More than just coastline and waterways, the state of Maryland is rising to the top as a leader in higher education.
The state boasts a diverse list of postsecondary schools – from top-ranking public universities to small liberal arts colleges to world-renowned private schools.
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Tuition rates are in line with the national average, and the state offers an impressive list of financial aid programs. There are many reasons to pursue higher education in the state of Maryland.
Overview of Higher Education in Maryland
In Maryland, there are 53 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of these, 30 are public, 20 are private non-profit, and 3 are private for-profit.
The NCES reports that Maryland residents will pay an average of $9,521 in tuition and fees to attend one of the state’s public 4-year institutions. Non-residents, on the other hand, will pay close to $26,886. Both right in line with the national averages.
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Maryland residents are also supported by the state’s involvement in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which encourages resource sharing among the 16 participating states. Through SREB’s Academic Common Market, Maryland residents can enroll in out-of-state courses and programs at participating states while paying in-state tuition rates.
About Online Colleges in Maryland
Online learning is an increasingly popular option as students seek a way to earn a postsecondary degree while maintaining a career, family, and other personal obligations. According to 2018 data from the NCES, 22.1% of postsecondary students in Maryland were enrolled in fully online college degree programs. Another 15.5% of students were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses.
The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) was founded over 70 years ago to serve working adults and servicemembers around the world. Today they offer more than 90 certification and degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
UMGC’s courses are designed to be collaborative experiences, preparing you for today’s digital business environment. They have even moved materials online, replacing nearly every textbook with no-cost digital course materials. Private schools in Maryland also offer excellent online learning opportunities.
World-renowned Johns Hopkins University, the first research university in the United States, now offers dozens of online degrees particularly at the master’s degree and certification levels. Programs are available in a wide variety of areas including engineering, education, arts and sciences, international studies, business, nursing, and public health. Johns Hopkins also offers more than 60 massive open online courses, or MOOCs, which are free and open to anyone who is interested.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Maryland
If you’re interested in pursuing a degree in Maryland, first you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA opens the door to federal, state and private financial assistance. Each year, the FAFSA is released on October 1st, and since many funds are distributed on a first come first served basis, it’s important to complete your application as soon as possible.
You will need to provide information about your finances and the finances of your parents (unless you’re considered “independent”). This information will be used to calculate how much financial aid you are offered. The best financial aid is the aid that doesn’t have to be paid back – grants and scholarships!
Maryland Higher Education Commission funds the following need-based grants and scholarship programs exclusively for residents:
- Howard P. Rawlings Program of Educational Excellence Awards
- Guaranteed Access Grant – High school seniors who complete a college preparatory program or earn a GED; Award amount equals 100% of financial need
- Educational Assistance Grant – High school seniors or full-time undergraduates; $400-3000
- Campus-Based Educational Assistance Grant – To assist those who did not receive the Educational Assistance Grant due to not completing the FAFSA before the Maryland state deadline; $400-3000
- 2+2 Transfer Scholarship – Community college students transferring to a 4-year institution; $1000-2000
- Part-Time Grant – Part-time undergraduates and students dual-enrolled in high school and college; $200-2000
- Graduate and Professional Scholarship Program – Graduate and professional students studying dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work or veterinary medicine; $1000-5000
- Community College Promise Scholarship – For students pursuing a registered apprenticeship, licensure, certification or an associate’s degree through a community college; Need and merit-based; Up to $5000
- Near Completer Grant – For residents who started a degree but did not finish it; Up to one-third of tuition charge
MHEC also offers grants and scholarships for unique populations, such as those in the military or National Guard, those who have been in foster care, homeless youth, and those with disabilities.
They offer career-based aid in a number of fields, including firefighting, ambulance and rescue squad, nursing, and other fields that experience a shortage. Finally, they provide loan assistance repayment programs for some individuals. The MHEC website has information on all of these financial assistance programs.
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Grants and scholarships can also come from private sources. Here are some of the many private scholarships open to Maryland residents:
|Scholarship Name||Scholarship amount|
|Cynthia E. Morgan Memorial Scholarship||$1000|
|Jewish Community Services (JCS) Scholarships||(Undisclosed)|
|The Kahdine Ann DaCosta Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Leadership||(15) $1000|
|The Letitia B. Carter Scholarship||$500-2000|
|Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults||$2500|
Even more scholarship opportunities can be found on search sites like Fastweb.com. Also, be sure to check with the financial aid office at the college or university you plan to attend. They may be able to offer additional aid to admitted students.
List of Online Colleges in Maryland
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Bowie State University offers students opportunities to earn a limited number of degrees fully online. Most of these programs follow an accelerated schedule, with courses that are 8 weeks long. Students can pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees online. Fields of study offered include computer science, criminal justice, computer technology, management information systems, and educational leadership.
Bowie State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Capitol Technology University offers online degree programs to students who want to work in technology fields. Its programs use an innovative, proprietary delivery system. Students can earn bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees fully online. A few bachelor’s programs are only available online for the last two years. Areas of study offered include artificial intelligence, counterterrorism, and space operations.
Capitol Technology University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Students at Coppin State University can earn online degrees to help them start new careers or advance in their current careers. Coppin offers over 57 programs, several of which are fully online. The school offers four online undergraduate degree programs in management, management information systems, early childhood education, and health information management.
