(July 25, 2017) The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) has shared important information regarding upcoming changes that may impact award eligibility for recipients of the Educational Assistance (EA) Grant and Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant Programs:
During the 2016 Legislative Session, the College Affordability Act of 2016 (Chapters 689 and 690) was enacted, requiring students that are recipients of the EA & GA grant to successfully complete at least 30 credit hours by the end of the students’ second academic year in order to receive full (non-prorated) State funding in the subsequent year. While these provisions will not become effective until the 2018-2019 academic year, it is imperative that students plan accordingly now as the number of credits they will earn in the 2017-2018 year may affect their award eligibility for the 2018-2019 award year.
Key factors for HCC students on the “15 to Finish” track (meaning 15-credits per semester, equals 30 credits per year, plus max state award, equals on-time completion) during the renewal process are as follows:
- Recipients of the EA or GA awards must successfully complete at least 30 credits by the end of the second academic year of enrollment and each academic year thereafter. This means that students who are eligible for either the EA or GA grant must complete at least 30 credits per academic year, beginning in their sophomore year and thereafter, in order to receive full eligibility.
- Credits earned in the fall, spring, summer semesters, all count towards the 30 credits.
- If a student successfully completed at least 24 credits but less than 30 credits at the end of the second academic year and thereafter, their awards for either the EA or GA program will be prorated. For example, a student who earns 24 credits, may expect their $3,000 EA grant to be adjusted by calculating 24/30 x $3,000 for a total award of $2,400.
For questions regarding student financial aid, contact HCC’s Financial Aid Office at 240-500-2473. For more information regarding the upcoming changes to the EA and GA grant programs, visit http://mhec.maryland.gov/preparing/Pages/FinancialAid/EEAProgramChanges.aspx.