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Office of Financial Aid
Glendening Hall, Room 130

Nadine Hutton, Director

Denise Merican, Assistant Director

Robert Maddox, Assistant Director 

Marsha Wilcox, Financial Aid Coordinator

St. Mary's Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based Aid

St. Mary's College of Maryland recognizes that College is a major investment for most students and families. There are two types of need-based aid:

  • gift aid (grants)
  • self-help aid (Federal Direct Loans and Federal Work-Study)

In order to be considered for need-based aid, you must annually complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The federal processor must receive your FAFSA by February 15th for priority consideration. Those students who demonstrate the most need are considered for the most gift aid. Need-based aid can also be combined with merit scholarships. Need-based aid from St. Mary's may be used in certain circumstances to support study abroad opportunities in approved St. Mary's programs.

The Financial Aid Office can provide a wealth of information about the variety of need-based aid programs available. Once you receive your offer of admission and pay your deposit, you can monitor the financial aid process online at the Office of Financial Aid's secure Seahawks website.  

Merit Awards (Scholarships)

Merit awards recognize academic achievement and co-curricular accomplishments and are given on a competitive basis without regard to financial need. 

Applicants are reviewed for scholarships by the Scholarship Review Committee with consideration given to academic records, standardized test scores, strength of curriculum, essay, recommendations, and co-curricular activities. St. Mary's does not use set formulas for determining Merit Awards. Each student applicant is evaluated holistically by the Scholarship Review Committee. Recipients of Merit Awards typically have challenged themselves with rigorous courses of study such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and/or honors courses. Awards are renewed for up to four years of full-time study at St. Mary's as long as the student remains in good standing and completes at least 12 graded credits each semester. The total amount of scholarships received from St. Mary's may not exceed the cost of in-state tuition. Tuition waivers are scholarships and count toward this limit. Scholarships from outside sources do not count nor do need-based grants from St. Mary's or other sources.. 

St. Mary's Academic Achievement Awards range from $3000 to $8500 and are awarded to recognize outstanding academic achievement. While there are variations, recipients of this award typically rank in the top 10% of their class, present a cumulative GPA exceeding 3.5 (3.9 weighted), and achieve a combined SAT 1 score of 2000 or higher.

Paul H. Nitze Scholars Program Awards Each year St. Mary's admits about 14 entering students into the Paul H. Nitze Scholars Program. In addition, several students completing their first year of study at St. Mary's are invited to become Nitze Scholars. Nitze Scholars have demonstrated commitment to the liberal arts and sciences through outstanding academic success, and a commitment to the improvement of society through leadership and service. Each scholar receives $3000 per year in addition to any other merit awards, renewable for up to four years of participation in the program. Application is by invitation of the Nitze Scholars Committee, administered by the faculty. (Contact Dr. Michael Taber,, for more information.)

STEM Navigators Scholarships range from $5000 to $10,000, and are available to outstanding students pursuing degrees in STEM fields (Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics). Students must demonstrate financial need, and students from groups underrepresented in the sciences (including women, minorities, and first-generation college students) are particularly encouraged to apply. In addition to scholarship support, STEM Navigators will participate in evening workshops in their intended major, as well as field trips and enrichment workshops. Applicants who maintain good academic standing in a STEM field will have their scholarship renewed for up to four years (for incoming first-year students) or two years (for transfer students). The STEM Navigators program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Click here for more information.

Presidential Merit Awards range from $500 to $2000, and recognize a combination of academic achievement and outstanding co-curricular accomplishments. Recipients of this award normally rank in the top quarter of their class, present a cumulative academic GPA of 3.3 (3.6 weighted) and achieve a combined SAT 1 score of at least 1900. Candidates must also demonstrate significant achievement in co-curricular activities as identified in the student's application and letters of recommendation. Such activities include but are not limited to art, communications and media, community service, employment experiences, creative writing, debate/forensics, Eagle Scout or Gold Award, internships, environmental service clubs, math and science fairs and competitions, Model United Nations, music, peer mentoring, student government, theater, or YMCA/YWCA.

(Students may not receive both a St. Mary's Achievement Award and a Presidential Merit Award.)

First-Year Excellence Awards Students who did not receive a merit scholarship from St. Mary's at entrance, but who complete their first year of study at St. Mary's with excellent grades in 32 or more credits, will be considered for this award in amounts ranging from $500 to $2000.

St. Mary's Transfer Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to transfer students with outstanding college grades. Recipients of this award typically present a rigorous course of study and a cumulative college GPA exceeding 3.5. Transfer Scholarships range from $500 to $5000 per year.