Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant

**IMPORTANT UPDATE**  ​

Beginning with the 2018-2019 award year students must successfully complete at least 30 credits by the end of their second academic year of enrollment and each academic year thereafter. This means that if you are eligible for either the EA or GA grant, you must complete at least 30 credits per academic year, beginning in your sophomore year and thereafter, in order to receive full (non-prorated) eligibility of your State grant award.  Click here  for more information.​

**PROGRAM DEADLINES​**

*March 1, 2018*

For consideration of the 2018-2019 Guaranteed Access Grant all students (both initial and renewal GA students) are required to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than March 1, 2018.  Please visit www.fafsa.ed.gov to complete your FAFSA.

*April 1, 2018* 

All students (both initial and renewal GA students) who are required to submit documentation to the Office of Student Financial Assistance for further consideration of the 2018-2019 Guaranteed Access Grant, must do so by April 1, 2018.   

Students will not be considered for the 2018-2019 Guaranteed Access Grant if the FAFSA and all supporting documentation are not submitted by these deadlines.​​

Below are the steps required for consideration of the 2018-2019 GA grant:

  1. Submit the 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by visiting   www.fafsa.ed.gov.

    *The 2018-2019 FAFSA will be available as early as October 1, 2017.  To minimize errors and expedite the FAFSA process, students and parents are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA.  

    All students MUST complete the FAFSA by March 1, 2018 for consideration of the 2018-2019 Guaranteed Access Grant.

  2. Students who meet the eligibility requirements for the GA program based on the FAFSA information provided will be notified by MHEC and documentation will be requested. Students may create a Maryland College Aid Processing System (MDCAPS) account and click on their “ToDo list” to view a listing all documentation required for consideration of the 2018-2019 Guaranteed Access Grant. Click here to create your MDCAPS account.

    All student documentation required for final consideration of the GA grant must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Assistance at the Maryland Higher Education Commission no later than April 1, 2018.

  3. Students who have submitted all required documents and are eligible to receive the GA grant will be awarded in mid-April of 2018.

    *
    Awardees must accept the GA grant using MDCAPS within two weeks to prevent cancellation of their award.

Additional Information​

Who may apply: Current high school seniors who will complete a college preparatory program or a student who graduated prior to the current academic year who provides written documentation explaining why they were unable to attend college within one (1) year of graduating from high school.

How to apply:  Complete the FAFSA by March 1st and students who appear to qualify for the GA grant will be notified of additional documentation required (see above steps required for consideration of the 2018-2019 GA grant)

When to apply: For consideration of the 2018-2019 GA Grant, all students (both initial and renewal GA students) must complete the FAFSA by March 1.

All students (both initial and renewal GA students) must submit all documents required for consideration of the 2018-2019 GA grant no later than April 1, 2018. Students who have submitted required documents after April 1st will not be considered for the GA award.

Students will not be considered for the 2018-2019 Guaranteed Access Grant if the FAFSA and all required documents are not submitted by the above deadlines.

​Eligible majors: All majors are eligible.

Eligibility Requirements

You and your parents (if you are a dependent student) must be Maryland residents. You must enroll at a two-year or four-year Maryland college or university as a full-time (12+ credits per semester; audited courses cannot be used to reach the minimum credit hours required for full-time status), degree-seeking, undergraduate student, and you must demonstrate financial need. All applicants must have a minimum, unweighted cumulative 2.5 high school grade point average (GPA) and meet the following income requirements:

2018-2019 Guaranteed Access Grant Family Income Requirements:

​Family Size 130% OF POVERTY LEVEL (NEW) 150% OF POVERTY LEVEL (RENEWAL)
1 15,678 18,090
2 21,112 24,360
3 26,546 30,630
4 31,980 36,900
5 37,414 43,170
6 42,848 49,440
7 48,282
55,710
8 53,716 61,980
Each additional person add 5,434 6,270​


*Special Announcement*

Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP)

The Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP) provides a matching grant award to eligible Maryland students who receive a Guaranteed Access (GA) grant and who enroll at a participating Maryland independent college or university as a new undergraduate student starting in the 2016-17 academic year

The Maryland institutions that are participating include: Capitol Technology University, Goucher College, Hood College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art, McDaniel College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stevenson University, St. John’s College, Washington Adventist University, and Washington College.

You are eligible for a GAPP award if you receive a GA grant, complete the financial aid application process as required by the participating institution, and demonstrate eligibility for institutional need-based assistance. 

The award amounts for the GA grant and matching GAPP grant are determined by your financial need and your chosen institution’s cost of attendance. An eligible student may receive a GAPP grant equal to the GA grant award up to the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees. 

For more information about the GAPP program, please contact your institution’s financial aid office so that they may assist you in completing the process. ​


Financial Need

A GA Grant is determined by financial need. Your need for a GA Grant is determined using the following formula:

                                OSFA College Cost of Attendance
                             -  EFC + or - Regional Cost of Living Adjustment 
                             -  Certain State scholarship awards (if awarded)
                             -  Federal Pell Grant (if eligible)
                             = Financial Need

Award Amount

The amount of a GA Grant equals 100 percent of the student's financial need.  You may hold the GA Grant with all State awards, except the Educational Assistance Grant and the Part-Time Grant. The total dollar amount of all State awards may not exceed your cost of attendance, as determined by your school’s financial aid office or $19,000, whichever is less.

Funds may not be available to award all eligible students.

Renewing An Award

To renew an award, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress at the college you are attending. Students must submit the FAFSA no later than March 1 each year. Eligible students who submit the FAFSA after March 1 will be considered as long as funds remain available. You must also continue to demonstrate financial need. You may receive a GA Grant for a total of four years of full-time, degree-seeking, undergraduate study.

Students must successfully complete at least 30 credits by the end of your second academic year of enrollment and each academic year thereafter. This means that if you are eligible for either the GA grant, you must complete at least 30 credits per academic year, beginning in your second year and thereafter, in order to receive full (non-prorated) eligibility of your State grant award.

Credits earned in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, of the 2018-2019 award year all count towards the 30 credit requirement 

*** If you successfully complete at least 24 credits but less than 30 credits at the end of your second academic year and thereafter, your GA award will be prorated.

CONDITIONS OF AWARD AND OTHER PROGRAM-RELATED FORMS

GA Counselor Certification Form 2018-2019 (PDF)​

Return to Program Description Page​​​​​​​