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Higher Education in Maryland

May 2006 Press Release




23.5% increase in Educational Excellence Awards

Annapolis, MD (May 16, 2006) – The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) has awarded $75.7 million in need-based financial assistance to more than 40,000 students through the Educational Excellence Awards Program (EEA) for FY 2007. Funding for the EEA program increased by 23.5% from $61.3 million to $75.7 million in FY 2007. This program provides grant funds to students from low to moderate-income families in the State. 

“We have almost doubled the amount of money awarded through need-based financial assistance since I have been in office,” said Governor Robert L. Ehrlich. “We have been able to dramatically increase the number of awards, reduce the waiting lists and are so much better able to serve our citizens.” 

Since 2004, State need-based aid has almost doubled from $42.4 million to $83.2 million. With this increase, over 12,000 more students who would not otherwise be able to afford college due to lack of sufficient financial resources, are now able to receive a college education, and are better able to compete in the Maryland workforce. These additional funds have also allowed increases in award amounts so that more of the tuition and fees are covered by the grant.

As an example, the Community College Access Initiative, which was fully implemented with this funding, has awarded more than 10,000 students enrolled in community colleges, almost double the number of students offered awards last year. And, each student receives a larger award than they were able to receive in past years. 

To help support the increasing number of students attending school part-time, the Part-time Grant Program has increased by 344% to $6 million. This increase provides more financial assistance to students who must work to support themselves and their families while attending school. 

Funding for the Graduate and Professional Scholarship Program has also increased by 701% to $1.5 million to ensure that needy students are able to achieve their dreams of attaining professional degrees in the areas of medicine, dentistry, law, pharmacy, social work, nursing, and veterinary medicine.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is Maryland's higher education coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and for private career schools.


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