Between Baltimore and Annapolis, there’s a lot that comes to mind when you think of Maryland’s military history.
During the American Revolution, Maryland’s militia men displayed incredible valor during the Battle of Long Island in 1776. Remembered as the “Maryland 400” this battalion made repeated bayonet charges against a better-trained, larger British contingent. Holding the Maryland Line, the colony’s regiments played a seminal role in the battles that would set the tone for the military culture that developed here over the generations.
With the Naval Academy in Annapolis and more than a dozen other installations around the state, military service intersects with the way of life here, and for a lot of families, is simply part of what it means to call Maryland home.
Many foreign wars have come and gone in the generations since the Maryland 400 held that line, and every single one of them saw countless Marylanders go off to serve and sacrifice with that same level of selfless duty in the face of impossible adversity. But one thing that hasn’t changed here in the Old Line State is that service members, veterans and their families get the respect and support they deserve, both while in the service and while transitioning back to civilian life.
Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Veterans and Dependents’ Benefits
The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) acts as the official State Approving Agency (SAA) for the Maryland Department of Veterans’ Affairs. It overseas 400 postsecondary institutions, determining which schools are GI Bill®-approved.
The MHEC also offers scholarships and other programs to veterans and eligible dependents through its Office of Student Financial Assistance. These programs are designed to augment popular federal VA benefits programs, helping to make college more accessible to more former service members and military affiliated families in Maryland.
Edward T. and Mary A. Conroy Memorial Scholarship Program and Jean B. Cryor Memorial Scholarship Program
These generous scholarships are designed specifically for children, step-children, and surviving spouses of veterans who died in service to our country. In addition, dependents and spouses of the following individuals are also eligible:
If you are a resident of Maryland and your parent, adoptive parent, or spouse was killed in the 9/11 attacks, you’re also eligible for this scholarship.
Applying for the Conroy and Cryor Scholarship Programs
High school seniors, as well as full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students whose parent has made the ultimate sacrifice, are eligible to apply for the Conroy and Cryor Scholarship Programs.
The scholarships aren’t based on financial need, so you won’t have to provide proof of household income or any such details in your application.
You can apply for the scholarship through the financial aid office of the college or university that you attend or were recently accepted to. Every student must submit their applications before July 15 of each year to receive funds for the following academic year. Note that the Maryland Higher Education Commission or its Office of Student Financial Assistance do not process the applications: your school does.
You must attend a postsecondary institution in the state to receive an award from the Conroy or Cryor Scholarship Programs. Out-of-state schools don’t qualify.
How Much Do the Conroy and Cryor Scholarship Programs Award?
These scholarships cover your full tuition and mandatory fees or up to $19,000, whichever is less. For example, if your college’s tuition costs $24,000, you’ll still owe the school $5,000 (plus whatever fees). However, it’s unlikely the scholarship won’t cover your full tuition and fees, as you’ll be paying an in-state tuition rate.
There is an exception to the $19,000 limit. If you attend the University of Maryland University College or the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the scholarships will cover your full tuition and fees. The exception exists because those two schools have the highest annual expenses for full-time resident undergrads than any other schools in the state.
Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts (VAIC) Scholarship Program
The VAIC program is structured to provide financial assistance to vets, active-duty service members, their spouses, and biological dependents. Eligible personnel include any individuals who served at least 60 days in Afghanistan after October 24, 2001 or Iraq after March 19, 2003. This includes any service members who served in contiguous air space or waters.
In addition, reservists and members of the Maryland National Guard who were activated as a result of the Iraqi and Afghan conflicts qualify for the scholarship program. Like those who served in active duty, they must have served as least 60 days in those engagements.
Which Students Can Apply for the VAIC Scholarship Program?
First, you must be a Maryland resident. That includes any active-duty members stationed at one of Maryland’s military bases.
Second, you must have been accepted for admission or currently enrolled in an undergrad program at an approved Maryland institution. You may also be enrolled in a 2-year certificate program from which you can transfer credits for an accredited baccalaureate program. Full-time (12+ credits per semester) and part-time (at least six credits per semester) may apply.
