Article - Education
(a) Beginning in the 2019–2020 academic year, the annual scholarship award shall be not more than $5,000 per recipient, or actual tuition, whichever is less.
(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, any student financial aid, other than a student loan, received by the recipient shall be credited to the recipient’s tuition before the calculation of any award amount provided under this subtitle.
(2) (i) 1. Initial awards shall be provided to recipients based on greatest demonstrated financial need.
2. Priority for awards in subsequent years shall be given to prior year recipients who remain eligible for the program.
3. Notwithstanding § 18–3603(b) of this subtitle, an eligible recipient who does not receive an award under this subparagraph due to insufficient funding of the program remains eligible for the program the following academic year.
(ii) Eligible applicants who do not receive an award under this subtitle shall be notified and placed on a waiting list.
(3) If a recipient is eligible for a local promise scholarship, an award provided under this subtitle shall be credited to the recipient’s tuition before the award of the local promise scholarship.
(c) An award under this subtitle may be made only if a recipient signs an agreement at the time of the initial award to:
(1) Use an address in the State on the recipient’s State income tax return and commence full–time employment within 1 year after completion of the later of:
(i) The vocational certificate, certificate, or associate’s degree; or
(ii) If a recipient has attained at least 48 credits at the community college and transferred to a 4–year institution, a baccalaureate degree;
(2) Continue to use an address in the State on the recipient’s State income tax return and maintain employment for at least 1 year for each year that the scholarship was awarded; and
(3) Have the scholarship award converted into a student loan payable to the State if the recipient fails to fulfill the service obligation required in items (1) and (2) of this subsection.
(d) (1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, each recipient may hold the award until the earlier of:
(i) 3 years after first enrolling as a candidate for a vocational certificate, a certificate, or an associate’s degree at a community college in the State; or
(ii) The date that the individual is awarded an associate’s degree.
(2) The Office may extend the duration of an award for an allowable interruption of study if the recipient provides to the Office satisfactory evidence of extenuating circumstances that prevent the recipient from continuous enrollment.
(3) Each recipient may hold the award in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection only if the recipient:
(i) Continues to be eligible for in–State tuition;
(ii) 1. Continues to enroll in and complete at least 12 credits per semester, or a sequence of credit or noncredit courses that leads to licensure or certification, or their equivalent, as determined by the Office; or
2. Continues to participate in a registered apprenticeship program;
(iii) Maintains a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent for the requisite credit–bearing coursework for the remainder of the award or, failing to do so, provides to the Office satisfactory evidence of extenuating circumstances;
(iv) Makes satisfactory progress toward a vocational certificate, a certificate, or an associate’s degree;
(v) Continues to meet the income limitations under § 18–3603(b)(4) of this subtitle; and
(vi) Continues to timely submit an application under § 18–3603(b)(6) of this subtitle.
(e) (1) If the recipient does not perform the service obligation required under subsection (c) of this section, the scholarship award shall be converted into a student loan.
(2) The Office may waive or defer repayment of the student loan if the recipient provides satisfactory evidence of extenuating circumstances that prevent the recipient from fulfilling the service obligation.