Financial assistance is available through college, state, and local scholarships, federal work-study, Pell Grants, student loans, and other programs designed to serve residents of Southern Maryland. Eligible veterans may apply for benefits in accordance with federal and state regulations. Details on these programs are available at the college’s website: www.csmd.edu/costs-aid.
Many employers provide tuition assistance to their employees. Students are encouraged to explore this possibility with their employers.
Maryland residents, please be aware of programs (grants, scholarships, loans) that are available through the state. Details on each program and how to apply are located at mhec.maryland.gov/preparing/Pages/FinancialAid/descriptions.aspx.
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
The basic criteria for award selection for federal and CSM financial assistance are financial need, academic record, and/or the special skills or aptitudes of the student. Awards may be adjusted during the year due to changes in funding or the academic status of the student. The award varies and may not cover what the student owes the college. Unless otherwise specified, all forms of financial assistance may be discontinued if the student is not making satisfactory academic progress according to the standards of the college (see Appendix II, Academic Eligibility Guidelines for Financial Assistance Recipients, for complete information).
Applying for Financial Assistance
Generally, students must apply for financial assistance every year. The forms are usually available in January. Applications received before March 1 will be given priority consideration.
Step 1 - Apply for admission to the college.
- Students should take the placement tests and select their eligible programs of study.
Step 2 - Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- The FAFSA is used to determine financial need by calculating the expected family contribution. The FAFSA requires CSM’s college code number, which is 002064.
- Students who filed the FAFSA in the previous year need to complete a renewal FAFSA.
- The FAFSA and the renewal FAFSA are available online at https://FAFSA.ed.gov.
Note: You must reapply for financial aid each year.
Students applying by March 1 will receive priority consideration. The Maryland State Office of Student Financial Assistance also has a March 1 application deadline for many of its awards that students should strive to meet. Early application is encouraged for all financial assistance, but applications are accepted continuously, and awards are made as long as funds are available.
What Financial Assistance is Available?
There are many options available to students seeking assistance in financing their education at the college. These include:
Federal Pell Grants
Awarded based on need. Your need is determined by completing and filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found at https://FAFSA.ed.gov.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
Students demonstrating exceptional financial need may receive FSEOG funds in addition to the Pell Grant. Your need is determined by completing and filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found at https://FAFSA.ed.gov.
Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship
This program provides grant assistance to Maryland residents to attend one of Maryland’s public community colleges by providing tuition assistance for any student eligible for in-state tuition. Recipients are selected and notified by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Students must file a FAFSA form to determine eligibility and additional applications, as required. Detailed descriptions of these programs can be found at https://mhec.maryland.gov/Pages/Community-College-Promise-Scholarship.aspx.
Maryland Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance and Guaranteed Access Grants
This program provides grant assistance to Maryland residents demonstrating financial need, enrolling full time and pursuing an associate’s degree. Recipients are selected and notified by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Students must file a FAFSA form to determine eligibility and additional applications, as required. Detailed descriptions of these programs can be found at https://mhec.maryland.gov/preparing/Pages/FinancialAid/descriptions.aspx.
Maryland State Part-Time Grants
This program provides grant assistance to Maryland residents demonstrating financial need, taking between 6 and 11 credits per semester, and pursuing an associate’s degree. Recipients are selected and notified by the college’s Financial Assistance Department. Students must file a FAFSA form to determine eligibility. A detailed description of this program is at https://mhec.maryland.gov/preparing/Pages/FinancialAid/descriptions.aspx.
Maryland Campus-Based Educational Assistance Grants
Funded by the State of Maryland, these grants provide assistance to Maryland residents who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled full time (at least 12 credits per semester). Recipients are selected and notified by the college’s Financial Assistance Department. Students must file a FAFSA form to determine eligibility. A detailed description of this program is at https://mhec.maryland.gov/preparing/Pages/FinancialAid/descriptions.aspx.
These grants are offered in varying amounts depending on need. Recipients of CSM grants must be enrolled at least half-time and maintain a college cumulative grade point average above the probation level as defined in this college catalog. Recipients are selected and notified by the college’s Financial Assistance Department.
CSM Performance Awards
A performance award is an amount of money awarded to a student who demonstrates a particular skill or talent that can be developed more fully through college programs or activities. Awards can be for potential in an academic discipline, such as business or biology, for artistic or athletic talents, or to promote a training area.
Performance award amounts vary but may be up to full in-county tuition, fees, and books. Generally, performance award recipients enroll for at least half time (6 or more credits per semester) and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0.
Note: Athletic Performance Award recipients require full-time enrollment, and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater.
DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program
Some students who are residents of the District of Columbia and plan to attend CSM may be eligible for financial assistance from the DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program. This program pays the difference between the out-of-state tuition cost normally charged a DC resident and the in-county tuition cost at the college. Recipients must have graduated from high school (or have received a GED) on or after January 1, 1998, and must have begun college attendance within three years of high school graduation. Eligibility for the grant must be certified by the DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program Office, which is part of the DC Mayor’s Office. The Financial Assistance Department at the college will make additional eligibility determinations before the grant can be applied to the student’s bill. To determine eligibility, please contact the DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program Office at 202-727-2824 or toll-free at 1-877-485-6751.
Scholarships for Credit Students
Scholarships at CSM are sponsored by the college, its foundation, the state of Maryland, and by many private organizations, businesses, and individuals. The college offers an online scholarship application. Some scholarships have specific eligibility requirements. For information and to apply go to: www.csmd.edu/scholarshipfinder.
Employer Tuition Assistance
Many employers provide tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement to their employees. Students are encouraged to explore this possibility with their employers’ human resource or personnel offices.
Tuition Rate for Maryland Employers
CSM offers a cost-saving agreement that allows employers located and doing business in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties to be charged lower, in-county tuition rates for their employees who do not live in Calvert, Charles, or St. Mary’s counties. Maryland employers not located in Calvert, Charles, or St. Mary’s counties may be charged a lower, out-of-county tuition rate for their employees who live outside the state of Maryland. For details, call the Bursar’s Office at 301-934-7712 or 240-725-5499, ext. 7712.
Tuition Assistance for Continuing Education Students
Students registering for continuing education classes may be considered for college-sponsored financial assistance. The award varies and may not equal what the student owes the college. Students should visit www.csmd.edu/costs-aid/non-credit-costs-aid or call 301-539-4760 for more information regarding the application procedure.
Tuition Reimbursement Program for Firefighters and Ambulance/Rescue Squad Members
This program is available through the Maryland Higher Education Commission and provides eligible applicants with tuition reimbursement for courses successfully completed while earning a degree or certificate in either fire science technology or emergency medical service at Maryland degree-granting institutions. This program does not reimburse room and board and mandatory or optional fees.
While taking coursework, the applicant must be an active career or volunteer firefighter, ambulance or rescue squad member serving a Maryland community and must remain active for an additional year following completion of the academic year. The applicant must be a Maryland resident and enrolled at a Maryland institution, as a full- or part-time student.
American Opportunity Tax Credit
Starting in the 2010 tax year, the American Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal tax credit of up to $2,500 for qualified education expenses incurred by a student who is enrolled at least half time (6 credits per academic period) in one of the first four (4) years of postsecondary education and who is enrolled in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or other recognized educational credential. In addition, the student must be free of any conviction for a federal or state felony for possessing or distributing a controlled substance. The tax credit is the sum of (1) 100 percent of the first $2,000 of qualified education expenses paid for the eligible student , and (2) 25% of the next $2,000 of qualified education expenses you paid for the eligible student. The taxpayer claiming the credit must be an individual filer earning a modified adjusted gross income of less than $90,000 or a joint filer earning a modified adjusted gross income of less than $180,000. Forty percent (40%) of the American opportunity credit may be refundable, the rest is nonrefundable. The amount of the credit may be limited by the amount of allowable education expenses and the taxpayer income. For more information about the American Opportunity Tax Credit, contact a tax advisor or the IRS.
Lifetime Learning Tax Credit
Taxpayers may be eligible to claim a nonrefundable Lifetime Learning Tax Credit against their federal income taxes. This credit may be claimed for qualified tuition and fees of students in the taxpayer’s family who are enrolled in eligible educational institutions. The tax credit is equal to 20 percent of the taxpayer’s first $10,000 for out-of-pocket qualified tuition and fees. Thus, the maximum credit a family may claim is $2,000. The taxpayer claiming the credit must be an individual filer earning a modified adjusted gross income of less than $60,000 or a joint filer earning a modified adjusted gross income of less than $120,000. The amount of the taxpayer’s lifetime learning credit is phased out (gradually reduced) if the Modified Adjusted Gross Income is between $50,000 and $60,000 ($100,000 and $120,000 for a joint return). For more information about the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, contact a tax advisor or the IRS.
Tuition Waiver for Senior Citizens
If the course has sufficient enrollment, the college shall waive the credit course tuition for Maryland residents who are age 60 and over. Contact the Registrar’s Office. All fees still apply.
Tuition Waiver for Social Security Disabled/Retired Individuals
If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits based on your work record, the college shall waive tuition charges upon confirmation of student eligibility. Students are required to pay all fees. To apply for the waiver, you must obtain a Social Security Disability Waiver form from the college’s Financial Assistance Department. The form must be taken to the Social Security Administration for verification and must be returned to the college’s Financial Assistance Department. If the student is eligible, the waiver will cover tuition charges not covered by other financial assistance. The form must be completed annually.
