate need, and attend or plan to attend an eligible Maryland postsecondary institution, and be enrolled full-time in a course of study, training or other educational activities designed to prepare the student for a career in public service. The total amount of a WDS award may be equal to tuition and fees at the institution attended, however the total dollar amount may not exceed $8,550.

Application Process:  Applicants for the scholarship must submit an application available on the MHEC website (www.mhec.state.md.us) and provide all required documents to the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) by March 1, 2006 to be considered for awards beginning in September 2006. Students are also required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1, 2006.

Applicants may check the status of their applications by visiting the Student Inquiry page on the MHEC website.

Selection:  Recipients are competitively selected based on: financial need; cumulative grade point average; references; a written essay submitted with the application; and a resume. An Advisory Council has been appointed by Secretary Calvin W. Burnett to select award recipients. Awards are made for one year and may be renewed for an additional three years. Award letters for academic year 2006-07 will be sent by May 1, 2006.

Renewal of Award:  The William Donald Schaefer Scholarship is renewed automatically, provided the student continues to meet the eligibility requirements.

Obligation:  Each recipient of a William Donald Schaefer Scholarship is required to sign a promissory note with the Maryland Higher Education Commission that states he/she will meet graduation requirements, and will then be employed in Maryland full-time in public service, one year for each year or portion thereof, that a payment of assistance under the program is made. If the conditions of the promissory note are not met, the award must be repaid with a variable interest rate that matches the federal Stafford Loan rate established in July of each year.

          Complete and mail the application with required documents by March 1, 2006 to:

          Maryland Higher Education Commission 
          Office of Student Financial Assistance
          Attention:  William Donald Schaefer Scholarship Program
          839 Bestgate Road, Suite 400
          Annapolis, MD 21401-3013


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