ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - A new scholarship program in Howard County announced Friday will double the amount of aid distributed by Howard Community College and the college’s education foundation, officials said.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said he included $2.5 million in his proposed 2015 budget for the Pathway Scholarship Program. Right now, the college distributes about $1.3 million in direct aid.
He said he’s reviewed other community colleges in Maryland, and no other community college receives a similar level of direct aid from its local government.
“Education is the foundation of our community and our economy, and it is why Howard County and Maryland have an exceptional quality of life,” Ulman said in a news release. “We know what the barriers are. They are in cost. They are in time. We can remove those barriers, and we will.”
Ulman said the program will also significantly reduce the debt load of community college students.
In the last year, HCC students borrowed more than $8 million in federal loans, a nearly five percent increase from the prior year.