HB 118 — Higher Education - Senatorial and Delegate Scholarships - In-state Tuition

Committee: House Appropriations

Position: Support

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington. 

Currently, a student is eligible for a Senatorial or Delegate scholarship if he or she is a resident of the state.  House Bill 118 would expand this eligibility to any student who is otherwise eligible for in-state tuition, while also clarifying a requirement on those seeking Senatorial scholarships to be domiciled in the appropriate legislative district.

A notable consequence of this expansion is to include students who are receiving in-state or resident tuition under the Maryland DREAM Act, thereby offering financial assistance to thousands of students who might not otherwise be able to afford higher education.  The DREAM Act has already been successful in making a college education possible for many immigrant Marylanders.  By making a college education more accessible and affordable to Maryland youth, we are able to provide them with greater opportunities –opportunities for higher education, to acquire job skills, and to have a better chance of supporting themselves and their families in the future.

A student’s economic disadvantages should not hinder them from achieving higher education. Leveling the playing field among those who are driven to pursue higher education is imperative for breaking down future socioeconomic barriers in vulnerable populations such as immigrants and non-citizens. 

The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on House Bill 118.