Comptroller Peter Franchot finds it regrettable that the cost of higher education prevents people from attending college and hopes that the student debt relief program can make college more affordable for eligible Marylanders. (Courtesy Photo)

By Megan Sayles
AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member

The deadline for Maryland’s student loan debt relief tax credit program is fast-approaching, and Comptroller Peter Franchot is urging eligible Marylanders to apply by Sept. 15

“This credit has always been a benefit, and one we have strongly encouraged Marylanders to take advantage of,” said Comptroller Franchot. 

The Maryland Higher Education Commission administers the program, and it bestows an income tax credit for Maryland resident taxpayers who are making eligible undergraduate or graduate education payments on loans from accredited colleges and universities. 

To be eligible for the tax credit, Maryland residents must have incurred at least $20,000 in student loan debt and have at least $5,000 in outstanding student loan debt at the time of their application for the program. 

The Maryland Higher Education Commission will prioritize taxpayers who did not receive a tax credit before, were eligible for in-state tuition, graduated from a college or university located in Maryland and have higher debt burden to income ratios. Those who do not attend a college or university in Maryland are still eligible for the program, but they may receive a smaller tax credit. 

If selected for the tax credit, the recipient has two years to provide proof to the Maryland Higher Education Commission showing that they used the money to pay down qualifying student loan debts. If they do not provide this documentation, the tax credit will be recaptured back to the state. 

“As you know, students and their families are struggling to pay the rising cost of tuition, so any program that lessens their expenses to help them thrive is one we fully endorse,” said Comptroller Franchot.

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