The Application Process for the VAIC Scholarship Program
The Maryland College Aid Processing System (MDCAPS) processes all the applications for the VAIC scholarship. When you first visit the MDCAPS system, you’ll have to create a student account with a user name and password. The system will send a confirmation email, which will activate the account. After logging in, you’ll be able to fill out the VAIC Scholarship application form.
Upon completing the application form, MDCAPS will present a list of required documents you’ll need to upload. The documents you’ll submit depends on who you are:
In all instances – whether you’re a child of an armed services member, their spouse, a veteran, or active-duty – you’ll need to submit documentation of your military orders. Veterans or their relatives must retrieve the DD-214 discharge papers. Keep in mind, the DD-214 orders must state that the discharged service member served in Afghanistan and/or Iraq.
The system will ask you to upload the required documents through a “SECURE UPLOAD” button. Select that option, and then choose “Electronic File Upload.”
Once your application and supporting documentation is submitted, the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) will review everything. If you qualify for the scholarship, they’ll contact you in writing.
How Does the OSFA Award Funds?
The OSFA grants funds on a priority basis, ranked as follows:
- Renewal applicants
- Dependent biological sons or daughters; or spouses.
So, based on the availability of funding, renewal applicants will receive an award before any veterans who are applying for the first time.
Those who qualify for the scholarship will have no more than 50 percent of their annual tuition, mandatory fees and room and board covered. If you’re using other federal programs to pay for your education, the scholarship will supplement those payments: You won’t be disqualified if you’re using the GI Bill®, for example.
Possible Station Assignments and Military Bases in Maryland
As you know, active duty members could find themselves at any corner of the world. However, there are plenty of duty assignments stateside. Maryland is no exception.
Joint Base Andrews was born out of the Civil War. About 80 years later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instructed the Secretary of War to acquire the land in August 1942. Its key role today is to support mission-critical assets, from Air Force One to the UH-1n Huey.
Prince George’s County is a hotbed for whatever activity suits your fancy. Golfers can choose between Gunpowder Golf Club and Enterprise Golf Course. Hikers can visit the Merkle State Wildlife Sanctuary, and the coast is just a short drive away, so there’s plenty of water sports activities to indulge in.
If you happen to be stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), you’re in for a fun experience – whether we’re talking about your duty assignments or recreational pursuits. For one thing, the soldiers at APG evaluate every asset of interest to the Army: from weapons systems to communication technology. In fact, prototypes for the Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) program were tested at Aberdeen.
APG contains 17 million square feet of building space, much of which is dedicated to research and development. However, a portion supports recreational activities. Soldiers will find a golf course, swimming pools, horse stables, skeet and trap ranges, and hunting grounds among other facilities.
Fort Detrick is a U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (MRDC) center. It works with other areas of the government in conducting biomedical research, studying foreign plant pathogens, and setting medical material management standards. Approximately 1,340 active duty personnel work on base with almost 9,000 civilians.
Fort Detrick is about an hour away from Baltimore, so soldiers interested in obtaining a degree won’t have to drive far to find a military-friendly college In addition, the surrounding area offers a range of recreational activities. Adventure Park USA is in nearby Monrovia, and the Weinberg Center for the Arts hosts performances from comedy shows to concerts every year.
Fort Meade positions itself as “The Nation’s Center for Intelligence, Information, and Cyber Operations.” Its operations support the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Security Agency, and the Defense Information School. It’s no surprise that the base is Maryland’s largest employer.
Smack dab between D.C. and Baltimore, the area around Fort Meade offers plenty to do. You can go to D.C. to catch a baseball or hockey game, Baltimore to watch the Ravens, or take a trip to the coast for some Bay-area activities. If you ever wanted to try scuba diving or deep-sea fishing, here’s your opportunity.
Located across the Severn River from the Naval Academy, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis is one of the Navy’s largest installations. Its chief responsibility is to support Midshipmen training at the Naval Academy through providing material and personnel. It contains about 400 buildings spread across 1,500 acres of land.
NSA Annapolis provides a range of family services to those living on base. It offers child and youth programs, including a Morale, Welfare and Recreation program. The base’s Navy Community Recreation organization provides sailors with access to outdoor activities and discounted tickets to attractions.
