Senatorial Scholarship

The application period for the Senatorial Scholarship will begin in January, and the application will be uploaded to this website at that time. All applications will be reviewed once they arrive. Please note that the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s website will not be set up to accept those who are chosen to receive the scholarship out of this office until after April 12, 2021. For additional information regarding the Senatorial Scholarship, please click here. For additional scholarship opportunities in the state of Maryland, please visit the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s website at: https://mhec.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

Applications are to be emailed to Obie.Patterson@senate.state.md.us or mailed to Senator Obie Patterson at the James Senate Office Building 11 Bladen Street # 201 Annapolis, Maryland 21401.


Under State law, the Senator selects recipients for the Senatorial Scholarship. This program was established in statue and is administered through the Office of Student Financial Assistance in the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). Maryland statute Title 18, Subtitle 4 (§18-401) establishes the criteria for the Senator to award the Senatorial Scholarship. High school seniors, undergraduates, graduate students and private Career School students may apply for the scholarship. Students can be enrolled full-time or part-time.

A recipient may hold the scholarship for four undergraduate academic years and four graduate academic years, if the full-time student remains a resident of Maryland and takes at least 12 semester hours of under graduate courses or 9 hours of graduate courses. A part-time student may hold the scholarship for eight years, if the part-time student remains a resident of Maryland and takes at least 6 hours of courses. There are specific conditions by which a recipient can request a fifth undergraduate academic year or for a semester subsequent to the end of a fourth undergraduate academic year. Student should contact MHEC directly for the requirements prior to the end of the fourth year’s award.

Senatorial Scholarships are automatically renewed as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic process. Full-time students may receive a Senatorial Scholarship for a total of four years. Part-time students may receive a Senatorial Scholarship for a total of eight years. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by March 1st to be considered for various State financial aid grants and scholarships including the Senatorial Scholarship. You can locate a copy of the FAFSA application at: https://fafsa.ed/gov.

Applicants for the Senatorial Scholarship must:

  • Reside in District 26,
  • Enroll for at least 6 credits per semester,
  • File a FAFSA by March 1 each year,
  • Demonstrate definite financial need, and
  • Be a US citizen or Permanent resident.

Applicants are exempt from SAT or ACT examination requirements if he or she:

  • Has completed a year in good standing at an eligible institution,
  • Graduated from high school at least five years before making the application,
  • Attends or plans to attend a Maryland Community College, and
  • Is accepted for admission at an accredited postsecondary private career institution.

Applicants attending out of state institutions may be eligible for an award if:

  • Studying in an academic area not available in the State,
  • Is hearing impaired and will study out of state in an institution that makes special provisions for the hearing impaired not available in the State, or
  • The individual is on active duty with the U.S. military and his or her domiciled in this State.

Awards are issued by MHEC, are paid directly to the institution and are disbursed twice annually, during the fall semester and spring semester. At the beginning of each semester your institution will be asked to certify that you meet the requirements of the award. When the institution completes the certification and requests the funds, your award will be processed for payment. Payment is made approximately four weeks after the institution completes the certification. Contact your institution’s financial aid office if you have questions about the payment status of your award.

Students must create an account on the Maryland College Aid Processing System (MDCAPS), the system that provides online access to Maryland state financial aid program information. Visit https://mdcaps.mhec.state.md.us to create your private MDCAPS account. Access to MDCAPS allows students to view and manage grant and scholarship information.