PGCC Announces Support for Maryland House Bill 16 Signed into Law May 8

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Article by: Tabresha B. Langham

For Immediate Release


LARGO, Md. (May 9, 2018) – Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) is pleased to announce that Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed the Near Completers and Maryland Community College Promise Scholarships bill (HB 16) into law May 8, 2018. This law will effectively make the cost of pursuing a higher education more affordable for recent high school graduates and students who are near completing a college degree in the state of Maryland.

Prince George's Community College President Dr. Dukes is a strong advocate for free community college and often talks about her support of the Prince George’s County Promise Scholarship, which provides recent high school graduates with financial resources beyond federal, state, and private scholarships to complete their education. She also advocates the need for additional financial resources for students who don’t qualify for the Promise Scholarship. The signing of HB 16 into law is a major victory that will not only impact students who recently graduated, but also those students who were near completion but could not continue because of financial reasons. 

The bill will allocate a total of $175,000 to Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) each year for the next five years beginning in 2020 to fund the near-completers program. Maryland Higher Education Commission will receive $125,000 to fund a statewide communications campaign that will market and inform eligible students about the program. It will receive $50,000 to develop and implement a “match program” that will provide last dollar grants on a first-come, first-serve basis to community college students who hold a least a 2.0 grade point average and have accumulated 45 credit hours.

The Maryland Community College Promise Scholarships, including the Prince George’s County Promise Scholarship, will also see additional funding as a result of the new law. The governor will appropriate $15 million to Promise Scholarships beginning in 2020 and each year after that. Additionally, community colleges may not increase the in-county tuition rate over the prior year by more than four percent or the three-year rolling average of the state’s median family income, whichever is higher.

Prince George’s County was among the first five jurisdictions in the state of Maryland to implement a Promise Scholarship Program. The college is proud to be an early adopter of some form of debt-free community college and excited that the scholarship will get additional funding at the state level. 

Eligible students must access all other eligible financial aid before utilizing Maryland’s College Promise Scholarship funds. They also must enroll at a community college within two years after graduation from a high school or successfully completing a GED in Maryland. The students must have at least a 2.3 high school grade point average, demonstrate a financial need, and enroll full-time in a certificate or associate degree program. In addition, recipients must work in the state of Maryland one year for each year of scholarship awarded, or the scholarships convert to loans and must be repaid.

About Prince George’s Community College
Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015-2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually, the college is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enable PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (267-284-5000); Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.