NSA Bethesda hosts the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and Uniformed Services University. While the latter prepares medical professionals for careers in the DoD and Public Health Service, WRNMMC is one of the most prestigious military medical centers in the nation. It’s at NSA Bethesda where wounded active duty members convalesce from injuries sustained during their service.
NSA Bethesda’s relationship with WRNMMC gives sailors a unique opportunity to see what a career in military medicine looks like. Those thinking of changing NECs could reach out to officers working in the hospital.
When you’re not performing your naval duties, Bethesda can be a great town to have fun. Bethesda Row has a variety of restaurants and several theaters offering live performances. The outdoorsy types can shoot hoops at Cabin John Regional Park or go for a run on the Capital Crescent Biking Trail.
Naval Support Facility Indian Head is situated between the Potomac River and Mattawoman Creek. Both sailors and marines stationed here support the needs of the Department of Defense. It not only oversees domestic counterterrorist operations, but also supports a mix of research and development activities.
Its proximity to the Potomac River gives those stationed at NSF Indian Head an excuse to swim and fish when off-duty. The Indian Head Rail Trail’s a great place for a run, and The Village Green Park and Pavilion has held several outdoor concerts over the years.
Military Friendly Colleges in Maryland that Accept GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program Benefits
Of the more-than 2,000 colleges and universities that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, only around 500 provide full funding and place no limits on the number of eligible students who can take advantage of it. These schools ensure that every eligible veteran who enrolls can count on full coverage of all tuition costs that exceed GI Bill® limits.
You’ll be glad to know that a number of those military friendly colleges and universities are located right here in Maryland:
Anne Arundel Community College
- African American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Futures, Geography, and Sociology
- Architecture and Interior Design
- Astronomy, Chemistry, Physical Science, Physics, and Sustainable Energy Systems
- Biology and Environmental Center
- Business Administration
- Business Management
- Computer Information Systems
- Computer Science
- Cybersecurity, Networking and Digital Forensics
- Emergency Medical Technician
- English and Communications
- Entrepreneurial Studies Institute
- Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Health and Human Services
- Health Technologies
- History, Philosophy and Political Science
- Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Institute
- Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism Institute
- Legal Studies Institute
- Liberal Arts
- Performing Arts
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Physician Assistant
- Psychology and Sports Studies
- Public Health Professions
- Radiologic Technology
- Surgical Technology
- Teacher Education and Child Care Institute
- Transfer Studies
- Visual Arts and Humanities
- World Languages
Capitol Technology University
- Engineering Technologies
- Intelligence and Security Studies
- Management of Technology
- Unmanned Systems
- Africana Studies Minor
- American Studies Major
- Arabic Studies Minor
- Art History Major- See Visual and Material Culture Major/Minor
- Art History Minor
- Art Studio Minor – See Studio Art minor
- Arts Management Concentration
- Asian Studies Minor
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major
- Biological Sciences Major
- Biological Sciences Minor
- Business Management Major
- Business Management Minor
- Chemistry Major
- Chemistry Minor
- Communication Major
- Communication Minor
- Computer Science Major
- Computer Science Minor
- Creative Writing Minor
- Dance Major
- Dance Minor
- Economics Major
- Economics Minor
- Education Studies Major
- Education Studies Minor
- Engineering Science Major
- Environmental Studies Major
- Environmental Studies Minor
- Equine Studies Minor
- French Transnational Studies Major
- French Transnational Studies Minor
- Historic Preservation Minor
- History Major
- History Minor
- Individualized Interdisciplinary Major
- Integrative Arts Studies Major
- Integrative Arts Studies Minor
- Integrative Data Analytics Major
- International Business Concentration
- International Business Minor
- International Relations Major
- International Relations Minor
- Latin American Studies Minor
- Legal Studies Minor
- Literary Studies Major
- Literature Minor
- Music Minor
- Peace Studies Major
- Peace Studies Minor
- Philosophy Major
- Philosophy Minor
- Political Science Major
- Political Science Minor
- Premedical Studies/Prehealth Concentration
- Professional and Creative Writing Major
- Professional Writing Minor
- Psychology Major
- Psychology Minor
- Public Health Minor
- Religion and Justice Minor
