UMES Land Grant Scholarship | Financial Aid for Agricultural Science


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The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Land Grant Scholarship is an attractive financial aid opportunity for prospective students looking to attend this historically black university. With tuition and living expenses constantly rising, scholarships like this one are essential for helping students access and afford higher education today. Let’s get started!

Overview of UMES and the Land Grant Scholarship

UMES is one of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) located on Maryland’s picturesque Eastern Shore. As Maryland’s only research and 1890 Land Grant institution, UMES offers over 40 undergraduate degrees plus 14 master’s degrees and 4 doctoral programs.

The university has a rich history dating back to 1886 when it was founded as the Delaware Conference Academy. Today, UMES serves over 3,500 students and has a 13:1 student/faculty ratio allowing for smaller classes and more personalized attention. The university is divided into 5 academic schools:

  • School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences
  • School of Business and Technology
  • School of Education, Social Sciences and The Arts
  • School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
  • School of Graduate Studies

The UMES Land Grant Scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen students planning to enroll full-time in one of the agricultural or natural science programs within the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences.

This scholarship was established to uphold the Land Grant mission of providing access to higher education, especially within agricultural studies and related fields. Land Grant institutions like UMES receive federal funding to fulfill this mission of teaching agriculture, science, and engineering to provide an educated workforce.

The UMES Land Grant Scholarship continues this tradition by helping high-achieving students afford the cost of attending college to earn degrees in agricultural and life sciences.

Eligibility Requirements for UMES Land Grant Scholarship

To qualify for the UMES Land Grant Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • An incoming freshman student planning to enroll full-time at UMES for the Fall 2023 semester
  • Declared major in one of the following programs within the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences:
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Food and Agricultural Sciences
  • Natural Resources Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering and Aviation Science
  • Minimum high school GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Demonstrated financial need based on FAFSA
  • U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Not in default on any student loans

The scholarship is open to both in-state and out-of-state students who meet the program of study and GPA requirements.

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Students who apply early and complete the FAFSA by the priority deadline will have the best chance of being selected.

UMES Land Grant Scholarship Application Timeline and Process

Students interested in the UMES Land Grant Scholarship must apply and be accepted for admission to UMES. The scholarship application then opens in the Fall and has an early January deadline.

Here is an overview of the application timeline:

October 1 – FAFSA Application Opens
November 1 – UMES Freshman Application Opens
December 1 – UMES Admissions Early Action Deadline
January 15 – Land Grant Scholarship Application Deadline
February 1 – FAFSA Priority Deadline
March 1 – UMES Admissions Regular Decision Deadline
April 1 – Land Grant Scholarship Recipients Notified
May 1 – Enrollment Deposit Deadline for Scholarship Recipients

To apply, students must submit the online scholarship application along with the following:

  • Statement of Family Financial Need (250 words or less)
  • Official High School Transcript
  • FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Letter of Recommendation from a teacher or counselor
  • Personal Essay describing their interests in agricultural sciences and career goals (500 words or less)
  • Apply Now

It is strongly recommended to apply for admission under the early action deadline to ensure you meet the Land Grant scholarship application deadline. Students are encouraged to start their FAFSA application as early as possible to allow time for processing and meeting the February 1 priority deadline.

Selection Criteria for UMES Land Grant Scholarship

The Land Grant Scholarship is a competitive program with a limited number of awards available each year. The scholarship committee will review and evaluate applications based on the following criteria:

Academic Achievement (50%): This includes the cumulative high school GPA, transcript rigor, and standardized test scores. Competitive applicants typically have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have taken Honors/AP/IB courses.

Demonstrated Financial Need (20%): This is assessed based on the FAFSA and Statement of Financial Need document. Students from lower-income households and those who would be unable to attend UMES without financial assistance are given priority.

Personal Essay (15%): The essay is reviewed for quality of writing, passion for agricultural sciences, and future career goals aligned with the Land Grant mission.

Letter of Recommendation (15%): Strong letters from teachers, counselors, employers, or mentors who can speak to the student’s work ethic, character, and potential for success in college are preferred.

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Award Amounts in UMES Land Grant Scholarship

The Land Grant Scholarship is awarded in an annual amount of up to $5,000 per recipient. The exact award each student receives will vary based on their financial need and other grants/scholarships they are receiving.

Students are notified of their total financial aid package including the Land Grant scholarship in their official acceptance letter to UMES.

This scholarship can be applied to any educational expenses while enrolled including:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation
  • Miscellaneous educational expenses

The award is disbursed 50% for the Fall semester and 50% for the Spring semester. If students receive other grants/scholarships that fully cover their tuition and direct costs, they can use the Land Grant scholarship to cover indirect expenses like books, room and board, transportation, or purchasing a computer.

Renewal Criteria

The Land Grant Scholarship is renewable for up to 4 years of undergraduate study. Recipients must meet the following criteria each year for renewal:

  • Maintain full-time enrollment in one of the eligible agricultural/natural science degree programs
  • Complete a minimum of 30 credits per academic year
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Demonstrate satisfactory academic progress according to UMES policies
  • File the FAFSA application each year by the priority deadline
  • Not be in default on any student loans

As long as recipients meet these renewal criteria, the scholarship will be automatically renewed each year for up to 8 total semesters. Students who switch majors outside of the approved degree programs will lose eligibility to continue receiving the scholarship.

Tips for Putting Together a Strong Application

Here are some tips to help you submit a stand-out Land Grant Scholarship application:

Apply early! You don’t want to miss the priority deadlines for admissions, FAFSA, and the scholarship application. Give yourself plenty of time.

Start your essays early. Brainstorm topics and outlines months before so you can start drafting. Don’t wait until the week of the deadline!

Highlight your agricultural experiences. Include things like 4-H, FFA, farm work experience, food/nutrition projects, or science fairs related to agriculture or natural resources.

Get feedback on your essays. Have teachers, counselors, or parents review your drafts and provide feedback.

Submit all supplemental items. Don’t forget to provide your transcript, test scores, FAFSA SAR report, and letter of recommendation. Double-check the requirements.

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Proofread everything! Careless errors can make an otherwise strong application seem sloppy.

Be passionate and specific. Express your interests in agriculture/natural resources fields and your future goals in a focused, sincere way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be a Maryland resident?

No, the scholarship is open to both in-state and out-of-state students.

What is the FAFSA SAR report?

This is the Student Aid Report you receive after submitting the FAFSA. It provides details on your expected family contribution (EFC) and financial need.

Is this scholarship only for minority students?

No, the Land Grant scholarship is open to all students regardless of race, gender, or background.

Can the scholarship be used for study abroad?

Yes, recipients can use the scholarship for approved study abroad programs related to their agricultural degrees.

Is this scholarship renewable for all 4 years?

Yes, recipients can renew the scholarship each year by meeting the stated criteria around GPA, credits, degree progress, FAFSA renewal, and satisfactory academic standing.

Do I need major in agriculture?

You must major in one of the approved agricultural or natural sciences programs. However, an agricultural business or agricultural economics major would qualify, for example.

If I receive other scholarships, does this reduce my award?

Yes, your total financial aid package including grants and scholarships cannot exceed your calculated cost of attendance each year. Receiving other aid may mean this scholarship award is reduced.

Can homeschool students qualify?

Yes, homeschooled students who meet the eligibility criteria and provide the required documentation can apply. An official transcript with courses, grades, and GPA is required.


The UMES Land Grant Scholarship represents an amazing opportunity for students passionate about agricultural sciences and related fields. With rising costs preventing many students from being able to afford college, financial aid is more important than ever.

We hope this guide provided a comprehensive overview of all the key details around the UMES Land Grant Scholarship—from eligibility criteria to FAQs. The application process does take time and planning, but this scholarship provides invaluable support to high-achieving, financially-needy students pursuing careers in agricultural sciences and related fields. Don’t hesitate to contact the scholarship office or your admissions counselor with any other questions you may have!

Hello, my name is Joseph Samaritan and I am a blogger who writes about various topics of interest, I have a passion for learning and sharing knowledge through my blog, I welcome feedback and comments on my posts and I look forward to engaging with you, thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you enjoy reading it.


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