Tuition Waiver for Civil Service Disabled/Retired Individuals
If you are a former federal employee receiving disability benefits from your federal retirement or pension authority based on your own work record, the college shall waive tuition charges. Students are required to pay all fees. To apply for the waiver, you must obtain a Civil Service Disability Retired Waiver form from the college’s Financial Assistance Department. The form must be taken to the appropriate agency for verification and must be returned to the college’s Financial Assistance Department. If the student is eligible, the waiver will cover tuition charges not covered by other financial assistance. The form must be completed annually.
Foster Care Tuition Waiver
Under provisions of state law, certain individuals who are participating or have participated as foster children in the state of Maryland’s foster care programs may be eligible for a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees at the college. The Maryland Department of Human Resources publishes a roster of potentially eligible persons, which the college uses along with other documentation to determine the student’s eligibility. If the student is eligible, the waiver covers tuition and fees not covered by other financial assistance. Persons who believe they may be eligible for the Foster Care Tuition Waiver should contact the college’s Financial Assistance Department to request a determination of their eligibility.
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tuition Waiver
Under provisions of state law, certain unaccompanied homeless youth who are enrolled as a candidate for an associate, bachelor’s degree or vocational certificate may be eligible for a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees at the college. If the student is eligible, the waiver covers tuition and fees not covered by other financial assistance. Persons who believe they may be eligible for the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tuition Waiver should contact the college’s Financial Assistance Department to request a determination of their eligibility.
Maryland National Guard Tuition Waiver
Under provisions of state law, members of the Maryland National Guard may be eligible for a 50 percent waiver of tuition at the college. To qualify, Guard members must provide an eligibility letter obtained from their Guard unit for each semester that the waiver is requested and must also show a current military ID verifying their active participation in the Guard. These documents must be provided to the Financial Assistance Department each semester for which the waiver is requested.
Health Manpower Shortage Program
A Maryland resident from outside Calvert, Charles, or St. Mary’s counties who enrolls in an instructional program that has been designated by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) as a health manpower shortage program, may be eligible for reduced tuition rates - pending State funding. Out-of-county students enrolling in a Health Manpower Shortage Program are required to pay out-of-county rates at the time of registration. If the State of Maryland funds this program, the College will apply State funds to a student’s account and issue any appropriate refunds in accordance with College policies and procedures. An up-to-date list of these programs can be found on the MHEC web site at www.mhec.state.md.us. Students applying for designated programs must contact the Admissions Department for application information. See Appendix X.
The Federal Work-Study Program is considered a form of financial assistance. The student receives the assistance in the form of wages earned in part-time jobs on campus. Entry-level wages are determined by the current minimum wage law, with wage increases based on seniority and the supervisor’s recommendation. Interested students should contact Career Services. Federal law requires the college to use a percentage of its Federal Work-Study funds for community service employment.
Students are also hired in various jobs throughout the campus. These jobs are not based on financial need. Interested students should contact the Career Services Office to find out what jobs are available. Information about off-campus employment is also found in Career Services.
CSM participates in the Direct Loan Program, which offers several types of loans directly through the federal government. Students complete one application, the FAFSA, for all federal student aid programs, including Direct Loans. Borrowers make loan payments to the Department of Education for the life of their loans. The applicant’s complete loan history, including loans received while attending other educational institutions, will be used to determine eligibility. The interest varies from year to year and is determined annually.
Types of Loans
The following loans are made through the Direct Loan Program administered by the United States Department of Education:
- Direct subsidized loans are for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in a school at least half-time, during the grace period and during deferment periods.
- Direct unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need. Interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.
- Direct PLUS loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.
Information on the Direct Loan Program can be found at the following web site: https://studentaid.ed.gov.
CSM is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Maryland Higher Education Commission, so that eligible veterans, service persons, and certain dependents of veterans may receive VA educational benefits. Eligible persons may receive benefits under one of the following types of GI Bill:
Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill
Chapter 31 - Disabled Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Chapter 32 - Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
Chapter 33 - Post 9/11 GI Bill
Chapter 35 - Dependents Educational Assistance Program
Chapter 1606 - Montgomery GI Bill/Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program
Chapter 1607 - Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
Students interested in pursuing benefits should contact the Veterans Benefits Office. Eligibility for veteran’s benefits is determined by the VA, not the Veteran’s Benefits Office at the College of Southern Maryland. The Veteran’s Benefits Office provides the appropriate paperwork to apply to the VA for benefits and certifies the veteran’s enrollment status to the VA. Veterans who have not previously applied for benefits must contact the Veteran’s Benefits Office to obtain the required applications. Veterans who have previously used benefits at another institution are required to complete a Request for Change of Program/Place of Training form (Form 22-1995 or Form 22-5495 for dependents.) All veterans are required to fill out CSM’s Benefits Request Form every semester if they wish to receive VA benefits for that semester. All VA forms are available online at www.gibill.va.gov. Additional information on using VA benefits at CSM can be found at: www.csmd.edu/veterans.