St. Mary's College of Maryland

Campus Resources & Services: Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Caroline Bright, Director
Glendening Hall 130, 240-895-3000

St. Mary’s College of Maryland is committed to providing access for all qualified students regardless of their financial circumstances. The College awards four types of aid: need-based grants, academic scholarships, employment, and loans. Students applying for most types of financial assistance must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens.  Financial aid is available to students studying abroad in approved St. Mary’s programs.

Need-Based Awards   A family must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for federal, state, and college financial assistance programs. A new FAFSA must be filed every year. To be eligible for need-based aid, students must file the FAFSA prior to March 1. Students who file after March 1 are removed from consideration for certain Maryland aid programs and the availability of aid from St. Mary’s may be jeopardized. (Students applying for admission to the spring term must file by November 15.) Be sure to designate St. Mary’s College of Maryland to receive the FAFSA information, using Title IV code: 002095. Visit

Merit Awards (Scholarships)  Merit Awards recognize academic achievement and co-curricular accomplishments and are given on a competitive basis without regard to financial need. Awards are renewable provided the student continues to earn at least a 3.0 GPA in 12 or more graded credit hours per semester.

For students planning to enter the College for the Fall 2013 semester or after, there will be a priority consideration process for merit scholarships and applicants should apply for admission and merit scholarships by November 1.  This is NOT a binding early decision deadline and is designed to provide adequate time for thorough and careful review of scholarship applications.  Scholarship applicants will be notified of their award at the regular decision notification date of April 1.

New applicants (entering Fall 2013 and thereafter) for Merit Awards must file the FAFSA by March 1. Although Merit Awards are not based on financial need, the filing of the FAFSA is required to make sure students receive all the need-based aid for which they are  eligible and to collect demographic data on recipients of institutional funding requested by the state of Maryland.

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 maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in at least 12 graded credits each semester.

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 academic 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.)

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.