ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today signed Executive Order 01.01.2016.03, creating the Maryland Early Graduation Scholarship Program, a new initiative that will make college more affordable for students that complete high school in three years or less. Under the program, eligible students will receive a one-time scholarship up to $6,000 for tuition and expenses at any approved postsecondary educational institution in Maryland.

“The best and most important part of this program is that it makes college more affordable and more accessible for Maryland students and families,” said Governor Hogan. “It’s also a smart use of tax dollars. By encouraging high-achieving students to complete high school a year early, the state can reallocate what would have been spent on a student’s last year of public high school, and help with the first year of college instead.”

Last year, 1,065 students across Maryland graduated prior to the start of 12th grade. Since 2010, an average of approximately 1,000 students have graduated early.

This new program will be administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and will be available to students planning to enter college in the fall of 2016. Eligible applicants for the scholarship must be residents of Maryland and enrolled at a publicly supported school on a full-time equivalency basis.

Additionally, participating students must meet the requirements set forth by the Maryland State Board of Education for granting a high school diploma by the end of grade 11. Applicants for the scholarship must secure acceptance to an approved postsecondary educational institution within six months of graduating high school.

Since taking office, Governor Hogan has consistently advocated for innovative educational solutions to help ensure that every Maryland child has access to a great education. Other key education initiatives from the Hogan administration over the past year include the Maryland Education Tax Credit and the Public Charter School Improvement Act of 2015 legislation and the launch of P-TECH schools in Maryland and the Bard High School Early College Program.