UMD: A Globally Connected University

Roberta Ma Scholarship

Roberta Ma Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the Roberta Ma Scholarship for international students. 


  

Scholarship History

The Roberta M. Ma Fund was established, through the University System of Maryland Foundation, Inc., in September 1985 by friends of Roberta Ma and the officers of Koinonia Agapes, Inc. At the request of the donors, the Fund was transferred to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., in February 2001. Spendable income from the Roberta M. Ma Fund provides scholarships and other forms of assistance to international students.
 

Donor Statement

Dr. Roberta M. Ma was born in China. She came to the United States in 1924 to attend the University of Texas, where she received a B.A. and and M.A. in botany, and later a Ph.D. in plant physiology. After returning to China to teach at various universities, Dr. Ma returned to the United States in 1938, eventually becoming a biochemist researcher for the FDA.

In 1960, Dr. Ma first opened her Maryland home to international students from the University of Maryland. She provided these young people a place to gather, share meals, and celebrate. Dr. Ma's residence became a home away from home for the international students. This evolving international fellowship group was transformed into a non-profit organization in 1963 and named Koinonia Agapes, Inc., which is Greek for "Fellowship of Love." As the number of participants grew, it became apparent that Dr. Ma's home was no longer a sufficient gathering place and that a larger meeting site was needed. In 1966, Dr. Ma purchased property near Route 1 in College Park, Maryland with the intention of building an international fellowship hall that could accommodate 50-90 students.

Unfortunately, Dr. Ma passed away on December 30, 1975, before the center could become a reality. The Board Members of Koinonia Agapes, Inc. decided that an international student scholarship would fulfill Dr. Ma's dream of building international understanding and contributing to the achievement of world peace by assisting international students.

The Roberta Ma Scholarship is awarded annually to international students meeting the academic qualifications and possessing a demonstrated financial need.

 

How to Apply

The application deadline is March 31, 2021

To access the application log into your iTerp account and click on Enrolled F1/J1 Students on the left side.  The Roberta Ma Scholarship e-form application should be visible.  Fill out the application, write about your financial need and upload your I-94 record.  The application form will close 5pm on March 31, 2021. 

The Office of International Student & Scholar Services welcomes eligible international students at the University of Maryland, College Park, to apply now for the Roberta Ma Scholarship. In order to be eligible for the Spring 2021 scholarship, you must be an F-1/J-1 international student, enrolled at UMD in good academic standing and located inside the U.S.  

Priority is given to students who are living on-campus, graduating either Spring or Summer 2021 terms, have outstanding tuition obligations, have dependents, and do not have assistantships. ISSS encourages all students to apply; the Roberta Ma Scholarship fund offers $170,000 to benefit F-1/J-1 students with a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 each. ISSS is appreciative to Dr. Ma for endowing this fund, especially since scholarship opportunities for international students are scarce. Dr. Ma dreamt of building international understanding and contributing to the achievement of world peace by assisting international students. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted international students and federal relief has excluded F-1/J-1 students from applying for aid. We expect to apply the $1,000 scholarship to the UMD accounts of individual students who receive the award in late April 2021.  The award can be used toward tuition and/or fees.

Eligibility to apply:

  • Must be an F-1/J-1 
  • In good academic standing (GPA of at least 2.0 UG/3.0 Grad)
  • Enrolled at UMD in spring 2021
  • Must be inside the U.S. at the time of application

Priority will be given to students who:

  • Have an outstanding university bill
  • Do not receive tuition remission
  • Are graduating in the spring or summer 
  • Have accompanying F-2/J-2 dependents
  • Live on-campus

The application deadline is March 31, 2021

To access the application log into your iTerp account and click on Enrolled F1/J1 Students on the left side.  The Roberta Ma Scholarship e-form application should be visible. Complete the application, write about your financial need and upload your I-94 record.  The application form will close at 5pm on March 31, 2021. If you have questions, please contact us at robertama@umd.edu .