Get the latest updates on 2022-23 scholarships, emergency funding, and operating hours. View All Updates »

Brett, College Cash Winner

Brett, College Cash Winner

Posted: 07.31.14

College Cash Scholarship recipient Brett Libowitz
Congratulations to Brett Libowitz, our 2014 College Cash Grand Prize Winner and July’s Scholar of the Month!  Brett graduated from high school this past spring and he will begin studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Virginia this month.  Read his essay below:

The single most important thing I learned at the College Cash 101 event was to advocate for myself. Prior to the seminar, I thought the financial aid and scholarship process was out of my control. I planned to apply for scholarships and aid, submit my paperwork, and let the process take its course. However, the information I received encouraged me to exhort time and effort in order to oversee and manage the process and ultimately make my financial goals a reality.

I discovered that there is scholarship money available that is not advertised, but can be tapped into by reaching out. Since the “Cash 101” seminar, I have contacted the four senators and delegates of the eleventh district to receive scholarship applications and I have begun to apply. In the past, I searched college’s websites for scholarship opportunities, but I learned that there may be more opportunities available if I ask the offices of admissions or contact specific departments.

The meeting highlighted essays as a place to promote myself and explained how to do so. This meeting began to teach me the value of showing rather than telling in personal essays. For example, I was able to replace a statement about my dedication in training for the Baltimore Marathon with recollections of twenty-one mile training runs early on Saturday mornings. In this example, I was able to make a stronger statement about myself by showing my experience rather than merely stating it. This seminar charged me to portray myself in the best light possible in order to achieve my goals in the college application process.

Prior to the session, I believed that the financial package I was dealt was incontestable, but learned that I can go to the financial aid office and request an improved package I feel I deserve. As a result of the information provided, I will potentially take two actions I would not have otherwise. If I truly desire to go to a university but cannot justify the cost as is, I will communicate with the financial aid office seeking money available for prospective students in my situation. Secondly, if I lose need-based aid because I receive private scholarships I will argue to redeem these need based federal funds. I learned that it is worthwhile to make an attempt at requesting changes to my financial aid and grant money.

Central Scholarship’s College Cash 101 event empowered me with the information necessary to put my best foot forward in my ventures to receive financial assistance for my higher education.

Although I found the program to be extremely informative, I would have liked more information on when a more expensive college is worth the cost of attendance. I would have appreciated more coverage on the factors to consider in making a decision like this. I feel a section next year based on when it may be worthwhile to spend more on college would be beneficial, but either way I am grateful for the commitment Central Scholarship makes to those seeking an affordable college experience!

Please join us for upcoming College Cash events throughout the year for opportunities to win scholarships and learn about the financial aid process.

Shoe City Application Remains Open Until May 31st

Posted: 04.18.13

Shoe City logo
Our general application is closed as of April 1st, but one scholarship application remains open for undergraduate students.  Central Scholarships awards four students with a Shoe City Scholarship every year.  The students must be graduating seniors from Maryland or Washington, D.C.  Eligible applicants should have been accepted to and planning to attend college full-time in the Fall of 2013.  Preferences toward applicants who are residents of Baltimore City, Prince George’s County, and Washington, D.C.  To apply, click here.

Diana Ramirez received the Shoe City Scholarship last year.  She is the first of her siblings to graduate high school as well as being the first to continue on to college.  Despite the pressures of being one of the primary providers for her family, Diana is a student at Notre Dame University of Maryland.  She works two jobs on campus, as a student aid in the school’s Academic and Career Enrichment Center and as a Spanish tutor in the school’s language lab.  Diana is from Prince George’s County and she writes, “Being able to study in a place like Baltimore has opened so many doors for me.  I have gone places I’ve never visited, and have made friends with people also working for their education.  Of course life has its ups and downs, but I am definitely not letting it bring me down no matter how hard it gets. Thank you, Shoe City Scholarship donors, for helping me embark on such a journey.”

2013 Application Now Closed

Posted: 04.03.13

"Sorry We're Closed" sign

The scholarship application for undergraduate and graduate school funding is now closed.  As we sort through 5,520 applications, we look forward to choosing the most competitive and deserving students to receive scholarships.  Semi-finalists will be selected in the comings months and final decisions will be made by mid-July.  If you applied, please continue to check your e-mail in the coming months to learn if you are a semi-finalist.

The only scholarship program that remains open until April 15, 2013 is for the Charles Crane Family Foundation Grant for Jewish Studies.  This particular scholarship awards up to $5,000 to students pursuing  Judaic studies in the US and Israel.  Students may apply for this program here until April 15, 2013.

Our Vocational and Certificate Training scholarship application remains open year-round and we award vocational scholarships on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Don’t Be an April Fool

Posted: 03.26.13

Woman taking a photo of a recent graduate with family

Don’t be an April fool, submit your scholarship application today!  Central Scholarship’s application deadline is April 1st – five days away!  Why not turn off your TV, have a working lunch, or stay up a little later to apply?

1. It’s EASY!
No letters of recommendation are required and your resume is optional.  We only ask for a couple of paragraphs and your Student Aid Report.

