Banneker/Key Scholarship Policy

The Banneker/Key Scholarship is an undergraduate merit scholarship awarded to a group of selected students for up to a maximum of eight (8) consecutive semesters. Students must remain in compliance with scholarship policies, as outlined on this page, and with the University of Maryland Code of Academic Integrity.


Recipients of this scholarship must

  • register for a minimum of 12 credits per semester,
  • maintain a minimum 3.20 cumulative grade point average (GPA), and
  • successfully complete 30 credits per academic year. 
    • The student should average 15 credits per semester over the fall and spring semesters to meet the 30 credit requirements. 
Use of Scholarship Funds

The scholarship funds are designated for fall and spring semesters and cannot be used for other semesters or terms without prior approval and often with restrictions.

The scholarship may only be applied toward a student's undergraduate degree. Banneker/Key Scholarship recipients who graduate from their undergraduate program early cannot receive the unused portion of their scholarship money in cash, apply the unused funding from a full academic year in their last semester or use it for graduate school/any graduate portion of a combined bachelor's/master's program.

Cost of Attendance

Please review our Cost of Attendance page for information regarding the cost of attendance for in-state and out-of-state students.  

FAFSA Requirement

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) strongly recommends students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if they have not already done so for the current academic year. 

The student must maintain a minimum 3.20 cumulative GPA. The GPA used for this review is not rounded. Therefore, a 3.199 does not equal a 3.20 cumulative GPA. OSFA will review the cumulative GPA at the conclusion of each fall and spring semester.

In the event the student fails to maintain a 3.20 cumulative GPA, the student will have one probationary semester to raise their GPA. After the probationary semester, if the student's cumulative GPA is again below a 3.20, the scholarship will be canceled for any future semesters.

The student may take courses on campus during the winter and summer terms to bring up their cumulative GPA, but the scholarship does not cover the cost of winter and summer courses. If the scholarship was canceled, and the student subsequently raises their GPA to a 3.20 or higher, the student may submit a request for reinstatement of the scholarship. The student is given only one probationary semester for the duration of their scholarship eligibility.

The student must successfully complete 30 credits per academic year. For the purposes of this policy, successful completion of a course is defined as any course in which a grade of +/- A, B, C, D, S, or P is received.

Although a student may retake courses under the university's repeat policy, credits earned for a repeated course may only be counted once toward the annual 30-credit requirement. Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and other pre-college credits are not counted towards the 30-credit requirement. Audited and waitlisted courses do not count toward the credit completion requirement.

The student may take courses on or off-campus during the winter and summer terms to make up any necessary credits, but the scholarship does not cover the cost of these courses. In the event the student fails to successfully complete 30 credits each academic year, the scholarship will be canceled for any future semesters.

The academic year is defined as beginning with the fall semester, followed by the winter term, followed by the spring semester and concluding with summer terms. There is no probationary term for failure to successfully complete 30 credits per academic year.

Students may receive only one of the following scholarships:

  • Banneker/Key Scholarship,
  • Frederick Douglass Scholarship,
  • Maryland Transfer Scholarship,
  • President's Scholarship, or
  • Dean's Scholarship.

These scholarships may not be combined with one another. They can, however, be combined with other grants and scholarships.

The student must report all aid they expect to receive, including but not limited to:

  • employer tuition benefits,
  • Resident Assistant benefits,
  • UMD tuition waivers, and
  • private scholarships.

The total of all aid a student receives cannot exceed the cost of attendance. Should a student receive funds above the cost of attendance, as determined by OSFA, their Banneker/Key Scholarship will be reduced. A Banneker/Key Scholar who also serves as a Resident Assistant (RA) will receive a reduced Banneker/Key Scholarship as the housing and food charges will be offset by their cost of attendance.

OSFA reserves the right to reduce a student's Banneker/Key Scholarship at any time if it is discovered that they received additional funding above the cost of attendance.

Full Banneker/Key Award Amount:

The maximum annual amount awarded under the full Banneker/Key Scholarship shall not exceed the total of the University of Maryland cost of tuition, tuition associated-mandatory fees, on-campus housing (standard housing only), food (campus point regular plan only), and book allowance as in the cost of attendance.

