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Transfer Scholarship Planning

General Financial Aid Planning Pages

If you plan to apply for financial aid next year, submit the FAFSA as soon as possible!
(You don't have to have an application for admission completed at the time that you file the FAFSA - 
just list the school names & codes on the FAFSA form)

  • Montgomery College's Financial Aid Web Page
  • Student Financial Assistance, from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid A "free, comprehensive, independent & objective guide to financial aid."  This  page lists several scholarship search programs, instructions for the federal form, information on loans & lenders, and college planning sites.  Also includes a free "Financial Aid Expected Family Contribution Form" which allows parents/students to enter data to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and financial need, and to estimate your student financial aid.
  •   To apply for student financial aid from the federal government, including the Pell Grant, Perkins Loan, Stafford Loan and work-study, you will need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  There is no charge for submitting this form. The FAFSA is also required by all state and many school student assistance programs. Remember that you must also complete applications for aid at each institution that you wish to attend.  Go to the MC Financial Aid Web Page for Montgomery College information.
  • Pay for College - a comprehensive site from The College Board, including Tackling the FAFSA, Financial Aid Myths, and Your Aid Award Explained, an overview of the types of aid colleges offer students - grants, loans, and work-study.
  • College Data - Pay Your Way
  • An excellent starting point.
  • Ways to Pay for College The College Board
  • Student Loans
  •   - programs through the Student Loan Corporation and scholarship information.
  • Scholarship Scams and Frauds - there are MANY out there, please read this information to be sure you don't get caught in one...  

Using a Search Engine

Try several search engines (,, etc. ) and type in the words of a particular scholarship area (for example, "psychology scholarships" or "business scholarships."   You may also try general searches such as "free scholarships", "transfer scholarships" or "Maryland scholarships"  to develop lists.

Scholarships by Major:  search for national associations for your major on a search engine using the words "association" or "society" - for example, "engineering association" and "engineering society" should link you to groups that may offer scholarships.

Free Financial Aid Search Programs  

Before you begin, please read Scholarship Scams - Don't Pay Money to Find Money!

Use any combination of free scholarship search programs and web search engines to explore scholarship opportunities for use at Montgomery College and for transfer to four-year institutions.  When using ANY internet resource for scholarships, use only programs that are free.  Do not use any programs that ask for personal information from you (home address or credit card number) beyond your name and e-mail address.  On many sites, listing your home address is optional - skip it unless you want to be flooded with mail.  We recommend that you set up a separate e-mail address on a free service like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, just for the purpose of college business (searching for schools, scholarship searching).


Search diligently and come back often. Scholarships change and new ones are added.
Don't limit yourself to one academic major. Select multiple majors to see what's available.
Select "No Academic Major" to see the scholarships and financial aid awards available to students regardless of their field of study. Some scholarship awards are based simply upon the student's desire to attend college, with no consideration for the student 's intended major.
Visit MC's Career/Transfer/Student Success Center, the public library and college Financial Aid Offices to look for small, local awards that aren't posted on search engines or in books on scholarships.

State of Maryland Scholarship & Financial Aid Information

The MARYLAND HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION offers these programs for Maryland residents. Visit this site for descriptions of programs, eligibility and the application process.

Use the Maryland State On-Line Scholarship Search to see if you have the qualifications for specific programs.

Phi Theta Kappa

Members of Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society of two-year colleges, are eligible for many scholarship opportunities at four-year institutions.  Examples of Maryland schools offering PTK scholarships are:  College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Goucher College, Hood College, Johns Hopkins University of Professional Studies in Business & Education, McDaniel College, St. Mary's College of Maryland, Towson University, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland - Baltimore County, Villa Julie College, and Washington College. For the complete scholarship list in all states, visit: 

Phi Theta Kappa is the national two-year college honor society. The Kappa Omega Chapter was established at Montgomery College in 1960. All Phi Theta Kappa chapters are sponsored by the Student Life Office of each campus.

To be considered for election to Phi Theta Kappa, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 for a least 15 credit hours of course work at Montgomery College and be enrolled in a degree program or transfer curriculum. A cumulative grade point average of 3.4 is required to maintain membership. Election to Phi Theta Kappa represents one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a student at Montgomery College.

Students interested in becoming provisional members of Phi Theta Kappa should contact the Phi Theta Kappa adviser at the campus they attend or visit the Office of Student Life for information. 

Organizations and Affiliations

Contact local organizations. Call community organizations, such as the Elks or Jaycees, religious or ethnic organizations, youth organizations, fraternities and sororities, and alumni groups. Contact your local chamber of commerce to learn if any local businesses offer awards.

Organizational Affiliation - If you or either of your parents are affiliated with an organization or field of work, you may be eligible for this type of scholarship. Affiliations might include: religious affiliation, union membership, and affiliation with an employer or field of work, military affiliation, club, or association.

The Academic Common Market

Study Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech and pay in-state tuition prices!  This is just one example of an Academic Common Market major.  Through a partnership of 16 Southern public institutions, students who wish to major in subjects generally not offered by public schools in Maryland can attend out-of-state schools and pay in-state tuition. 

Financial Aid & Scholarship Listings by Local Colleges & Universities

Most colleges and universities not only list scholarships available to their own students - they also have extensive pages giving advice on searching for scholarships.  On any college main page, visit the Financial Aid link for scholarship information.

Completing an AA Degree

Some transfer scholarships require the completion of an Associate's degree as a qualification for consideration.  Where do you stand in the degree completion process?  Use these degree planning worksheets (best viewed with Internet Explorer) to outline courses you've completed and see an MC counselor on any campus to discuss your progress.

Application and Essay Tips

Letters of Recommendation

Students often ask faculty members for recommendations for college applications and scholarships. Some applications include blank recommendation forms - others instruct students to ask for a letter of recommendation.

Student Questionnaire   Use this questionnaire to provide background information to faculty members to make their letter-writing more effective.  This Word Document also includes a generic recommendation form.  Follow the exact instructions of the scholarship application.

For faculty - see Writing A Letter of Recommendation from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University for additional information.

Make Yourself an Attractive Scholarship Candidate...

Merit scholarships are typically awarded on the basis of academic, athletic or artistic merit, in addition to special interests. Some merit scholarships also consider financial need, but rewarding talent is the primary objective. MANY, many scholarships are awarded to students who have "demonstrated academic excellence and have leadership qualities."  So how do you get there?

  • Get involved in activities!  Join student clubs, take on leadership roles, look into internships, community service, volunteer work...  Look for ideas @ your campus's Office of Student Life.
  • Take challenging courses!  Honors classes (minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 required) allow you to demonstrate your academic ability and cultivate relationships with professors.  In regular classes, get to know your professors.  They are the people who will write letters of recommendation on your behalf.  Choose classes with the assistance of an MC counselor - don't self advise!
  • Look at small, private colleges and universities in addition to state schools.  Small, private schools often offer more generous awards to students than do state schools.  
  • Consider other specialized schools - women's colleges and historically black colleges and universities have additional opportunities.

Athletic Scholarships

Athletic scholarships are strictly governed by the NCAA -  The National Collegiate Athletic Association Their website is THE authority on the subject of athletic scholarships.

Other Useful Links

Click Here for  New Scholarship Announcements...

Contact Us

After you've thoroughly investigated each of the links on this page, you can contact the Transfer Scholarship Counselor on your campus for further assistance:

  • Germantown:  240-567-7770.
  • Rockville:  240-567-5088
  • Takoma Park/Silver Spring:   240-567-1480.
Last update:  8/23/11

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


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