January 2009 Press Release
For immediate release: January 9, 2009 Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen
Communications: (410) 260-4511
College-Bound Students Applying for Financial Aid Need to
File the FAFSA
ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 9, 2009) - Students
planning to attend Maryland’s two- and four-year public and
independent colleges or universities or private career
schools for the 2009-2010 academic year need to start
filling out and submitting their Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligible for
student financial assistance.
The FAFSA form determines whether a student qualifies for
need-based, federal aid – such as the Pell Grant and
Stafford Loans – and for Maryland’s numerous scholarship
Filing the FAFSA has become much easier over the years.
Students can access the form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The
deadline for filing the FAFSA for State need-based aid
programs, such as the Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access
Grant and Educational Assistance Grant programs, is March 1.
Higher Education Secretary, James E. Lyons, Sr. said that
competition for federal and State financial scholarships and
grants will be especially tight this year, which is why he
encourages potential college students to file their FAFSA
“Simply put, to determine eligibility for State financial
aid, students must file a FAFSA.” Secretary Lyons said.
For information regarding State financial aid programs,
prospective students can click the following link: http://www.mhec.state.md.us/financialAid/descriptions.asp.
There they will find a description of each program and will
be able to gain access to that particular scholarship’s
If students have questions regarding scholarship program
eligibility they may e-mail the Maryland Higher Education
Commission’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA)
at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the agency at
1-800-974-1024 or 410-260-4565.
Due in part to Governor O’Malley freezing tuition at the
University System of Maryland and Morgan State University
the past three years, the State set yet another record for
enrollment in the fall 2008 semester, up 3.5 percent overall
from last year.
“Governor O’Malley’s tuition freeze at the University System
of Maryland and Morgan State University was a tremendous
achievement,” Secretary Lyons said. “It has provided a more
affordable, and therefore more accessible, education to
hundreds of thousands of students at our tremendous
postsecondary institutions in Maryland. I believe everyone
who wants to pursue an education should do so, especially as
our economy remains in a recession and national statistics
show the country falling behind others in today’s
competitive, global workforce.”
In addition to freezing tuition, Secretary Lyons said the
O’Malley-Brown administration has helped more than 58,000
students pay their college bills by budgeting nearly $110
million in financial assistance to OSFA each year they have
been in office.
The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member
coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide
policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and
universities and private career schools. It serves as an
advocate for more than 326,000 college students in Maryland,
for the State and its needs, and for business and industry