Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Scholarships are usually based on academic merit or achievements, and grants are usually based on financial need, but some awards use the terms interchangeably or combine both criteria.

Most scholarships require minimum criteria to apply, but only award scholarships to the most competitive applicants.  Final scholarship selection criteria are usually not predefined, but vary with the strength of each year's applicant pool.

The Application Process

Deadlines, eligibility requirements and application processes vary widely between programs.  Carefully review the deadlines and requirements for each scholarship. Some scholarships, including some state aid programs from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) scholarships require applicants to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA.

Explore all relevant scholarships to determine if you are an eligible and competitive applicant, and then apply for as many scholarships as you can. The scholarship search and application process takes time, but it can pay off. Students can receive multiple scholarships as long as the combined totals don't exceed these limits.

Application Tips

  • Carefully follow the deadlines and apply early.
  • Carefully review the eligibility criteria to determine if you are eligible to apply.
  • Carefully follow all instructions and complete the application.
  • Essay Tips: Do research, stick to the word count, and carefully proofread to eliminate mistakes. Build a narrative with a strong beginning, compelling middle, and an ending that clearly responds to their prompt. Show, don’t tell, e.g., “I was a volunteer…” vs. “Though the hours were tiring and the building hot, I loved seeing the smiling faces of the people I helped through my volunteering efforts…”
  • Purpose: Don’t spend time introducing yourself (your name is on the application). Instead, focus on adding your personality throughout the essay to make it shine. Establish your credibility, use imagination, and make your case using logic in the essay — help the scholarship reviewer feel that they know you.
  • Stay Positive! If you don't get a scholarship. Try other scholarships and try again next year. 

Scholarship Programs/Listings

TU Financial Aid Office Scholarship Unit

If you have general questions about how to apply for financial aid, please contact our Financial Aid Office (FAO) at 410-704-4236 or

If you have questions about specific scholarship programs, please contact the FAO Scholarship Unit at 410-704-2647 or .