How to Get Money for College in Maryland


What are the types of financial aid?

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA is a form you have to fill out to get federal financial aid.  Colleges and Universities also use FAFSA to award state and college aid.  You will need a FSA ID to “sign” your online FAFSA, make corrections, and more. The process is free. Never pay to apply for federal financial aid.

To fill out the FAFSA you will need:

  • income tax returns (yours and most likely your parents), W-2 forms, other records of income
  • Identification documents (social security cards, driver’s licenses).

Note: Complete the FAFSA starting on October 1. Be sure you meet application deadlines. The priority filing date for Maryland is March 1. Eligibility criteria is available at the Federal Student Aid website.


Ask people in your community about scholarships that may be available to you:

  • Financial aid office of colleges or career schools you are applying to
  • Foundations, religious or community organizations, local businesses, or civic groups
  • Organizations (including professional associations) related to your field of interest
  • Ethnicity-based organizations
  • Your employer or your parents' employers


  • Scholarship Search - Use category or keywords to search for scholarships. Example: music, art, biology (Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor).
  • Student Aid on the Web - Take a career quiz to find a major, use the financial aid wizard to calculate college costs, use the college matching wizard to find a college, and use the college savings calculator to help you save money for college.  (United States Department of Education website).
  • Maryland Higher Education Commission - Programs and application forms for scholarships and grants available to only Maryland students. 
  • College Bound - Scholarships for Baltimore City Public High School seniors. 


Contact the Social Science and History Department for current materials.  Scholarship books for minorities, veterans, women, and more.   

Beware of scams

Be careful where you find information.  For-profit companies try to sell you information you can get for free from scholarships books at your library, and Student Aid on the Web.

If you need more help

Chat with a librarian 24/7 through Maryland AskUsNow! Contact us through our  Ask A Librarian Service, call (410) 396-5430, or write:

Enoch Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201