Maryland to cover community college tuition

Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan will sign a bill this week granting scholarships to low- and middle-income students from his state to cover up to the cost of tuition for 16 of the state’s community colleges.

“The governor remains committed to helping more students achieve their educational goals and looks forward to signing this bill into law,” Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said in a statement.

In the final minutes of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2018 session last month, the legislative body approved $15 million a year in scholarships — as much as $5,000 per student — for Marylanders starting community college within two years of graduating from high school or obtaining their GED. The bill will also grant $2 million over five years for students seeking to complete their degrees at community colleges and four-year schools.

Hogan’s office earlier confirmed to the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post last week that the governor would sign the bill.

The legislation will go into effect in 2019.

President Barack Obama proposed making community colleges across the country tuition-free in 2015. Tennessee, Oregon, Rhode Island, New York and San Francisco all offer similar tuition-free programs for their residents pursuing degrees from community colleges.