Clark Opportunity Transfer Scholars Program Policy

The Clark Opportunity Transfer Scholars (COTS) Program scholarship is a merit and need-based award offered for a maximum of four (4) undergraduate degree semesters. Students must remain in compliance with scholarship policies, as outlined in this document, as well as with the University of Maryland Code of Academic Integrity and all COTS Program requirements as outlined by the Clark Foundation Scholarship Programs Office in the program award letter.


To be selected for this program, students must:

  • be undergraduate students in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland (UMD), and
  • have previously attended a state of Maryland community college before transferring to UMD.
Use of Scholarship Funds

The scholarship funds are designated for fall and spring semesters and cannot be used for other semesters or terms.

Cost of Attendance

Please review our Cost of Attendance page for information regarding 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.

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 at UMD. Any courses transferred from other institutions are not included in the student's UMD cumulative GPA. The GPA used for this review is not rounded. Therefore, a 2.9 does not equal a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

OSFA will review the cumulative GPA at the conclusion of each semester. In the event the student fails to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA, the student will be placed on probation.

Students must maintain enrollment in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at UMD's College Park location and make satisfactory progress toward a degree in engineering.

Students must enroll in a minimum of 12 credits per semester and earn a minimum of 24 credits per year.

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 24 credit requirement. Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and other pre-college credits are not counted towards the 24 credit requirement. Audited courses do not count toward the credit requirement.

Students may earn additional credits on or off-campus during the winter and summer terms to make up any necessary credits, but the cost of these courses is not covered by the scholarship. In the event that a student fails to successfully earn 24 credits each year, the scholarship will be canceled for any future semesters. There is no probationary semester for failure to successfully earn 24 credits per year.

The maximum annual amount awarded under the COTS program shall not exceed the total of UMD's in-state tuition, mandatory fees, and differential tuition.

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, student exchange or co-op, graduation, health or lab fees. Please refer to the schedule of classes for a complete list of fees.

The COTS Program award cannot be increased to cover the cost of required departmental fees (i.e. Applied Musician Fee, Architecture Fees, and Journalism Mandatory Fees). The COTS Program award is a merit and need-based award and may be adjusted by the amount of other merit and need-based funds. The scholarship may be renewed for the subsequent award year even if financial need changes.

Refunds will not be available until the student has registered for a minimum of 12 credits per semester (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.

Each academic year, OSFA will notify the student of the type(s) of scholarships the student is receiving, 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.

Any student who fails to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 will be placed on probation for one semester. After the probationary semester, if the student's cumulative GPA is again below a 3.0, the student will be dismissed from the COTS Program and the COTS Program scholarship will be canceled for any future semesters.

Students may take courses on campus during the winter and summer terms to bring up their cumulative GPA but the cost of winter and summer courses are not covered by the scholarship. If the scholarship was canceled and the student subsequently raises the cumulative GPA to a 3.0 or higher in a future semester and maintains all other eligibility requirements, the student may submit an appeal requesting reinstatement of the scholarship for any remaining eligible semesters. Please send appeals to

Students are given only one probationary semester for the duration of their scholarship eligibility, and students may only submit one appeal during their scholarship eligibility requesting reinstatement due to the cumulative GPA requirement.

Students placed on probation due to failure to maintain the required cumulative GPA, or for any other reason, will be required to meet with the Clark Foundation Scholarship Programs Office within the first two weeks of the probationary semester. Students in a probation status may also be required to attend mandatory tutoring meetings or additional advising appointments in the Clark Foundation Scholarship Programs Office, as needed on a case-by-case basis. The Clark Foundation Scholarship Programs Office may grant an additional probationary semester on a case-by-case basis.

A student who fully withdraws and receives a refund for tuition, mandatory fees, room, or board may have the 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 the student has attempted full-time status.

To maintain scholarship eligibility, the student that partially or fully withdraws from the fall/spring semester(s) is still required to successfully complete 24 credits per academic year.

A student with semesters of COTS Program scholarship eligibility remaining who fully withdraws from a semester, or who takes a leave of absence of one or more semesters, and then re-enrolls in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at UMD will be required to submit a written request to have their COTS Program scholarship award reinstated. Scholarship reinstatement following a withdrawal is not guaranteed and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students should contact the Clark Foundation Scholarship Programs Office before withdrawing whenever possible.

If a student plans to participate in a university-sponsored Study Abroad Program, Co-op, or any other non-standard academic program, students must obtain prior approval from their program advisor and submit that approval to OSFA. With prior approval, students may receive the COTS Program award during the university-sponsored Study Abroad Program. For approved Co-op programs, the student may defer receipt of the COTS Program award. Please be advised that if for any reason the student does not comply with program requirements, the award 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 room and board is considered taxable income. This is a general statement of the tax rules. The student's own tax liability may vary depending on their personal situation. Please refer to the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Publication 970, or consult a tax or legal counsel for additional information.

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