House Bill 266: Scholarship Award Displacement
How Central Scholarship Led the Passage of the First State Law to Restrict Scholarship Award Displacement
Research Identifies the Issue
- The National Association of Scholarship Providers (NSPA) issued a paper, Impact of Award Displacement on Students and their Families: Recommendations for Colleges, Universities, Policymakers, and Scholarship Providers.
- Dr. Jon Oberg, retired US Department of Education Researcher and federal whistleblower on scholarship award displacement, spoke with Central Scholarship’s Board of Directors.
Develop Public Awareness of the Issue
- Central Scholarship published an op-ed about scholarship award displacement in The Baltimore Sun.
First Year: Legislation is Crafted
- Central Scholarship inspired Delegate Dana Stein to introduce Maryland House Bill 231: Public Institutions of Higher Education – Financial Aid – Reduction Prohibited.
- Delegate Eric Ebersole introduced Maryland House Bill 230: Institutions of Higher Education – Reduction in Financial Aid – Notification in response to a legislative scholarship being displaced by a private Maryland university.
- Public and private higher education institutions in Maryland opposed both bills on the grounds they would be forced to violate federal financial aid law.
- Central Scholarship met with elected officials, built a coalition, leveraged their local and national network and traveled to the Maryland State House to testify in the House and Senate committee hearings.
- The Senate bill passed unanimously but the House bill never received a vote.
Second Year: Legislation is Passed!
- Delegate Dana Stein introduced a bill that would protect private scholarships from being displaced for 138,000 students attending 4-year public higher education institutions in Maryland.
- This bill had strong support by local organizations including the Baltimore Community Foundation, Civil Justice Inc., CollegeBound Foundation, and the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, and by national experts including: Kevin Fudge of American Student Assistance; Mark Kantrowitz, then with Cappex; David Levy, then with Edvisors Network, Inc; and Dr. Jon Oberg, retired from US Department of Education.
- In April 2017, the bill passed in both the Senate and House chambers and it was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan that same month.
- Maryland was the first state in the nation to restrict scholarship award displacement!
Reference / Resource List
- September 2013 National Association of Scholarship Providers (NSPA) paper, “Impact of Award Displacement on Students and their Families: Recommendations for Colleges, Universities, Policymakers, and Scholarship Providers.”
- July 2015 Baltimore Sun op-ed
- Maryland 2017 House Bill 266 “Public Senior Higher Education Institutions – Financial Aid – Reduction Restrictions”
- July 2017, page 1 Baltimore Sun article
- Dr. Jon Oberg, retired researcher from US Department of Education, testimony in US Senate
- Maryland legislative process