- Secondary Education Certification, Grades 7-12
- Sociology/Anthropology Major
- Sociology/Anthropology Minor
- Spanish Major
- Spanish Minor
- Studio Art Minor
- Theatre Minor
- Visual and Material Culture Major
- Visual and Material Culture Minor
- Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major
- Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor
Lancaster Bible College Maryland
- Arts & Sciences
- Bible & Theology
- Business Administration
- Church & Ministry Leadership
- Communication & Media Arts
- Counseling & Social Work
- Health & Physical Education
- Music Worship & Performing Arts
Lincoln College of Technology
- Automotive Technician
- HVAC Technician
- Electronic Systems Technician (EEST)
- Culinary Arts
Loyola University Maryland
- Sellinger School (undergrad, grad)
- School of Education (grad, undergrad)
Maryland Institute College of Art
- Architectural Design
- Art Education 5-Year
- Art History Theory & Criticism
- Film & Video
- Game Design
- General Fine Arts
- Graphic Design
- Interactive Arts
- Interdisciplinary Sculpture
- Product Design
- Art Education MA
- Design Leadership MA/MBA
- Graphic Design MA
- Illustration MA
- Social Design MA
- Teaching MA
- Community Arts MFA
- Curatorial Practice MFA
- Filmmaking MFA
- Graphic Design MFA
- Illustration Practice MFA
- LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting MFA
- Mt. Royal School of Art Multidisciplinary MFA Photography + Media & Society MFA
- Rinehart School of Sculpture MFA
- Studio Art MFA
- Africana Studies
- Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies
- Asian Studies
- ASL Studies & Deaf Education
- BA/MS Pathway – Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Pathway Programs (Structured and Unstructured)
- Business Administration
- Communication and Cinema
- Computer Science
- Cross Cultural Studies
- Environmental Studies
- European Studies
- First Year Seminar
- Forensic Science
- General Science
- Global Fellows
- Health Sciences
- History and Art History
- Interdisciplinary Studies
- International Business
- Honors Program
- Military Science
- Political Science and International Studies
- Religious Studies
- Social Work
- Student-Designed Major and Minor
- Theatre Arts
- Women’s Studies
- World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Saint Johns College
- Classical Studies and Greek
- French History Politics Law and Economics
- Music and the Arts
- The Natural Sciences, Philosophy Theology and Psychology
- Master of Arts in Liberal Arts
- Master of Arts in Eastern Classics
- Liberal Arts Education Certificate
- Combined MA/JD degree
- Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences
- Brown School of Business and Leadership
- Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions
- School of Design
- School of Education
- School of Humanities and Social Sciences
- School of Culinary and Hospitality (undergrad)
- School of Arts and Sciences (undergrad)
Millersville / Owings Mill / Suitland / Rockville / Baltimore, MD
- Associate in Arts in Accounting
- Associate in Arts in Acquisition and Contract Management
- Associate in Arts in Business Administration
- Associate in Arts in Information Technology
- Associate in Arts in Marketing
- Bachelor of Applied Science in Management
- Bachelor of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Accounting
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
- Certificate of Education in Corporate Learning
- Certificate of Education in Educational Administration
- Diploma in Acquisition Contract Management
- Graduate Certificate in Digital Entrepreneurship
- Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurial Leadership
- Graduate Certificate in Finance and Accounting for Entrepreneurs
- Graduate Certificate in Marketing and Branding for Entrepreneurs
- Jack Welch MBA
- Jack Welch Management Institute Executive Certificates
- Jack Welch Management Institute Graduate Certificates
- Joe Gibbs Performance Management Certificate
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Education
- Master of Health Services Administration
- Master of Human Resource Management
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Science in Accounting
- Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance
- Master of Science in Information Systems
- Master of Science in Management
- College of Arts & Sciences
- College of Communications & Fine Arts
- College of Education
- College of Health & Human Services
- Sorrell College of Business
University Of Maryland Global Campus Eglin
- Business & Management
- Data Analytics
- Education & Teaching
- Healthcare & Science
- IT & Computer Science
- Liberal Arts & Communication
- Public Safety
Andrews AFB, MD
- Advertising and Marketing Communications
- Criminal Justice
- Data Analytics
- Educational Leadership
- Health Administration
- Human Resources Development
- National Security Studies
- Management & Leadership
- Media Communications
- Nurse Anesthesia Practice
- Procurement and Acquisitions Management