Maryland higher education: the state gives and takes
Gov. Martin O'Malley just announced that he will restore funding to the Distinguished Scholars program. In a statement he called the cut an "error" saying that he never intended to revoke funding from students who had received awards.
"It was never our intention to impact prior awards," said O'Malley in a statement. "Clearly, our commitment to honor existing awards was not fulfilled and I’ve directed [the Maryland Higher Education Commission] MHEC to immediately correct the error and restore the four-year scholarships to all seniors who were expecting their award."
** ORIGINAL POST
Roughly 350 top-performing Maryland seniors learned earlier this month that they won't be receiving scholarships from the state for college next year, The Sun reported this morning.
The reason: The $1.35 million Distinguished Scholars program was included in a package of budget cuts offered by Gov. Martin O'Malley and approved by the General Assembly. "When we're dealing with the kind of recession we've been dealing with, every program can't be protected," said Rick Abbruzzese, a spokesman for O'Malley.
The awards, worth $12,000 over four years, only go to the state's best and brightest, like Lindsay Michocki (pictured on the right). She took 11 AP courses, graduated top of her class and was recruited by the Ivy League. Her scholarship was rescinded.
The Sun also reported today that the state is expanding funding for a different set of high school graduates -- illegal immigrants. O'Malley on Tuesday signed into law the Maryland Dream Act, a bill that offers discounted tuition to undocumented residents who've attended three years of high school and paid taxes.