New Funding for Needy Community College Students in 2016 Legislative Proposal

A pre-filed bill in the 2016 Maryland General Assembly would appropriate $2M for need-based scholarships for community college students.

Senator Katherine Klausmeier of Baltimore County has filed a bill establishing a new community college tuition scholarship. Students meeting certain financial need-based criteria could receive Workforce Development Sequence grants and scholarships.

Only Maryland residents who have graduated from Maryland high schools will be eligible for the new program, under the draft legislation. Students must also be enrolled in community college job preparation and licensing or certification, or job skill enhancement programs approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Student financial need and local workforce needs will be considered when determining scholarship recipients.

The legislation also requires the Governor to make a $2 million appropriation in the State budget for the scholarships.

The bill will be heard in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs on January 13, 2016.

Dr. Sadusky, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges spoke today on the Marc Steiner show about offering free and reduced tuition to community college students in the current economic climate. Sadusky said that it is the right thing to do, citing the amount of student loan debt in the state and the need for post-high school education and job training to enter Maryland’s job market.

For more information, see the bill information page from the Department  of Legislative Services and the Marc Steiner show, Countdown to the Annapolis Summit: Education.