Should a student choose a food plan, or housing option (on or off-campus) where costs exceed those of the standard on-campus housing charge, the student must personally pay for the additional cost. The scholarship does not cover miscellaneous fees charged by the university to the student, such as, but not limited to, vehicle registration, parking, late registration, study abroad fees, student exchange or Co-op, graduation, health, or lab fees. Please refer to the schedule of classes for a complete list of fees.

The Banneker/Key Scholarship cannot be increased to cover the cost of required departmental fees (i.e., Applied Musician Fee, Architecture Fees, and Journalism Mandatory Fees). The Banneker/Key Scholarship is a merit award. It may be reduced by the amount of other merit funds received such that students do not financially benefit by receiving more merit funding in total than the University of Maryland direct costs plus a book allowance. 

The estimated 2024-2025 Full Banneker/Key Scholarship value for Maryland residents and non-residents is broken down as follows:  

Estimated Full Banneker/Key Scholarship
(Living with Parent)
Resident Non-Resident
Annual Tuition $10,086 $38,464

Mandatory Fees

$1,722 $1,722
With Parent Housing $1,620 $1,620
With Parent Food $2,790 $2,790
Book Allowance $1,250 $1,250
Total Cost of Attendance $17,468 $46,846

estimated Full Banneker/Key Scholarship

(Living on- or off-campus)

Resident Non-Resident
Tuition $10,086 $39,464

Standard Mandatory Fees

$1,722 $1,722
On-Campus Housing $9,562 $9,562
On-Campus Food $6,396 $6,396
Book Allowance $1,250 $1,250
Total Cost of Attendance $29,016 $58,394

The full Banneker/Key Scholarship will also cover the cost of freshman orientation, but will not cover costs associated with the parent orientation. 

In some cases, we may increase the value of a student's scholarship for those who are expected to live in higher-cost resident hall rooms. If you have questions, please contact our office at 301.314.8377 or email

Partial Banneker/Key Award amount:

The estimated 2024-2025 Partial Banneker/Key Scholarship value for Maryland residents and non-residents is broken down as follows:

Estimated Partial banneker/key scholarship resident non-Resident
Banneker/Key Amount $8,000 $12,000
Book Allowance $1,250 $1,250
Total $9,250 $13,250


Refunds will not be available until the student has registered for a minimum of 12 credits (waitlisted courses do not count), and all university charges incurred on their student account have been paid. Every effort will be made to have refunds available during the first week of classes, however, the student should make alternate arrangements to purchase books or pay rent if necessary. The initial refund received at the beginning of the semester includes the funds for the book allowance.

Each academic year, OSFA will notify the student of the type(s) of scholarships they receive and the amount disbursed from each account fund. For information regarding the availability of refunds, please refer to the current schedule of classes, or refer to the OSFA website.

OSFA reserves the right to modify financial assistance at any time. Each aid program is unique and has different eligibility requirements, which may change over time.

A student who fully withdraws and receives a refund for tuition, mandatory fees, housing or food may have their scholarship adjusted during the semester of the withdrawal. A student who partially withdraws (drops a class with a W) will not receive a scholarship adjustment during the semester of the partial withdrawal as long as they attempt full-time status.

To maintain scholarship eligibility, the student that partially or fully withdraws from the fall or spring semester(s) is still required to successfully complete 30 credits per academic year.

If a student plans to participate in a university-sponsored Study Abroad Program, Co-op or any other non-standard academic program, they must obtain prior approval from their program advisor and submit that approval to OSFA. With prior approval, the student may receive the Banneker/Key Scholarship during the university-sponsored Study Abroad Program. The student may defer receipt of the Banneker/Key Scholarship for approved Co-op programs. Please be advised that if the student does not comply with program requirements, for any reason, the scholarship may be canceled.

Scholarship and grant awards that a student receives for tuition and university-wide mandatory fees are tax-free. Scholarship money that a student receives for books, supplies, equipment and other fees may be tax-free if they are required of all students in the course. Scholarship money received for housing and food is considered taxable income. This is a general statement of the tax rules. The student's tax liability may vary depending on their personal situation. Please refer to the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Publication 970 or consult tax or legal counsel for additional information.

Publication 970 can be found on the IRS website. A student can download a copy of their IRS 1098-T form from the Student Financial Services and Cashiering website each year after January 1.