State Financial Aid Grant and Scholarship Appeal Criteria

The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) at the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) understands that students experience special circumstances that may cause them to fail to meet certain requirements for receipt of State awards. Therefore, OSFA has developed an appeal process which allows students, in certain instances, to appeal for (re)consideration of their State award.

Below you will find the 2020-2021 allowable appeal reasons for the Howard P. Rawlings Educational Excellence Awards Program (Educational Assistance Grant and Guaranteed Access Grant), 2+2 Transfer Scholarship Program, and Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship:​


Special Financial Circumstances ​

The financial circumstances of students can change after they have completed and filed the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  If your family has experienced a significant reduction in income, the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) may be able to reevaluate your financial need based on your 2019 income or your total projected 2020 income. To have your financial need re-evaluated by the OSFA a 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. The deadline for submission of this appeal is July 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021academic year.  ​ 


Enrolled In Less Than 12 Credits Due to Disability​

Maryland law requires that a student be enrolled for at least 12 credits each semester in order to receive a Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance (EA) Grant or Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant.  You may be eligible to appeal this requirement and receive an award if you have a disability that prevents you from enrolling in 12 credits. The deadline for students appealing for receipt of their award for the Fall 2020 semester is October 15, 2020 and the deadline for the Spring 2021 semester is March 15, 2021.


Less Than12 Credits​

EA and GA Grant Certification Form for enrollment less than 12 credits

​2+2 Transfer Scholarship Certification form for enrollment less than 12 credits

Promise Scholarship Certification​ form for enrollment less than 12 credits​

Maryland law requires that a student be enrolled for at least 12 credits each semester in order to receive the Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance (EA) Grant or Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant; 2+2 Transfer Scholarship; or Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship.  You may be eligible to appeal this requirement and receive an award if you are enrolled for less than 12 credits and you are enrolled in a specific course or activity (e.g. internship, practicum, clinical). The deadline for students appealing for receipt of their award for the Fall 2020 semester is October 15, 2020 and the deadline for the Spring 2021 is March 15, 2021. 


Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant 5th Year Appeal

The maximum time frame of eligibility for the Educational Assistance Grant is 8 terms. However, there are circumstances which allow students to appeal to receive this award for an additional semester/academic year. The deadline for submission of this appeal is July 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.


Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance Grant 5th Year Appeal​

The maximum time frame of eligibility for the Educational Assistance Grant is 8 terms. However, there are circumstances which allow students to appeal to receive this award for an additional semester/academic year. The deadline for submission of this appeal is July 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.


2.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average- Guaranteed Access Grant Appeal

Students must earn a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) while in high school for consideration of the Guaranteed Access Grant. Students that fail to earn a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in high school because of extenuating circumstances and have been denied a Guaranteed Access Grant may appeal this decision. The deadline for submission of this appeal is July 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.


Howard P. Rawlings GA Grant Delayed College Entrance Appeal​

Students are required to begin college within one year of graduating from high school for consideration of the Guaranteed Access Grant. If a student fails to begin college within one year of their high school graduation, they are denied the Guaranteed Access and can appeal based on certain circumstances. The deadline for submission of this appeal is July 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.


Late FAFSA- Educational Assistance Grant Appeal

For consideration of the Educational Assistance Grant students must file the FAFSA no later than March 1 of each year. If a student does not file the FAFSA by March 1 due to extenuating they may appeal to the OSFA. The deadline for submission of this appeal is July 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.


Credit Completion Appeal Due to Disability

Maryland law requires that a student complete a minimum of 24 credits after the student’s second year of enrollment in order to receive the Educational Assistance (EA) Grant or Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant in the subsequent academic year(s).  Students may be eligible to appeal this requirement if they have a disability that prevents them from completing 24 credits, but have completed at least 18 credit hours. The deadline for submission of this appeal is October 15, 2020 for the Fall semester and March 15, 2021 for the Spring semester for the 2020-2021academic year.


Credit Completion Appeal Due to Academic Program​

Maryland law requires that a student complete 30 credits in order to renew the full amount of the Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance (EA) Grant or Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant, and a minimum of 24 credits to receive a prorated amount after the second year of enrollment.  Students may be eligible to appeal this requirement and receive an award if they were enrolled in a specific course or activity (e.g. internship, study abroad, clinical). The deadline for submission of this appeal is August 1, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

 

Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Appeal Options:

 2.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) Appeal

Students must earn a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) while enrolled at the community college for continued eligibility of the Promise Scholarship. Students that fail to earn a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA because of extenuating circumstances and have been denied a Promise Scholarship may appeal this decision. The deadline for submission of this appeal is July 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.


Allowable Interruptions of Study​​

Students currently receiving the Promise Scholarship who failed to maintain continuous enrollment at the community college due to extenuating circumstances and have been denied a Promise Scholarship may appeal this decision. The deadline for submission of this appeal is July 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.


For questions concerning the appeal criteria and requirements email the Office of Student Financial Assistance at appeal.mhec@maryland.gov or contact us by phone at 410-767-3300.