Md. Eases Financial Aid Guidelines for BRAC Employees Relocating to State

ANNAPOLIS (July 17, 2008)—Employees and their families relocating to Maryland because of Base Realignment and Closure regulations may be eligible for financial assistance from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and will be offered in-state tuition by most of Maryland's public four-year universities beginning in the 2008-2009 academic year.

BRAC-related personnel and their families must meet Maryland residency requirements to be considered in-state students and to receive financial assistance from MHEC.

According to new guidelines approved by MHEC, the time required to meet Maryland residency requirements (at least 12 months preceding the first day of class) will be waived for U.S. Armed Forced civilian personnel and for defense contractors whose positions are transferred to the State as a result of BRAC. This waiver will also apply to spouses and children. To be considered for the waiver, individuals must submit adequate supporting documentation demonstrating that they are moving to Maryland because of BRAC re-location.

Two of the largest military employers who will be moving to Maryland include Ft. Monmouth in New Jersey and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), based out of Northern Virginia. Ft. Monmouth personnel will relocate to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds while DISA employees will move to Ft. Meade.

"This agreement by the University System of Maryland and Morgan State University will help ease the stress facing these new residents," Higher Education Secretary James E. Lyons, Sr., said. "MHEC and every state agency has worked very closely with the O'Malley-Brown administration to fully accommodate all of those deciding to move to the State because of BRAC."

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. MHEC administers 22 financial assistance programs, including grants and scholarships, providing almost $110 million dollars annually to more than 58,000 students. It serves as an advocate for more than 325,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.

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