Why Community College? … To Save $1000s

The cost of higher education has skyrocketed over the past 35 years; it is now the second highest form of consumer debt behind mortgages.

But higher education is more important now than ever before.

“By 2020, 69% of Maryland jobs will require some type of postsecondary education or training.”
– Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce


Maryland’s NEW Community College

Promise Scholarship Program

Starting in the fall of academic year 2019-2020, eligible students can attend community college tuition-free. Maryland has earmarked $15 million per year to help low- and middle-income students attend community college full-time. The Promise program is open to students in both vocational and academic programs.

Click HERE for more information.


Maryland’s NEW

Near-completer Grant Program

Starting in the fall of academic year 2019-2020, and running through 2024, Maryland will make grants available to eligible adults seeking to complete their academic degrees. Grants may be used to complete academic degrees at either 2-year or 4-year institutions. Three-quarters of the degree requirements must have already been met.

Click HERE for more information.

Compare Maryland College Costs

Average Annual Tuition & Fees


Maryland community college students save about 60% compared to students who attend a public 4-year college. They save 76% compared to the average tuition and fees at for-profit colleges, and 91% compared to average Maryland private college tuition.
Additionally, community college students living at home may not have living expenses, which are typically $10,000+ per year.

Sources: All amounts, except for-profit college tuition and fees, are 2016-2017 Maryland college tuitions from College Tuition Compare.com. The for-profit tuition number is a national average calculated by Capsee.

Soaring College Costs

– 2x the increase of healthcare and 4x inflation –

Skyrocketing tuition and fees
Flat family incomes since 2000
Result → steep increases in the college debt levels of Americans.

Source: The Educational Trust, edtrust.org


Effect of Debt

But you need college, or some type of education or training beyond high school. But it costs money, sometimes a lot of money. And student loan debt can prevent or delay your ability to reach your other goals, such as getting a car, your own apartment or house, starting your family or business, or saving for retirement.

In fact, between 20% to 50% of borrowers say that their student loan debt is impacting their ability to reach critical life milestones.


~ $1000 Savings ⇒  College in High School
Dual enrollment programs, also called early college access, offer discounted or free tuition on 4 community college courses.

~ $11,000 Savings ⇒ 2 + 2 Programs & Transfer Degrees
Students who study 2 years at a community college, then transfer and study 2 more years to earn a Bachelor’s degree, save an average of $11,000 on tuition and fees. Plus, the State of Maryland, and some 4-year colleges, offer 2+2 Transfer Scholarships to eligible students. (Transfer agreements between community colleges and regional 4-year colleges facilitate transfer without loss of credit.)

~ $2000/year* Savings  – Statewide & Workforce Shortage Programs
Reduced tuition may be available to students based on the 2 programs outlined below.

  1. Workforce Shortage Programs – Special tuition rates may be available at Maryland’s community colleges for students pursuing education in areas projected to have future workforce shortages.
  2. Statewide Programs – Maryland students pay in-county tuition rates regardless of residence county, if pursuing training in “high-cost” programs as designated by the State of Maryland.

These program areas are evaluated annually by Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), and are subject to change.

~ $#,### Savings – Members-only Scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Students
Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society makes $90 million in scholarships available to PTK members only. PTK International Honor Society is the academic honor society for two-year colleges.

*Estimate based on averaged costs and savings.

Local Promise Programs
at Maryland Community Colleges

The 5 community colleges listed below offer locally-supported promise programs. These college programs typically require: minimum county residency terms; minimum GPA attainment; and a “last dollar” funding approach, meaning students must exhaust both federal and state funds before the college promise funds are available. Click the links below for program-specific information.