University System of Maryland
First-Year Student Scholarships
FAQ’s for Students - USM Regent Scholarships and Other First-Year Scholarships
1. What are the USM Scholarships and who can apply?
Students entering college for the first time may be eligible for Board of Regents Scholarships for First-Year Students or Maryland Student Support Scholarships. Students are nominated to USM by their USM institution.
Nomination Package Items for USM First-Year Scholarships
The USM First -Year Scholarship review committee is looking for these criteria:
- High school graduate with a 3.8 GPA on an unweighted scale
- Exceptional character, leadership attributes, and the student’s record displays extracurricular activities and community service
- Letter of recommendation from school counselor
- Optional letter of recommendation from a mentor or teacher
- Note that nominees must be U.S. citizens or permanent Maryland residents.
2. Are standardized test scores required for consideration?
Because USM currently has a test-optional policy, institutions may or may not require the SAT or ACT. Consequently, standardized test scores are not required for consideration for USM first-year scholarships. Students who do not submit scores with their application will not be penalized during the scholarship review process; however, if a student had shared their scores as a part of a college application, the USM institution has the option to submit them with their other materials in the nomination package.
3. For high school students planning to take a year break before starting their matriculation at a USM institution eligible to be considered for a USM first-year scholarship?
If the USM institution has approved the student’s request to defer admission until the following year, then the University System of Maryland will also allow the student to delay the use of the scholarship until the student’s first semester of attendance.
4. Are scholarship nominees required to enroll full-time to be eligible?
Nominated students are not required to enroll as full-time students (defined as enrolled in 12 or more credit hours) per semester to be considered for USM First-Year Scholarships. We encourage institutions to nominate part-time students as awards available specifically for these students.
5. How much funding is awarded by the USM First-Year Scholarships?
USM awards different scholarships for first-year students. The USM Scholarship review committee decides which awards nominees receive.
6. Once you have been chosen as a USM Regents Scholar or have been awarded another USM Scholarship, how do I renew my scholarship?
USM scholarships are automatically renewed each year, provided that the scholar continues full-time study toward the baccalaureate degree and maintains at least a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average. USM Regents Scholarships are limited to eight semesters for students entering from high school and are limited to four semesters for students entering from Maryland community colleges.
7. Where should I go for more information about applying for or renewing a USM Regents Scholarship or other USM scholarships?
Students or their institutions may contact Sharon Petty, Academic Programs and Student Enrollment Specialist, at the USM Office of Academic Affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com or phone at (301) 445-1990.
Types of USM Scholarships
USM scholarship awards available to First-Year students consist of two categories: Regents Scholars and Maryland Student Support Awards.
USM Regents Scholarships
- Full scholarships were created to provide financial assistance for outstanding undergraduate students matriculating at USM institutions. These scholarships cover the full cost of education, room and board, and a small stipend for other educational expenses.
- Partial scholarships provide funding that can be used to supplement costs associated with educational expenses. Partial scholarships provide financial support ranging from $4,000-$5,000 per year.
Maryland Student Support Scholarships
- Maryland Student Support Awards are from endowments established through funding from various individuals and organizations. They are smaller partial awards ranging from $500 to $2,000 per year. Student eligibility can be dependent on factors such as institution, intended major, or county of residence.