Maryland graduates receive record amount in scholarships

High school gradsMaryland high school students can take heart if they are hoping to get financial help for college — the class of 2015 received a record dollar amount of scholarship offers, according to the results of a new Maryland State Department of Education survey, released today as part of the American Education Week celebration.

Students received more than $1.32 billion in scholarship offers, easily surpassing the class of 2014’s record total of $1.17 billion.

“Postsecondary education has become a necessity in most fields, and every dollar counts for students who are continuing their studies,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith. “Scholarships can make the difference between attending college or missing out. Our goal, as a state, is to provide every high school student with the foundation to follow their dreams.”

The survey found that 17,452 graduates received offers last year – about one-third of the 2015 graduating class of 51,563. The scholarships included more than 100 National Merit Finalists and nearly 400 scholarship offers from Ivy League institutions.

Maryland high school graduates often have a leg up on the students who complete their education in other states. For example, Maryland’s public school system ranks at or near the top in several achievement categories tracked by Education Week, the nation’s leading education publication, according to a press release from the MSDE. In addition, the state has ranked number one in the nation for nine years running in the percentage of graduates receiving high scores (3-5) on the Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Many of those students receive college credit based on those exam results.

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