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The Maryland Promise Program

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 identifies students with strong academic and leadership potential from the state of Maryland and Washington, DC, and provides them with enhanced opportunities for educational success and financial support.  

The Maryland Promise Program emphasizes four important components:

  1. Academic excellence
  2. Professional development
  3. Leadership
  4. Community engagement

Those selected help cultivate the next generation of leaders and community change agents. Scholars who participate in the Maryland Promise Program become members of a rich legacy of the Clark Foundation’s philanthropic support of talented and hardworking students.


About the Program

The Maryland Promise 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.

A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation logo

Maryland Promise Scholarships are awarded to high-performing undergraduate freshmen and transfer students with financial need who are admitted to the University of Maryland and are residents of the state of Maryland or the District of Columbia. 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. 
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 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 Program works to ensure Scholars have a transformative higher education experience while also graduating with as little debt as possible.


“I believe that if you make your money in a community, you have an obligation to give back to it.”


Information about requirements:

Office of Student Financial Aid

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.
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
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.


Michelle N. Udeli, M.A.
Maryland Promise Program Coordinator
Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise
(301) 314-8418


The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,700 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 400,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.


Introducing The Nation's First Do Good Campus Transforming Idealism into Impact 


Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 300 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 58 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. And our students, who include the highest achievers in the state and nation, enjoy experiences unique to our location just outside the nation’s capital, including internships, research, and leadership and service opportunities.

Research and Innovation

The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. 

The newly launched Innovation Gateway will guide you to the resources, programs, partners, and spaces you need to activate and scale your fearless ideas into innovations that launch new ventures, catalyze growth, and advance economic development.


At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library. Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.


Home of the Terrapins, the University of Maryland has one of the nation’s most recognizable and successful athletics programs. More than 550 student-athletes compete each year in 20 intercollegiate sports—12 for women and eight for men. Since 2005 alone, Maryland has won 19 national championships, including NCAA titles in women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men's lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and field hockey. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, UMD has won a combined 32 regular season and tournament championships. Fear the Turtle!

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The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations. Maryland touts 800-plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved. Students here can create a unique identity and grow as individuals, even as they’re part of a close-knit and diverse community. 

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Maryland Promise Students

Support the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise Scholarship and double your impact through the Clark Challenge.


Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise