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Do you know a high school student who would be a good fit for the Incentive Awards Program?
If so, refer them to us! We’d love to connect with them. Your nominations will help us reach students who might not otherwise hear about IAP. Students are not required to apply and can discontinue communication with us at any time.

Who Are We Looking For?
Each student is unique and brings varied—and valued--life experiences and perspectives and the Incentive Awards Program celebrates them all. The most successful candidates through the years, however, have demonstrated all or many of the following personal qualities:

  • Commitment to academic success. For University of Maryland Incentive Awards Scholars to be successful, they should have the motivation and interest to want to excel at their studies. They should place a high value on education and its benefits and be able to motivate others to invest time and energy in fulfilling their academic potential.
  • Financial need. Does the candidate have significant financial need? Is he or she eligible for free or reduced-price meals? Is one parent/guardian unemployed or disabled? Successful applicants must be Pell Grant recipients.
  • Personal qualities. Has the candidate exhibited resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity? Has he or she dealt creatively with obstacles in their path? Is there optimism, a sense of potential and a commitment to hard work in the candidate’s plans for the future? Does the candidate have a sense of equity and inclusion?
  • Leadership. Candidates will be favored who have taken leadership among their peers or in community or church activities, shown initiative in organizing groups or events, or who act as mentors or role models with their peers, family members, and others. If a candidate has not formally assumed a leadership role, does he or she show evidence of leadership potential?
  • Effective management of personal obligations. Has the student assumed significant responsibility in the household? Does he or she maintain a rigorous work schedule in lieu of extracurricular activities? Has the student been challenged to balance personal circumstances and academic obligations?
  • Appreciation for the values of the program. Does the student exhibit personal characteristics that indicate an appreciation for the program’s values, goals, purpose and the scholarship itself?
  • Interest in their home community. Do candidates involve themselves in their home community through volunteer activities, exhibit concern and compassion for others, and understand the needs of their neighborhoods?
  • Talents and skills. Excellence and involvement in the arts, sports, entrepreneurship, politics, environmental concerns or other specialized interests will be factored into the final decision.

Know someone who would benefit from--and be a benefit to--the program? Nominate them now!