The Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise was established by the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation as part of Building Together: An Investment for Maryland. The Maryland Promise Program provides educational and financial opportunities to promising undergraduate students from the state of Maryland and Washington, D.C. exhibiting strong academic and leadership potential.

The Maryland Promise Scholarship Program emphasizes four important components to help cultivate the next generation of leaders and community change agents:

  • academic excellence
  • professional development
  • leadership development
  • community engagement

Scholars that are selected to participate in the Maryland Promise Program become members of a rich legacy of the Clark Foundation’s continued philanthropic support of talented and hard working students.

The Maryland Promise Scholarship Program is funded jointly by the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation, other generous donors, and by the University of Maryland. The program launched in Fall 2019 with an inaugural cohort of eight talented scholars. Maryland Promise Scholars receive academic and financial support, professional and leadership development training, and participate in community engagement projects through special opportunities in the program.

Maryland Promise Scholarships are awarded to high-performing undergraduate freshmen and transfer students from Maryland colleges with financial need who are admitted to the University of Maryland and are residents of the state of Maryland or the District of Columbia. No application is required. Students will be selected based on their financial need, prior academic and extracurricular achievements, and interests/or prior experiences that align with the program’s leadership and community engagement components. Preference will be given to students from underrepresented populations, low income and first-generation college students.

The number of students selected annually is based on available funding. Scholarships are renewable for up to four years for incoming freshmen and for two years for transfer students, provided they are making satisfactory progress toward their degree completion with a competitive GPA, active participation in Maryland Promise Scholarship Program activities, and other performance benchmarks.

In addition to financial support to attend the university, scholarship recipients will participate in programs and activities that support their successful transition into higher education and ensure personal and academic success through to graduation. Maryland Promise Scholars will have access to the following supports and enhancements through a range of University of Maryland programming:

  • Supplemental advising
  • Financial aid and financial literacy counseling
  • Community development and special programming, including internship and career guidance, visiting speakers, receptions, workshops on leadership development, and academic & professional skills

The Maryland Promise Scholarship Program works to ensure Scholars have a transformative higher education experience while also graduating with as little debt as possible.

Click to read about the story of A. James Clark

The late chairman and CEO of Clark Enterprises spent his life building an empire in the construction industry, but he never forgot his start as an engineering student at the University of Maryland.

Click to learn about Building Together: An Investment for Maryland

An unprecedented new investment of $219.5 million from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation that will transform the University of Maryland.

Click to visit Support the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise

When you give to the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar by the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation and the University of Maryland.

Meet the Maryland Promise Inaugural Cohort