Article - Education
(a) For purposes of this section, an individual served in the Afghanistan or Iraq conflict if the individual was a member of the uniformed services of the United States who served in:
(1) Afghanistan or contiguous air space, as defined in federal regulations, on or after October 24, 2001, and before a terminal date to be prescribed by the United States Secretary of Defense; or
(2) Iraq or contiguous waters or air space, as defined in federal regulations, on or after March 19, 2003, and before a terminal date to be prescribed by the United States Secretary of Defense.
(b) There is a Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship.
(c) An individual may apply to the Office for a scholarship under this section if the individual:
(1) Is a resident of Maryland;
(2) (i) Is accepted for admission or enrolled in the regular undergraduate program at an eligible institution; or
(ii) Is accepted for admission or enrolled in a 2–year terminal certificate program in which the course work is acceptable for transfer credit for an accredited baccalaureate program in an eligible institution; and
(3) (i) 1. Is a veteran, as defined under § 9–901 of the State Government Article, who served in the Afghanistan or Iraq conflict;
2. Is an active duty member of the armed forces who served in the Afghanistan or Iraq conflict; or
3. Is a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or the Maryland National Guard who was activated as a result of the Afghanistan or Iraq conflict described in subsection (a) of this section; or
(ii) Is a son, daughter, or spouse of:
1. A veteran or active duty member of the armed forces who is serving or has served in the Afghanistan or Iraq conflict; or
2. A member of the reserve or Maryland National Guard who was activated as a result of the Afghanistan or Iraq conflict described in subsection (a) of this section.
(d) A scholarship awarded under this section may supplement, but is not contingent on, any federal education benefits for which a recipient qualifies as a result of an individual’s military service or status as a dependent of a member of the armed forces or of a veteran of the armed forces.
(e) (1) Each scholarship may be used, at any eligible institution, to pay for educational expenses as defined by the Office, including:
(i) Tuition and mandatory fees; and
(ii) Room and board.
(2) The annual amount of a scholarship may not exceed 50% of the equivalent annual tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board of a resident undergraduate student at the 4–year public institution of higher education within the University System of Maryland, other than the University of Maryland Global Campus and University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus, with the highest annual expenses for a full–time resident undergraduate.
(f) A scholarship recipient shall maintain a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
(g) Each recipient of a scholarship under this section may hold the award for 5 years of full–time study or 8 years of part–time study.
(h) (1) A scholarship recipient is not required to submit an application for federal or State financial aid.
(2) Scholarship recipients who file for financial aid must file by March 1 of each year.
(i) (1) The Office may not award an initial scholarship to an individual after June 30, 2030.
(2) The Office may renew a scholarship after June 30, 2030, if the individual received an initial scholarship before that date.
(j) A Senator or Delegate may authorize the Office to award all or a portion of the funds authorized under Subtitles 4 and 5 of this title to eligible recipients of scholarships awarded under this section.
(k) (1) Funds for the Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship shall be as provided in the annual budget of the Commission by the Governor.
(2) (i) In this subsection, “Fund” means the Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship Fund.
(ii) There is a Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship Fund in the Commission.
(iii) The Commission shall administer the Fund.
(iv) The Fund is a special, nonlapsing fund that is not subject to § 7–302 of the State Finance and Procurement Article.
(v) The State Treasurer shall hold the Fund separately and the Comptroller shall account for the Fund.
(vi) The Commission:
1. May accept any gift or grant from any person or corporation for the Fund;
2. Shall use any gift or grant that it receives for a scholarship from the Fund; and
3. Shall deposit any gift or grant that it receives for the Fund with the State Treasurer.
(3) (i) At the end of the fiscal year, the Commission shall prepare an annual report on the Fund that includes an accounting of all financial receipts and expenditures to and from the Fund.
(ii) The Commission shall submit a copy of the report to the General Assembly as provided under § 2–1257 of the State Government Article.