Maryland’s new Community College Promise program

pays tuition for eligible students.

NEW: CC Promise program requirements were revised in 2020. There were 2 key changes of interest to students and families:

  1. CC Promise recipients are no longer required to work full-time and pay Maryland income taxes after completing their college program. This obligation will be waived for students who had previously committed to it. (This former requirement, called the “service requirement” or “service obligation” used to require CC Promise recipients to commit to working FT and paying MD state income taxes for a specified time period.)
  2. Eligibility is no longer limited to students who graduated from high school, homeschool or completed their GED less than 2 years before applying. (Applicants must still meet all other eligibility criteria.)

The CC Promise program: 

  • Is a need-based grant for eligible middle-income students, funded by the State of Maryland.
  • Can pay tuition and mandatory fees from $200 – $5000/year, based on remaining unmet need after other financial aid is applied. 
  • Is not available to all community college students. Eligibility requirements are listed below.
  • Is a relatively new program that’s recently expanded to include noncredit (often career training) programs. Students who want to use the CC Promise to cover tuition for a noncredit program must still meet the application March 1 deadline (see below). They should contact their community college at the earliest opp for further details on how to use the CC Promise for their noncredit programs.

If you find that you’re not eligible for the Community College Promise program, remember there are many other financial aid programs that may help you to attend community college. By submitting your FAFSA/MSFAA (see below) you apply for almost all of those financial aid options.

Every year our community colleges enroll hundreds of thousands of students.
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PLEASE NOTE: Community College Promise information on this website is provided for the convenience of site visitors.
Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) is the authority on the CC Promise and other state financial aid programs.
Visit MHEC’s Community College Promise Scholarship pages for details and deadlines.

The CC Promise – stuff you need to know.

To be eligible:

  • Apply for CC Promise funding no later than March 1 of planned college enrollment year. The March 1 deadline applies to all CC Promise applicants, both credit and noncredit.
  • Have an unweighted, cumulative high school GPA of 2.3 or higher by the end of first semester senior year, or at graduation. Community college student applicants must have an unweighted, cumulative community college GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Have a household income of:
    • $100,000, or less, if single or living in a single-parent household, or
    • $150,000, or less, if married or living in a two-parent household.
  • Be eligible for in-state tuition. Unsure? Click here to contact your local community college admissions office.
  • Enroll full-time at a community college anytime after Maryland high school or homeschool graduation or Maryland GED completion. Note: “Full-time” is defined differently for noncredit students. Discuss details with your local community college.
  • Have not already earned an associate or bachelor’s degree.

Eligibility does not guarantee award. Funds are limited.


Community college Career

Cybersecurity Technician

Education required: Certificate —> Associate degree
Starting salary: $48,580*  —  Average salary: $90,500*
*Salaries are Maryland averages and may be higher or lower in different areas of the state.

A bit more CC Promise stuff to know.

To apply:

  • Create your MDCAPS account (Maryland College Aid Processing System) to receive time-sensitive application status updates from MHEC.
    • Your MDCAPS account can provide access to the MSFAA (see below), if applicable.
    • Your MDCAPS account can provide access to the noncredit CC Promise application, if applicable.
  • Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or MSFAA* (Maryland State Financial Aid Application) by March 1. Students submit the MSFAA* if ineligible to submit the FAFSA.
    • March 1 is the deadline to apply for the Community College Promise and many other state aid and college financial aid programs.
  • List your community college on your FAFSA or MSFAA to ensure your application is considered for the CC Promise program. If you already submitted your FAFSA, and did not include your community college – you can add it until June 30 in 2 ways:
    • Login to your FAFSA (MSFAA) and add your local community college’s Federal School Code (FSC), or
    • Login to your MDCAPS account (see more on MDCAPS below) and click on the “Enrollment” tab, or
    • Contact your local community college with questions.

To apply now, click HERE.


Community college → Career

Heavy Equipment Mechanic

Education required: Certificate
Starting salary: $36,005* — Average salary: $51,111*
*Salaries are Maryland averages and may be higher or lower in different areas of the state.

And more CC Promise stuff you should know.

Eligible programs:

Maryland’s Community College Promise program can cover tuition for:

  • Associate degrees,
  • Approved certificate programs,
  • Registered apprenticeships, or
  • Career training – includes credit or noncredit course sequences that lead to licensure or certification.*

*Discuss career training enrollment options with admissions and financial aid staff at your local community college. Some criteria for ‘credit and noncredit course sequences leading to licensure or certification’ is still under review at Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). The above information is accurate as of February 2021, but students should check with their local community college for details.

Maintaining Eligibility

Prior CC Promise recipients can remain eligible by:

  • Applying annually by March 1 (Students may receive CC Promise funds for up to 3 consecutive years),
  • Maintaining full-time enrollment as defined by their course of study,
  • Maintaining a minimum, cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, and
  • Continuing to meet income requirements.

CC Promise fund recipients pursuing an academic degree at community college and planning to transfer to obtain a bachelor’s degree, may stay and earn their associate degree (usually 60 credits) before transferring, but they don’t have to. However, they do need to complete at least 48 credit hours at community college before transferring to a 4-year institution or they risk losing some of the benefits offered by the CC Promise program.


Community college → Career

Dental Hygienist

Education required: Associate degree
Starting salary: $36,550*  —  Average salary: $82,247*
*Salaries are Maryland averages and may be higher or lower in different areas of the state.