Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant

IMPORTANT Updates:  Please click here​ to learn more about how to be considered for the 2017-2018 Guaranteed Access Grant  

2016-2017 Application available now in MD CAPS.

2016-2017 Initial Round Awards have been made. Please check your MD CAPS account for updates.

*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. ​

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 and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at, and complete and file the Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant application online at (see below for application instructions)..

When to apply: Students are encouraged to apply by March 1. Applications submitted after March 1 will be considered as long as funds remain available.

​Eligible majors: All majors are eligible.


To apply for the 2016-2017 academic year, please apply through the MD CAPS system at: after January 1, 2016. New users will be required to create a user ID and password.  You will then be sent an email with an activation link.  You MUST activate your account prior to logging in to your account  You will then be able to apply online for programs, as well as check the status of your application.

If you are unable to apply online, contact our office at (800) 974-0203.


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:

2016-2017 Guaranteed Access Grant Family Income Requirements:

1 15,301 17,655
2 20,709 23,895
3 26,117 30,135
4 31,525 36,375
5 36,933 42,615
6 42,341 48,855
7 47,749 55,095
8 53,157 61,335
Each additional person add 5,408 6,240


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


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.

The 2016-2017 GA maximum award is $17,900.​

Funds may not be available to award all eligible students.


To renew an award, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress at the college you are attending. Students are encouraged to 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.


Conditions of Award for New Awardees 2016-2017 (PDF)

Conditions of Award for Renewal Awardees 2016-2017 (PDF)

GA Counselor Certification Form 2016-2017 (PDF)

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