Banneker/Key Scholars Program Information

1. Overview
2. Special Events & Activities
3. On-Campus Housing and Dining
4. Book Allowance
5. Internship, Cooperative Education, and Study Abroad Programs
6. Academic Requirements
7. Rules for Accepting Multiple Scholarships
8. Preparing for National Awards and Scholarships
9. More Information About Financial Matters
10. Contact Us


1. Overview
The Banneker/Key is Maryland's most prestigious scholarship. There are two levels of funding, full and partial. The full Banneker/Key provides full tuition, room, board, and a book allowance. Beginning in Fall 2020, the room and board amount will be dependent on where a student is living, whether at home with family or on- or off-campus not with family. Please review the policy for details.)

The partial Banneker/Key provides $8,000 for in-state students and $12,000 towards tuition for out-of-state students annually. Both levels of the scholarship include an additional book allowance each year. On campus, we make no distinction between full and partial Banneker/Key Scholars, except in the confidential records of the Office of Undergraduate Admission and Office of Student Financial Aid.

2. Special Events & Activities
One of the highlight events for first-year Banneker/Key Scholars is the annual President's reception. This is a great opportunity for students to meet President Pines, deans, faculty, some of our generous scholarship donors, and other Banneker/Key Scholars. Planning for the Fall 2021 event is underway.

The student-initiated and student-run Banneker/Key Community Council (BKCC) hosts occasional academic, social, and recruiting events for the Banneker/Key community. If you are interested in getting involved as a student leader in the BKCC, please contact

3. On-Campus Housing and Dining
Entering Banneker/Key Scholars are strongly encouraged to live in the Honors residence halls at the beginning of their college careers; after submitting the campus housing contract to Resident Life, Banneker/Key Scholars are automatically assigned to Honors housing unless the student requests other housing. For questions concerning housing and dining plans, please visit the Department of Resident Life Housing Commitment PolicyDepartment of Resident Life, and Department of Dining Services. For students with a full Banneker/Key scholarship, the room and board amount will be dependent on where a student is living, whether at home with family or on- or off-campus not with family. If available, students may choose a more expensive housing option or meal plan and pay the difference in expense. See the Banneker/Key policy for specific info. Any portion of a full Banneker/Key scholarship not used will be credited to the student’s account, and the student will receive a refund. The quickest way to receive the refund is via direct deposit.

4. Book Allowance
All Banneker/Key Scholars receive a book allowance each year. (Check the Scholarship Program Policy for the 2021-22 year amount.) One-half of the book allowance is credited to the student's financial aid account at the beginning of each term. If the student has a credit in their account at the beginning of the term, then a check for the credit amount will be mailed to the student's home address or the student can sign-up for direct deposit to a personal bank account. This allows students to purchase books from any vendor at any time.

5. Internship, Cooperative Education, and Study Abroad Programs
There are many opportunities for Banneker/Key Scholars to participate in exceptional research, internships and cooperative education experiences on and off campus. These programs provide opportunities for scholars to test classroom learning in the world of work, explore career possibilities, and enhance personal and professional development prior to graduation, as well as serve the community through volunteer experiences. For further information, visit the Career Center.

Check out Maryland's vibrant Study Abroad Programs. Banneker Key students who plan to participate in cooperative education or study abroad should contact their Honors advisor, study abroad advisor, and the Office of Student Financial Aid the semester before travel begins to ensure proper allocation of the scholarship. In many cases, the Banneker Key Scholarship can be applied toward the costs of studying abroad.

6. Academic Requirements
Banneker/Key Scholars must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or better each semester and complete a minimum of 30 credits per year. Please see the Banneker/Key Scholarship Policy Statement for details. Credits earned during the winter or summer terms will count towards the credit requirement for the year; but the cost of winter and summer courses are not covered by the scholarship.  The academic year begins in the fall and ends with the close of the summer term.  For example, credits earned in Summer 2021 will count toward the 2020-2021 academic year.

Students who anticipate that they may fall below the minimum GPA requirements or the minimum credit level for the scholarship are encouraged to contact the Banneker/Key advisor right away. Students who fall below a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 are permitted a one-time/one-semester grace period to allow them to re-qualify for their scholarship. Students who find that they need to request an exception due to extenuating circumstances can do so in writing to the Scholarship Appeal Committee at and contact us with questions.

7. Rules for Accepting Multiple Scholarships
Full Banneker/Key Scholars who are also awarded other scholarships are often eligible to receive their Banneker/Key Scholarship in conjunction with outside funds up to the amount of the University of Maryland's Cost of Attendance. Partial Banneker/Key Scholars are able to accept all outside scholarships up to the University of Maryland's Cost of Attendance. Banneker/Key Scholars must report all additional scholarships to the Office of Student Financial Aid as soon as possible.

8. Preparing for National Awards and Scholarships
Want to travel or study after you graduate? Want to win a nationally/internationally prestigious award to attend graduate school after you graduate from Maryland? Banneker/Key Scholars are very competitive candidates for national awards and scholarships. However, successful applications for awards such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, Truman, and Goldwater require early preparation and planning, even beginning in the freshman year. Visit the National Scholarships Office. Make time during your first year on campus to meet your National Scholarships Office advisor and learn about opportunities that will be a good match for your interests.

9. For More Information about Financial Matters
For more information about the award and benefits of the Banneker/Key Scholarship, please visit the Banneker/Key Scholarship Policy Statement. This document answers many frequently asked questions about the Banneker/Key Scholarship.

It is possible that a portion of your Banneker/Key Scholarship could be taxable. Remember to download a copy of your 1098-T IRS form at the beginning of each year. This form will show you exactly what part of your scholarship has been reported to the IRS as taxable income.  If you have questions, please contact the Office of the Bursar at 301-314-9000.

10. Still Have Questions?
Please feel free to be in touch!

Contact us at:

Jenny Lang, Associate Director, Honors College: