More students looking to attend McDaniel College now have a chance of receiving up to $100,000 in scholarship money.
The college in Westminster has partnered with 11 community colleges throughout the area to offer Educator's Legacy Scholarships to children of employees at these schools. The scholarship is a $25,000 annual scholarship, or $20,000 per year for commuter students, and is renewable each year to students who maintain continuous enrollment and satisfactory academic progress.
Florence Hines, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions, said the program began last year for any children of K-12 teachers throughout the entire country. The community college partnership is an add on in the second year, she said.
In its first year alone this past fall, the scholarship benefited 56 students, she said.
"It was incredibly popular," Hines added.
And with that popularity came the realization that there was an opportunity to work with community colleges, she said. This past summer, McDaniel started talking with James Ball, president of Carroll Community College.
So children of someone working at Anne Arundel Community College, Carroll Community College, Cecil College, Chesapeake College, Community College of Baltimore County, Frederick Community College, Garrett College, Hagerstown Community College, Howard Community College and Prince George's Community College in Maryland, as well as HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, are now eligible.
"McDaniel College has created a unique opportunity to provide access to a four-year college education to children of our employees who qualify and who are eligible," Ball said in a statement provided to the Times. "McDaniel's desire to provide annual scholarships is very generous. We appreciate being included among the community colleges in this partnership."
There's no cap on the scholarship, Hines said, so essentially the number of students it can help is unlimited. McDaniel's goal is accessibility and affordability, she added, especially when families in the middle class often don't qualify for financial help.
The scholarships will help them make this "financially feasible," Hines said.
McDaniel's president extended the opportunity to Howard Community College in November, Elizabeth Homan, executive director of public relations and marketing at Howard Community College, said. Scholarships begin in fall 2017, she said.
This is the only partnership of this kind the community college has, Homan added.
These scholarships are a wonderful opportunity for the families of employees, she said. It helps families financially and celebrates what faculty and staff do, she said.
"It's supporting them and their children," Homan added. "We're honored to participate."
Howard Community College isn't the only institution happy about the scholarship opportunity.
"[Community College of Baltimore County] is incredibly proud to be one of the inaugural colleges participating in McDaniel College's Educator's Legacy Scholarship program for the children of our eligible employees," President Sandra Kurtinitis said in a statement provided to the Times. "The program is extraordinarily generous and has created quite a buzz in the 30 days since the initial announcement."
The process for accessing the benefit is easy, Kurtinitis said in the statement, and it is "perfectly" aligned with Community College of Baltimore County's commitment to employees.
"Helping to fund a college education is certainly something to be applauded," she added.
What's really helpful, Homan said, is that students can attend the community college their parent or guardian works at for two years before transferring to McDaniel, where they can then be eligible for the scholarship in their last two years.
It's just another way to help students and families save even more money, she said.
Hines said they're happy to have transfer students come from community colleges and benefit from the scholarship their last two years.
"They can do the first two years essentially at no cost," Hines added.
The children of any employee of a K-12 school or at one of the inaugural community college partners qualifies, including teachers, counselors, support staff or administrators, as long as the parent or guardian has at least four years of current and consecutive full-time employment.
Educator's Legacy Scholarships
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Participating community colleges include: Anne Arundel Community College, Carroll Community College, Cecil College, Chesapeake College, Community College of Baltimore County, Frederick Community College, Garrett College, Hagerstown Community College, Howard Community College and Prince George's Community College in Maryland, as well as HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College.