Maryland’s Free Community College Initiative Gets Off to a Slow Start

Maryland’s foray into tuition-free public higher education is off to a rocky start, with far fewer students than expected taking advantage of the state’s community college scholarship after a harried rollout of the program.

Last month, the state awarded its first round of Maryland College Promise scholarships to 1,278 students. Nearly 1,700 other students could receive money if they submit information missing from their applications. Still, that’s a sliver of the roughly 13,000 students the Maryland Association of Community Colleges projected could benefit.

“We’re disappointed in the numbers. No question about it,” said Bernard J. Sadusky, executive director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. “There is a population out there that we haven’t reached for one reason or another.”

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