Central Scholarship, an Owings Mills-based organization that helps students obtain interest-free loans and grants to attend accredited institutions, recently received a special Advocacy Award from the National Scholarship Providers Association.

The award recognized Central Scholarship’s efforts to restrict the practice of scholarship award displacement, which occurs when a student’s institutional scholarship is reduced following receipt of a private scholarship. The was presented on Oct. 2 at NSPA’s annual conference in Minneapolis.

In 2017, Maryland was the first state in the nation to pass legislation to restrict the practice of scholarship award displacement at the state’s public universities. Central Scholarship was the lead advocate for the Maryland law.

“We are dedicated to helping make college more affordable for Maryland families and students,” said Jan Wagner, president of Central Scholarship, in accepting the award. “Private scholarships are an important part of the financial aid package that factors into college affordability. Our efforts reduce the potential loss of institutional scholarships given to students who have received one of our very competitive awards.”

Said Jackie Bright, executive director of NSPA: “This award recognizes Central Scholarship’s efforts to build public awareness about the practice of scholarship award displacement. Central Scholarship has demonstrated tremendous leadership in representing the interests of low-income families and students. Because of their commitment to public education and advocacy work, scholarship award displacement is now part of the national discussion about college affordability.”

Founded in 1924, Central Scholarship awards $1 million annually in scholarships and interest-free loans for students pursuing undergraduate, graduate and career training studies. The scholarships are awarded on a financial-need basis to students from throughout Maryland.

For information, visit https://central-scholarship.org/ .