Terrapin Commitment

The University of Maryland has launched a new investment in need-based financial aid, providing up to $20 million annually for students from the state of Maryland.

“Since day one of my presidency, I have emphasized the importance of increasing financial support and access to our university. Every Maryland student deserves an equal opportunity to attend the state’s flagship university, and the Terrapin Commitment program is one more measure we are taking to ensure that a University of Maryland education is affordable to all residents of our state.” —UMD President, Darryll J. Pines


This Terrapin Commitment, the largest single-year investment in need-based scholarships in our university’s history, is designed to ensure that a UMD education is affordable to all residents of our state. The goal of the Terrapin Commitment program is to reduce the gap between a student’s total financial aid package and the actual cost of an education. The program will begin in January 2023 and ensure that tuition and fees are fully covered for Pell eligible, in-state students, who are enrolled full time and have unmet financial need, dramatically reducing the financial barriers to obtaining a higher education for low-income Marylanders.

“In alignment with our Fearlessly Forward strategic plan, we continue to find new and meaningful ways to invest in people and communities. Our investments in need-based financial aid better position us to serve the people of our state—opening the door for more Marylanders to attend a world-class flagship institution.” —UMD Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer King Rice

If an eligible UMD student’s funding sources—including scholarships, grants and the expected family contribution—fall below UMD tuition and fees, the Terrapin Commitment program will pay the difference. Additional information about eligibility and frequently asked questions can be found below.


To be considered for the Terrapin Commitment, students must meet the following criteria:

The Terrapin Commitment is a University of Maryland initiative designed to ensure that a UMD education is affordable to all residents of our state. It provides significant financial support to those Maryland residents who need additional funding in order to cover the cost of their UMD enrollment. Specifically, the Terrapin Commitment provides funding to reduce the gap between the cost of a UMD education and families’ ability to cover those costs.

Undergraduate, degree-seeking in-state students who are enrolled full-time and receive the Federal Pell Grant from completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be considered if they have unmet financial need.

Undergraduate, degree-seeking in-state students who are enrolled full-time but who are not eligible for federal aid should submit the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) and receive the state's Educational Assistance Grant or the Guaranteed Access Grant to be considered.

If students meet the above criteria and still have financial need after all of their grants, scholarships and waivers are applied to cover the cost of their tuition, fees, room and board, they may be eligible for the Terrapin Commitment.

All students who submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2022-23 academic year and who meet the eligibility requirements above are automatically considered for the Terrapin Commitment program. Undergraduate, degree-seeking in-state students who are enrolled full-time but who are not eligible for federal aid should submit the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) and receive the state's Educational Assistance Grant or the Guaranteed Access Grant to be considered.

No separate application is needed.

Terrapin Commitment will cover in-state tuition and fees ($11,232) of all in-state, full-time, Pell eligible students after using all scholarships, grants and the estimated family contribution. After covering tuition and fees, we will cover 50% of remaining unmet need, before loans, up to the cost of room and board.

All currently enrolled students who will receive Terrapin Commitment funding in the 2022-23 academic year will be notified no later than November 4, 2022.

Terrapin Commitment awards for the 2023-24 academic year will be available during our financial aid offer notification period.

Eligible students who are awarded Terrapin Commitment funding will be notified through their UMD email. The email will direct students to view details within the Financial Aid Portal and select the Financial Aid Offer section.

Students who meet all of the eligibility requirements detailed above will be considered for the Terrapin Commitment program during the next academic year.

Recipients of this award must register for a minimum of 12 credits (full-time) per semester (Fall/Spring), and maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above.

Eligible students must file the FAFSA each year and receive the Federal Pell Grant. Undergraduate, degree-seeking in-state students who are enrolled full time but who are not eligible for federal aid should submit the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) and receive the state's Educational Assistance Grant or the Guaranteed Access Grant to be considered.

No. This need-based award is only available for the Fall and Spring semesters.

Yes. Recipients of this award must register for a minimum of 12 credits per semester (Fall/Spring).