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Maryland First State to Restrict Scholarship Award Displacement

Tuesday, April 25, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erika Orsulak

Maryland First State to Restrict Scholarship Award Displacement

Central Scholarship, a Maryland-based nonprofit member of NSPA, worked with the Maryland legislature in the recently completed 2017 session to pass bills restricting scholarship award displacement at public colleges and universities in the state. Their victory caps a two-year effort to help low-income students they serve fulfill their educational goals after high school through scholarships and interest-free loans for higher education in four-year public colleges and universities.

According to Central Scholarship President Jan Wagner, “We are proud to be the first state in the nation to work as partners with our higher education system, leveling the playing field for all deserving Maryland students.”

“Maryland set out almost thirty years ago to build the best public system in the country,” Wagner said. “This bill advances that aim and helps many of our students now benefit from their success.”

Working closely with Maryland Delegate Dana Stein and State Senator Ron Young, Central Scholarship staff was able to convince both houses of the Maryland Legislature that their work with the University of Maryland System was indeed necessary.

“Central Scholarship provides the last-dollar funding our state’s low-income students need to graduate and become productive Maryland citizens,” Delegate Stein said. “Because my state legislator colleagues all have experience helping students in their districts meet the rising costs of college through our state legislative scholarship program, we and our partners at our public colleges and universities were able to secure passage of this legislation, signed by the Governor, to do what is right.” 


Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Seated (left to right): Senate President Mike Miller, Governor Larry Hogan, Speaker of the House Michael Busch

Standing (left to right): Bob Wagner, Delegate Eric Ebersole, Patricia McNally (Maryland Legislature staff), Delegate Dana Stein (House bill sponsor), Margie Brassil (Maryland Legislature staff), Jan Wagner (Central Scholarship), Michele Waxman Johnson (Central Scholarship), Kayla Bettenhauser (Central Scholarship), Andrea Mansfield (Manis Canning and Associates)

Since 1924, Central Scholarship’s founders had the innovative idea that charitable funds could be used for the advancement of people with dreams of better lives. They believed that education beyond high school was not a privilege but a right in creating self-sufficient citizens and a strong community.

 “In Maryland, the average debt for student borrowers is nearly $28,000,” President Wagner said. “When low-income students have their scholarships displaced, it can derail their plans.  This new law gives us a head start on helping all Maryland students and their universities make college affordable while investing in our most valuable asset—human capital.  We cannot jeopardize the existence of the entire private scholarship industry — $1 billion per year nationally including $51 million annually in Maryland. We need to do more.”

More information on the issue and Central Scholarship’s advocacy work can be found here or by contacting Michele Waxman Johnson at mjohnson@central-scholarship.org or 410-415-5558.

Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support!

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