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Frederick Douglass Scholarship

Tuition & Aid

Frederick Douglass Scholarship

Weathered bronze statue of abolitionist, social reformer and statesman, Frederick Douglass. His right arm raised while delivering a powerful speech. His left arm holds tight a copy of his autobiography.

Frederick Douglass statue located in Hornbake Plaza.

The Frederick Douglass Scholarship (FDS) is a prestigious University of Maryland (UMD) scholarship for academically talented transfer students from Maryland community colleges.

This exceptional merit-based scholarship honors the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass, who made lasting contributions to American history through his work as an abolitionist, suffragist, author and agent of positive change. 30 full and 15 partial tuition scholarships are awarded to students who are selected from a rigorous review and interview process.

The FDS application must be submitted no later than March 1 by 5:00 p.m. Selected students will be invited to interview in late March or early April as part of the final scholarship review process. Scholarship recipients will be notified by the end of April. If you have any questions please email


In order to be eligible for the Frederick Douglass Scholarship, students must:

  • Be an admitted UMD student for the current spring semester or a transfer applicant with a completed and submitted application (including all required documents) for the upcoming fall semester with no previous degree-seeking status at the university.
  • Be a Maryland resident at the time of applying. This is determined by the applicant's response to the residency questions on the admission application. UMD adheres to the Board of Regents' residency classification policies.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident at the time of applying.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher for all college work, including work from institutions other than Maryland community colleges.
  • Earned an associate’s degree from a Maryland community college, have completed, or be in the process of completing 56 college credits with the most recent 30 credits earned at a Maryland community college.
    • The degree or credits must be earned prior to the first semester of enrollment at UMD.
    • Students completing their 56th credit at the time of applying must reflect that courses are in progress on their transcript or on the transfer application.
  • Show English language proficiency, as demonstrated through a review of all materials submitted with the application.

If you have questions about scholarship criteria, application completion or residency status, please email before March 1. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure all materials are submitted and received by the March 1 application deadline. Any discrepancies must be resolved within five business days of the deadline, including the receipt of any additional documentation required for review and final residency determination.

How to Apply

To apply for the Frederick Douglass Scholarship, candidates must submit the following required materials by March 1:

  1. A completed transfer application for admission.
  2. A completed FDS application.
    • Students applying to UMD for the fall semester must complete the FDS application online by March 1 to be considered for the scholarship. Transfer students recently admitted for the spring semester are eligible to apply as well by March 1.
  3. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  4. An activities and awards list or resume detailing your extracurricular and personal activities, including dates, and describing your involvement and participation.
  5. A 500 word, typed and double-spaced essay on the following topic:
    • Describe the neighborhood or community you grew up in. How has it shaped your dreams and aspirations, and how do you intend to use your educational and professional goals to impact UMD and beyond?
  6. Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a community college faculty member and one from an individual of your choosing. All recommendation letters must be submitted to directly from the recommenders.

Note: The Frederick Douglass Scholarship has replaced the Transfer Academic Excellence Scholarship.