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Higher Education in Maryland

May 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: May 4, 2009                                                           Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                                            Communications: (410) 260-4511



College access, preparation grant available for low-income students in Baltimore City, Prince George's County


ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 4, 2009) – The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) has announced the availability of grant funds for Year 2 of the Maryland College Access Challenge Grant Program (MCACGP). The MCACGP is a new, federally-funded program designed to conduct outreach activities and services to improve preparation for and access to college for low-income students. This program will fund projects to provide information to students, who are at risk of not enrolling in or completing college, and their parents on postsecondary benefits, opportunities, and career planning and preparation.

“I am excited about this new initiative and MHEC’s opportunity to work with various organizations to inform middle school students and their parents of postsecondary education options and to remove some of the barriers that may prohibit college access for low-income students,” said Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr. “Governor O’Malley has been highly supportive of our efforts to put families first by encouraging their children as early as the middle school level to start thinking about pursuing a postsecondary education in today’s competitive global economy.”

The Request for Applications (RFA) can be found on MHEC’s website at http://www.mhec.state.md.us/Grants/MdCollAccessChallGrant/MdCollAccessChallGrant.asp. Grant funds will be used for project services in two areas of greatest poverty and lowest achievement in the State. Twenty one (21) middle schools in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County have been identified as eligible to receive services under the MCACGP. A list of the schools identified as eligible to participate in this program can be found in the RFA.

Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis to eligible non-profit organizations, including institutions of higher education, or partnerships of organizations to provide outreach services. To qualify for funding, nonprofit organizations must have been in existence on or before September 27, 2007, must provide activities and services related to increasing access to higher education, and must be currently registered with the Maryland Office of the Secretary of the State Charitable Organization Division.

Two technical assistance meetings will be held on May 14, 2009 and on May 21, 2009 at the Maryland Higher Education Commission, in the Commission Room, from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. At these meetings, MHEC will present an overview of the MCACGP, review the RFA, and answer any questions.

For more information, contact Cheryl V. Edwards at 410-260-4520 or cedwards@mhec.state.md.us.

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 325,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.


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