2. ONE Application -> Dozens of Scholarships
Once you submit your general scholarship application, Central Scholarship does all of the work for you!  We match you with scholarships from over 40 different scholarship programs.

3. Local Scholarships = Less Competition
When you apply for national funds you compete with thousands of students.  With Central Scholarship, you will compete with far fewer students, giving you a 1 in 10 chance of winning.

4. Interest-Free Loan Program
Scholarship applicants are also able to apply for Central Scholarship’s interest-free loan program.  Students only pay back exactly what they borrow, there are absolutely no fees or interest.

5. Scholarships for ALL TYPES
Central Scholarship has funds for which students?
a. high school seniors planning to go to college for the first time
b. undergraduate and graduate students
c. students pursuing professional degrees in fields like social work, medicine, health finance, or law
d.  students seeking non-degree career or technology training

Click here to read student testimonials at!


Happy International Women’s Day

Posted: 03.08.13

Marjorie Cook Endowed Scholars Program award recipient Ebony Thompson

Ebony Thompson, a third year law student at the University of Baltimore, is an upcoming Summer Associate at Venable LLP and winner of the Byron Warnken Moot Court Competition. Ebony is twice published in the University of Baltimore Law Review. Ebony aspires to become a law firm partner, outstanding commercial litigator, and to continue to impact her community through involvement in Delta Sigma Theta, the Black Law Association, and the Homeless Persons Representation Project.  Ebony is our March Scholar of the Month.

In 2o12, Ebony received funding from Central Scholarship’s Marjorie Cook Endowed Scholars Program.  This fund offers multiple awards of up to $5,000 for female graduate students studying law or public policy.  Fitting candidates are committed to empowering women and advancing their social status through careers in law or as policy makers.  Eligible applicants must be Maryland residents, US Citizens/Permanent Residents, have a family income below $90,000, have a GPA of 2.7 or higher, and be enrolled in or applying to an accredited U.S. college/university.  Central Scholarship is proud to help women succeed and afford an education.  The application deadline for 2013-2014 academic year scholarships is April 1st, 2013.  Apply now.

Join us this month for COLLEGE CASH 101

Posted: 01.07.13

College Cash 101 Invitation

Join us for this year’s COLLEGE CASH 101 sponsored by BB&T, Howard County General Hospital, and SECU– a free seminar we offer to undergraduate students and high school seniors.  Why attend COLLEGE CASH 101?

1. Opportunity to win $2,500 in scholarship awards available only to those who attend

2. Network with Central Scholarship decision-making staff

BB&T logo3. Learn how making smart choices can help you avoid debt and set you up for success

To accommodate students living in different parts of Maryland, we have two sessions at different locations available this year.  Please choose which session you will attend below.  The same material will be covered at each location.

Tuesday, January 15th

Howard County General Hospital logoUniversity of Baltimore School of Law, Moot Court Room, 1415 Maryland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201

5:30-8 pm *snow date for this event is January 22nd

Register here for the January 15th session. 

Directions to the UB School of Law.  Parking will be validated at the Fitzgerald garage and the Maryland avenue garage.

SECU logoThursday, January 31st

Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive #100, Columbia, MD 21044

5:30-8 pm

Register here for the January 31st session.

Directions to the HCGH Wellness Center.

Refreshments and snacks will be served at 5:30 pm and the program will commence at 6:00 pm.

This event is open to the public.  You may bring guests.

Thanksgiving Thoughts — We Need Your Help!

Posted: 11.15.12

a grateful Central Scholarship award recipient

Central Scholarship is a fantastic financial resource for students in Maryland.  We know this.  You know this.  How can we get others to know this?  Easy — take 5 minutes out of your day to post a review about us on  When others see that we (like last year) are a top-rated Education non profit in 2012, they will know that we are making a real difference in the community.

Are you a grateful scholarship recipient?  A donor to our cause?  Are you a volunteer?  An education professional?  Perhaps a parent of a student who received a scholarship?  We will be grateful to YOU if you take a few minutes to share your thoughts about us with the world.  Click here to begin.   Before you are able to post, you will be asked to create a profile which is a quick process.

Last year, scholarship recipient Lauren wrote…

“Central Scholarship really helped change my college experience. While I could afford to go to college with my parents help, it was a real strain and I had to work so much that it cut into my study time. With Central Scholarship’s generous help I was able to graduate in 4 years with a degree in biochemistry and study abroad for a summer in Spain which I never would have been able to do otherwise. I continued working as a resident assistant for room and board but luckily I was able to graduate debt-free with just that one job. They communicate in a very prompt and effective manner and are so compassionate.”Great Nonprofits website page on Central Scholarship screen shot

A parent of a scholarship recipient wrote on the website…

“As a parent of a student who has received an interest free loan, I am grateful. My husband and I have helped our children with their higher education, but can only do so much. The interest free loan my son received was very helpful and much appreciated.”

Have a happy thanksgiving with your friends and family — we give thanks for your help!

Aspiring Educator Jina Han is our Scholar of the Month

Posted: 10.31.12

Central Scholarship recipient Jina Han

Each month, we feature a new Scholar of the Month to highlight the amazing achievements and stories of our scholarship recipients. 

