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Higher Education in Maryland

June 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: June 9, 2009                                                        Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                                           Communications: (410) 260-4511



Workforce Shortage Grant Applications Due July 1


Funding Awarded Through the Maryland Higher Education Commission

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 9, 2009) Students who are entering or already enrolled in college and want to improve the lives of others in the community by pursuing careers in various areas of public service may be eligible to apply for financial aid from the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

MHEC is currently accepting applications for the Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant (WSSAG). This program targets those who want to pursue critical workforce shortage areas such as:

• Teaching
• Nursing
• Human Service fields
• Physical and Occupational Therapists and Assistants
• Child Care Providers;
• Social Workers;
• Lawyers;
• and various other public service careers as defined by MHEC.

“Workforce shortage is one of our most pressing challenges in Maryland,” said Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr. “Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown have been deeply committed to putting families first by preparing and enhancing Maryland’s workforce and our state’s competitive advantage. MHEC is proud to coordinate one of the efforts on behalf of the administration.”

In order to qualify for the WSSAG, students must major in a program that leads to employment in a critical shortage field and agree to work full-time one year for each year they receive the scholarship. For instance, an applicant who receives a scholarship for four years of study to become a teacher will owe a minimum of four years of service as a teacher in a Maryland elementary or secondary school upon graduation. The WSSAG is also available for part-time students. Part-time students who receive the grant must agree to work two years in the critical shortage field for every one year they receive the scholarship.

Applicants must be Maryland residents enrolled as full- or part-time, degree seeking undergraduate or graduate students at an eligible Maryland postsecondary institution. Detailed eligible majors and employments fields can be accessed by going to the MHEC website: www.MDgo4it.org. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $4,000 per academic year based on type of institution attended and enrollment status. Awards are subject to the availability of funds. Applicants will be selected for awards based on merit and need-based criteria. Applications and all required documents must be received by the Office of Student Financial Assistance by July 1, 2009 to be considered for awards beginning in September 2009.

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 in Maryland.



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