How You Can Become a Bernie Scholar 

Resiliency • Courage • Drive • Persistence

In The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program, we consider the application an exciting process. We always look forward to reviewing and getting to know each applicant. We want the process to be enjoyable for applicants too, so please do not hesitate to ask questions. Provided below are the procedures to follow.

​Who may apply​​

  • Low-income students who live in Montgomery County, Maryland, and who receive housing assistance from Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), the Scotland Community or from housing owned or managed by Rockville Housing Enterprises, Edgewood Management or Forest Park Apartments, and other students who can prove they have a Section 8 or Public Housing rental subsidy. 
  • Applicants must not exceed household income caps noted on the Application Form.
  • Graduating high school students and other adults who are beginning or returning to college or vocational training and have a minimum 2.0 GPA.
  • “Dreamers” who are not eligible for financial aid due to their immigrant status and who have attended a Montgomery County high school for 3 years starting 2005-2006 school years or later, graduated or received a GED, registered at a Maryland Community College within 4 years of high school graduation or receiving a GED in Maryland.
  • Applicants who are prior scholarship recipients, if they still meet eligibility requirements.

​How to apply

  • In January each year, we post the scholarship Application Form here on The Bernie website, send recruitment flyers to the referring subsidized housing agencies noted above, and we ask Montgomery County Public School counselors to distribute our recruitment flyers to all high school seniors.

  • Applications with all required documentation and two references from non-relatives are usually due in March (the Application Form gives the due date).

  • If the Application Form isn’t submitted online by the due date or isn’t complete with all required documentation and references, it will be denied, so  pay close attention to the requirements and deadline.  Review the Checklist on the Application Form to ensure that all items listed are fully addressed and that required information and two references from non-relatives are completed and submitted online through this website..  If not, the application will be denied.

Online Application Form

  • This is an online Application Form which MUST be submitted using the online link below.  You will see forms for the two references required, follow up with your references and check to be sure that they have submitted their online forms by March 19, 2018.

  • For free assistance in completing this online Application Form, contact Montgomery College’s Educational Opportunity Center at 240-567-5644, a counselor at your family’s housing agency, or The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program,

  • The 2018 Application Form will be available January 8 to March 19, 2018, as well as the 2018 Recommendation Form; the deadline for online submission will be March 19, 2018.


  • Carefully review the Checklist on the Application Form for the required information needed to complete the online Application Form, and have all information with you when you complete the online Application Form.


  • This will be for your preparation purpose only.  The Application Form must be submitted using the above link.

What to expect after submitting an application

  • ​Applications are reviewed by a committee of the Board.  Applicants who meet eligibility requirements and submit fully completed Application Forms with the other required information and online references by the deadline will be invited as finalists to be interviewed by Board members on Interview Day.

  • Applicants should plan ahead to attend Interview Day for finalists (usually on a Saturday morning in early May) and for the Awards Celebration (usually in early evening the third week of May) for award recipients and their families.  Finalists are required to be present for an interview on Interview Day in the morning.  Exceptions are made if on Interview Day a finalist has a personal or family emergency, required employment or is out of state due to educational commitments.  However, finalists who cannot be interviewed in person are required to make arrangements for a phone interview on Interview Day in the morning.

  • After the interviews, finalists will be informed within a few days whether or not they have been chosen to receive a Bernie Scholarship award.

  • The program encourages all awardees to attend its heartwarming Bernie Awards Celebration and to bring young and old family members and a mentor or teacher to the celebration.  The celebration is usually held on a Thursday evening in the third week of May from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  The event includes dinner, awards, music and a Keynote Speaker.  It is a lovely family event—a celebration of each award recipient’s achievements and educational goals.

  • Awardees will be given an instructional sheet that explains the process for their award funds to be sent to the college or training program for tuition or books, or sometimes for other related expenses.

The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program