The Incentive Awards Program

The Incentive Awards Program is designed for exceptional students who demonstrate academic ability, uncommon persistence and maturity despite very difficult circumstances. Through full scholarships and wraparound services, Baltimore City and Prince George's County high school students with significant financial need can attend and thrive at the University of Maryland.

More than a prestigious scholarship, at the heart of the Incentive Awards Program is the development of individual character and community responsibility within an intimate network of staff, peers, advisors and mentors.


One-year retention rate for Incentive Awards freshmen is same as UMD rate


Six-year graduation rate for IAP students matches UMD overall


Graduates of the Incentive Awards Program have earned their bachelor's degree

Making a Splash, and a Maryland Promise

Barrier-Breaking Former UMD Diver Creates Scholarship for Incentive Awards Students

Jason Williams ’66 (right*), the University’s first African American varsity, established the Ralph and Jason Williams/W.D. Prater Maryland Promise Scholarship to support students in the Incentive Awards Program.

"I'm giving back to individuals and neighborhoods from whence I myself came, with a poor background growing up on the east side of Baltimore," he tells Maryland Today.
*©John Consoli, UMD

Jason Williams speaking to I A P student

Meet Shiron and Jahi

Picture of Shiron
Shiron Lindsay '08

"When I arrived on campus the program was so new. But as the program grew, I grew. As I evolved, the program also evolved. That is why I continue to be involved as an alumna.

While I did not always value the extra eyes over my shoulder or the required meetings and check-ins at the time, I realize that they were instrumental in getting me to achieve my goals. I know now that everything had merit."

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Jahi Jones '19

"IAP was the only chance I had to make a difference in my family. It allowed me to access a Maryland education but also a support system. I had a network of individuals that I was able to connect with, relate to, and a cohort of students to grow with. Most importantly, the staff assured me that I had it in me to be great and that I could get through any obstacle in the path. IAP is truly an opportunity that changes not only individual lives but generations to come. Without it, I can guarantee I would not be in the position I am in today."