Her name is Jina Han and she is an aspiring teacher at the Graduate School for Education at Johns Hopkins University.  Jina began her graduate career as a law student and changed course when she stumbled upon the fact that one statistic the government uses in order to make projections for how many jails to build in fifteen years is the result of third grade students’ reading proficiency levels.  Based on research, they determined that third graders who show high reading proficiency are less likely to end up in prison than those students whose reading proficiencies remain far below average academic standards.  It was then when Jina realized that teaching was her true calling.  Jina writes, “Learning this placed into perspective the understanding that the success and failure of society as we know it is essentially in the hands of educators.  I soberly accept this responsibility and desire to give every student an equal chance at securing a stable future through their education.”

Jina maintains a 4.0 GPA.  She is unable to work to help pay for school due to the unpaid teaching internship required by her Master’s program.  However, she does not let the financial obligations deter her from her goal.  She writes, “No amount of success, money, or fame could provide for me what I feel when teaching children.”  Thanks to the scholarship Jina received from us, she is able to concentrate on school rather than an ever-increasing student loan debt.

Meet the first MONEY Magazine Scholarship Winner

Posted: 05.16.12

MONEY Magazine Scholarship Winner Michael Greene

Finishing out his senior year at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Michael Greene received news that Central Scholarship awarded him with a MONEY Magazine Scholarship.  Poly is a high school in Baltimore known for its emphasis on science and engineering, and Michael plans on pursuing engineering as a career path.  Michael is a member of the National Honor Society, Air Force JROTC and the varsity tennis team.  Michael participated in the American Cancer Society “Race for the Cure” and he also served as an international missionary to Ghana West Africa for Huber Memorial Church.  Michael was accepted as a freshman in the honors program at Morgan State University where he hopes to pursue a degree in electrical engineering.

College Cash 101 logo
Students who attended Central Scholarship’s COLLEGE CASH 101 in March of this year were eligible to apply for a MONEY Magazine scholarship.  Michael took advantage of the opportunity and he is the first of four winners.  At COLLEGE CASH 101, students learned about how to find money and how to manage it.  Michael says, “This event was awesome! Everyone knows that information is power and students need a lot information to help them make good choices about financing their college educations and how they can take advantage of the many opportunities that exist for students in today’s challenging economy.”

Michael’s winning essay is below:

The most impactful message I heard during the March 31, 2012 College Cash 101 was delivered by Ms. Jennifer Bauer. Ms. Bauer said “there is money out there for you if you do your homework and make sure you are prepared”.  I listened as she shared information about many grant and scholarship opportunities that are available for undergraduate and graduate students.  I could tell that she cared and wanted everyone to be as excited about college and learning as she appeared to be. Many of the topics she discussed forced me to think about my strategy for obtaining scholarships. I know that my work doesn’t end once I’m accepted to college. I also enjoyed learning about the importance of a student budget.  I know that my mother will not be able to spend a lot of extra money on me because she will need to care for my younger sister and take care of household bills.  College does not mean that your family has to go bankrupt and that as a student; you don’t have to be cash poor.

The biggest eye-opening moment for me related to the importance of having a good SAT score. I know that this is very true because each time I took the test and raised my score, I got additional scholarship opportunities.  I learned that the admissions process and financial aid process are closely related.  I appreciate the help I received during high school because it prepared me to be competitive in the scholarship arena. The most important take away from the event is that college is an opportunity to plan the rest of your life. Many of the speakers seemed to share the common message that college is a positive experience where most of your learning happens outside of the classroom. The common theme for me was “life planning”. It may seem like a big deal to some students still in high school, but it’s real. I also enjoyed the one-on-one sessions with the college financial aid counselors. I met with a representative from the University of Maryland and Morgan State University. I understand how the process works.

My future career goal is to become an Electrical Engineer because the field deals with the use of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism to make new tools.  I have chosen to apply to colleges and universities that have strong engineering programs and that support students with great internship opportunities. My educational goal is to pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of electrical engineering. I’m interested in Electrical engineering because it deals with how we use electricity, electronics and electromagnetism to make new tools. I think that this will allow me to learn more about power, electronics, control systems, signal processing and telecommunications if I decide to work for NASA or a private company. I like engineering because it is a broad career field and it allows me flexibility in finding the right use for my skills. I know that there are ways to use existing ideas and materials to help employee the next generation of people in our country. I believe that it is my job to create opportunities once I become trained in this field.  I would like to be considered for this scholarship because of my academic success at Poly, my contributions to the school community and greater Baltimore community and to help offset the financial burdens for my mother.

If I had to choose a way to improve next year’s event, I would suggest that you try to ensure more senior high students attend the program. I would partner with a local radio station that targets youth and spread the word. I would also have a contest that would publicly recognize the school with the most students that attended. It would be nice to have student sessions where kids could share what they did to get scholarships. I would invite freshmen college students who received scholarships to come back and talk to new applicants to share secrets of success.

Congratulations to Michael for winning the first MONEY Magazine Scholarship!  Stay tuned to find out who else won this year.