Coppin State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Frostburg State University offers several online learning programs for students with busy schedules. Most classes are asynchronous, but some have synchronous components. Many programs are available fully online, while others are in a blended or hybrid format. Students can earn undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees online at FSU. Areas of study offered include nursing, education, and computer science.
Frostburg State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Goucher College’s online programs are designed to be flexible for working students and those with families. The school currently offers three master’s degrees that can be earned fully online.
Students may pursue a Master’s in Higher Education Policy, Research, and Administration, a Master’s in Education, or a Master’s in Teaching. Courses are taken in 8 week blocks. Students may also earn degrees through low-residency programs in fields like cultural sustainability.
Goucher College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Hood College currently offers a limited number of graduate degrees for online students. The school strives to offer students a high-quality and affordable education with some of the lowest tuition costs in the country. Students can choose between five different degree programs that are all fully online. Areas of study offered include cybersecurity, mathematics education, and information technology.
Hood College is accredited by the Middles States Commission on Higher Education.
Johns Hopkins University offers online degree programs and courses to its students and to those who aren’t enrolled in the school. Undergraduate and graduate programs are available. Many are designed with working students in mind. Fields of study offered include business, film and media, bioinformatics, environmental sciences and policy, and museum studies.
Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Students at Loyola University—Maryland can choose from a limited number of online graduate degree programs. All online programs are offered through Loyola University’s School of Education, and they are all fully online. Students can choose from concentrations like Educational Technology, Reading Specialist, Teaching English Language Learners, and Montessori Education.
Loyola University Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Many students at the Maryland University of Integrative Health opt to earn their degrees online. The school’s online degree programs follow the same schedule as the rest of the university. Many of these programs are fully online, but some are offered in a hybrid format. Some courses have asynchronous components. Areas of study offered include clinical herbal medicine and herbal product design and manufacture.
MUIH is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
McDaniel College puts a lot of effort into making its online programs innovative, interactive, and just as rigorous as their in-person counterparts. Programs are either fully online or in a hybrid format with low residency. Areas of study offered include clinical mental health counseling, data analytics, educational leadership, gerontology, and human resources management.
McDaniel College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Morgan State University’s online degree programs are designed with flexibility in mind. Students can earn or complete their degrees while still working and meeting family obligations.
Students can choose between three graduate programs, a doctoral degree, and two post-baccalaureate certificates. Areas of study offered include project management, business administration, social work, sustainable urban communities, and community college leadership.
Morgan State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Mount St. Mary’s University provides students with a Catholic-based education. The school offers online and evening courses to accommodate students’ busy schedules. These programs are fully online, and many have synchronous components.
Students can currently earn graduate degrees or certificates online. Areas of study offered include instructional design and technology, health administration, applied behavior analysis, and biotechnology and management.
MSMU is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Notre Dame of Maryland University was named one of the best online colleges in Maryland by College Choice. It provides students with a Catholic liberal arts education. NDMU currently offers two bachelor’s, two master’s, and two doctoral degree programs. All are completely online. Areas of study offered include nursing, contemporary communication, and higher education leadership for changing populations.
Notre Dame of Maryland University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
U.S. News & World Report named Salisbury University #40 in the country for affordable programs. The school offers a limited number of online degrees. Some of these programs are fully online, while others are offered in a hybrid format. The school offers a Bachelor’s in Social Work. Master’s and doctoral degrees are available in fields like nursing.
Salisbury University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Stevenson University strives to make degrees affordable for all students through its online learning programs. Many students are eligible for prior learning credits. Students may also participate in the bachelor’s to master’s program. Students can choose from over 30 degrees and certificates. Areas of study offered include forensic accounting, nursing, applied mathematics, and integrative learning.
Stevenson University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities.
Forbes named Towson University one of the top 100 public colleges in the US. While Towson offers many online courses, it currently only offers two fully online degree programs. Both degrees are available in the field of allied health. Students can choose between an Administration and Management track or an Advanced Respiratory Therapy track.
Towson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Baltimore offers online degree programs that are designed to fit into nontraditional students’ busy lives. The programs aim to provide online students with the same level of rigor and professor interaction as their on-campus counterparts. Students can earn undergraduate and graduate degrees either fully online or in a hybrid format. Areas of study offered include criminal justice and public administration.
The University of Baltimore is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Newsweek named the University of Maryland—College Park one of America’s Best Online Learning Schools. Students may be able to earn credits for professional experience, and the school provides lifetime career services. The school has over 125 online undergraduate and graduate programs. Many of these programs are entirely online. Areas of study offered include history, cyber operations, and marketing.
The University of Maryland – College Park is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Maryland—Eastern Shore provides its online students with many resources to help them be successful. It wants to ensure that students are prepared for the demands of online learning. The school currently offers courses and full degree options online. One of the programs offered is for a Master’s in Information Technology.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Washington Adventist University seeks to provide students with a high-quality education imbued in the Adventist faith. The school currently offers a limited number of graduate degrees online. Students can earn an MBA or an MA in Public Administration entirely online. Other programs are available in a hybrid format. The school also offers accelerated night classes.
WAU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
If you are thinking about pursuing a degree in Maryland, you won’t be disappointed. The coastal state is clearly committed to providing quality higher education, enhancing online learning opportunities, and ensuring the success of its graduates.