Quad out of focus

Service Obligations

Service Obligations

Service obligations are requirements you must meet to prevent your grant from converting to a loan.

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is the only federal grant that requires a service obligation.

The following Maryland Higher Education Commission Financial Assistance Programs have service obligations:

  • Teaching Fellows for Maryland Scholarship
  • Charles W. Riley Firefighter and Ambulance and Rescue Squad Member Scholarship Program
  • Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship Program
  • Hal and Jo Cohen Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship
  • Tuition Reduction for Non-Resident Nursing Students
  • Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program

Service obligations for Maryland programs must begin within one year of completing your degree except for the Hal and Jo Cohen Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship Program which must begin within 6 months of completing your degree. If you have multiple service obligations, they must be completed consecutively. Employment history must be verified on an annual basis until the service obligation(s) have been successfully fulfilled. 


TEACH Grant Service Obligation

Teach Grant recipients are required to teach as a highly qualified teacher:

  • in a high-need field;
  • at an elementary, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families; and
  • for at least four complete academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which you received the grant

You must certify your progress towards completing your service obligation each year. Failure to complete your service obligation or certify your progress will convert your TEACH Grants to Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Interest will be charged from the date of each TEACH Grant Disbursement. 

Learn more about the TEACH Grant Service Obligation.


Teaching Fellows of Maryland Scholarship Service Obligation

Teaching Fellows of Maryland Scholarship recipient must teach in a public school or public prekindergarten program that has at least 50% of its students eligible for FRPM for the periods specified below:

For students who received a scholarship as an undergraduate student: 1 year for each year that you received a scholarship.

For students who received a scholarship as a graduate student: 2 years for each year that you received a scholarship.


Charles W. Riley Firefighter and Ambulance and Rescue Squad Member Scholarship Program Service Obligation

Charles W. Riley Firefighter and Ambulance and Rescue Squad Member Scholarship Program recipients are required to serve for 1 year as a volunteer or career firefighter or ambulance or rescue squad member, in a full-time or part-time capacity, of an organized fire department or ambulance or rescue squad in Maryland after completion of an eligible program.


Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship Program Service Obligation

Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship Program recipients must work full-time in Maryland for each year they received the scholarship in:

  • A unit of State Government in the Cybersecurity field; or
  • A public high school in Maryland, teaching in an education program that is directly relevant to Cybersecurity

Hal and Jo Cohen Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship Service Obligation

Hal and Jo Cohen Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship Service Obligation recipients must work one year for each academic year, or portion thereof, the award was received as one of the following:

  • a full-time nurse faculty member at a Maryland institution with nursing degree programs
  • a nursing professional development coordinator or hospital educator within a hospital education department in Maryland
  • an approved educational role serving Maryland schools or hospitals

Tuition Reduction for Non-Resident Nursing Students Service Obligation

Non-resident nursing students who receive a tuition reduction must serve as a full-time nurse in a hospital or related institution for:

  • Two years if you attended a two-year institution
  • Four years if you attended a four-year institution

Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program Service Obligation

Service obligations for the Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program are based on the employment field in which your award was received. If you work full-time (at least 35 hours per week), you must work one year for each year you received the scholarship. If you work part-time (20-34 hours per week), you must work two years for each year you received the scholarship. There are 8 service areas (A-H):

Service Area A - Hattie N. Harrison Memorial Scholarship (Child Development or Early Childhood Education):

Recipients must become employed full-time in Maryland as a director or senior staff member in a licensed Maryland childcare center or as a licensed family day care provider. You may not be a teacher to serve this obligation.

Service Area B - Ida G. and L. Leonard Ruben Scholarship (Human Services Degree Programs):

Recipients must become employed in a Maryland community-based program that is licensed by the Developmental Disabilities Administration or approved by the Department of Health or certified by the Office of Health Care Quality, or in a residential program that is licensed by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Juvenile Services. 

Recipients must be a direct service employee or provide first-line supervision of employees who provide habilitation, rehabilitation, residential, or related community support services to individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health disorders, or who are dependent on alcohol or drugs, or who serve children in the custody of a local Department of Social Services or in any residential childcare program licensed by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Juvenile Services.

Service Area C - Sharon Christa McAuliffee Scholarship (Education):

Recipients must become certified teachers in Maryland in the certification area in which they applied and were awarded and then be employed in a Maryland public or private elementary or secondary school as a full-time classroom teacher in that area.

Service Area D - Parren J. Mitchell Public Service Scholarship (Nursing):

Recipients must be employed as a nurse in a Maryland licensed hospital, adult day care center, nursing home, public health agency, home health agency, an eligible institution of postsecondary education that awards nursing degrees or diplomas, or other organization authorized by the Department of Health Secretary.

Employment as a nurse at a health maintenance organization (HMO) or a physician's private office does not meet the service requirement.

Service Area E - Physical Therapy; Physical Therapy Assistant, Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy Assistant:

Recipients must be employed as a therapist or therapy assistant to handicapped children in a public school in Maryland or to handicapped children placed in an approved non public education program or to provide physical or occupational therapy in a State therapeutic hospital determined by the Department of Health Secretary to have a severe shortage of physical or occupational therapists.

Service Area F - William Donald Schaefer Scholarship (Law):

Recipients must be employed in Maryland public service to assist in providing legal services to low-income residents in Maryland. Eligible employment is defined as employment in government at any level, public interest organizations, public schools, and nonprofit organizations under 501(c)(3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, such as those whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged persons, or disabled individuals, or to protect the environment.

Service Area G - Ruth M. Kirk Public Social Work Scholarship:

Recipients must be employed as a social worker in the public or nonprofit sectors under 501(c)(3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 in which there is a shortage of qualified practitioners to low-income or underserved residents or areas in Maryland

Service Area H - Parren J. Mitchell Public Service Scholarship (other):

Recipients must be employed in services in the public or nonprofit sectors under 501(c)(3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 in which there is a shortage of qualified practitioners to low-income or underserved residents or areas in Maryland.