The Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant (WSSAG) program is for students who plan on working in specific career/occupational programs upon graduation. Eligible fields include: child care, human services, teaching, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, social work, and public service.
Who may apply: Current high school seniors, full-time and part-time, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an eligible accredited Maryland postsecondary institution.
How to apply: Complete the Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant application online at https://mdcaps.mhec.state.md.us and submit official transcripts from all institutions you have ever attended. To be considered based on need, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov for the application year. The FAFSA is not required; however, it will be used to determine the order in which students will be awarded.
Certain majors may require additional documentation, which will be noted on the application.
When to apply: File the WSSAG application by July 1
Eligible majors: Eligible majors and employment fields will be determined by an Advisory Council biennially and will address statewide and regional workforce needs. Employment fields may be limited to certain occupational areas within a field. Eligible majors and employment fields (see website).
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) or part-time (6-11 credits per semester) degree seeking undergraduate student, or a full-time (9+ credits per semester) or part-time (6-8 credits per semester) degree seeking graduate student. Audited courses cannot be used to reach the minimum credit hours for full-time or part-time status.
NOTE: Individuals who have received scholarships in prior years under MHEC’s former career/occupational programs (Child Care Provider; Developmental Disabilities, Mental Health, Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Workforce Tuition Assistance Program) will continue to receive their awards as long as they remain eligible. Students who receive one of these former awards are not eligible to also receive a WSSAG award.
MERIT AND/OR NEED-BASED CRITERIA
Both merit and need-based criteria will be used when making awards. Applicants will be ranked by Grade Point Average (GPA) and then by need within each occupational field. Those students with the greatest need within each GPA range will be awarded first.
To determine a student’s merit ranking, transcripts will be required. To determine the GPA ranking of students, a cumulative, unweighted GPA will be used. If necessary, GPAs will be recalculated to be considered on a standardized 4.0 scale.
To determine a student’s need ranking, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed by the applicant and received by OSFA by the July 1 deadline; however, it is not mandatory to file the FAFSA to be eligible to receive an award.
Award amounts are set at the statutory minimum and are based on the type of institution and the student’s enrollment status. The award is $2,000 per year if attending a Maryland community college full-time (12+ credits per semester) or $1,000 per year if part-time (6-11 credits per semester). The award is $4,000 per year if attending a Maryland four-year institution full-time (12+ credits per semester for undergraduate; 9+ credits per semester for graduate) or $2,000 per year if part-time (6-11 credits per semester for undergraduate; 6-8 credits per semester for graduate).
The total dollar amount of all State awards may not exceed a student’s cost of attendance as determined by the school’s financial aid office or $19,000, whichever is less.
Year of Need: College Freshman, College Sophomore, College Junior, College Senior, 1st Year Grad, 2nd Year Grad,
Num Awards: Multiple
Min Award: 1,000
Max Award: 4
Maryland Higher Education Commission
6 North Liberty Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Contact Person: Benee Edwards Outreach and Grants Management Coordinator
Phone: (410) 767-3300 / (800) 974-0203
Fax: (410) 332-0250