The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent data shows that median household income on the Lower Eastern Shore is under $60,000. That means the average resident who wants to go back to school at Wor-Wic Community College could be eligible not only for federal financial aid but also the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship, a “last-dollar” scholarship that covers any remaining costs after other state and federal aid is applied.
“Across the state, there are dollars being left on the table because people don’t apply,” said Dr. Bryan Newton, vice president for enrollment management and student services. “We want our students to succeed, and when they don’t have to worry about finances, it’s much easier to focus on academics.”
To help more people take advantage of the scholarship, Wor-Wic is hosting an information session about it on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m., in Guerrieri Hall. Prospective and current students and their parents are welcome to attend. Information will be provided about eligibility and the requirements of the scholarship. Visit the event listing
The most important piece to remember is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which gets the financial aid process started. The deadline to file the FAFSA is March 1. The scholarship has no age limitation, so applicants may include high school seniors, current students, people continuing their education after some time away from school and those who have received a Maryland High School Diploma through a GED course.
The potential student aid can be a gateway to a degree, and then a career. Wor-Wic offers associate degrees in a variety of disciplines, including education, STEM, nursing and other health professions, criminal justice, business, hospitality and more. Those who wish to pursue higher education can earn associate degrees specially tailored to transfer to a four-year institution.
“The Promise scholarship allows me to focus on my studies in miraculous ways,” said Grant Mister of Marion Station, who is working on a degree in computer studies. “The time gained from not working longer hours allows me to be proactive in my schoolwork and complete it effectively, producing my best work.”
The Promise scholarship also applies to non-credit courses that lead to licensures and certifications including those in child care and health care professions, as well as registered apprenticeship programs in robust trades such as plumbing and electrical.
“Since 90% of our graduates stay local, we see the Promise scholarship as a great investment in our community, and we want as many students as possible to take advantage of it,” Newton said.
High school students applying for the Promise scholarship must have earned a 2.3 grade-point average (GPA), and currently enrolled Wor-Wic students must show at least a 2.5 GPA. But that doesn’t need to be a barrier for people who have been out of school for a while. New applicants who graduated from high school five or more years before applying for the scholarship are exempt from submitting a high school transcript.
IF YOU GO
- What: Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Information night
- When: Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m.
- Where: Guerrieri Hall, Wor-Wic Community College, Salisbury
- Who: Prospective and current students and their parents are welcome to attend. Information will be provided about eligibility and the requirements of the scholarship.
- Info: Visit the event listing or email email@example.com for more information.