Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program Application Instructions

To contain the spread of COVID-19, mandatory telework has been invoked for MSDE non-essential employees. Emailed inquiries will receive a more prompt response than phone calls. Please email boost.msde@maryland.gov

The BOOST online Application deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020.

The BOOST Program provides scholarships for students who are eligible for the Free or Reduced-Price Meals program.  Awards are granted based on household income, with the lowest income served first. Access the income thresholds for the program. Applications for BOOST Scholarships must include documents supporting income eligibility and school enrollment.

Required Application Documents:


You need to submit two types of documents with your application in order to be considered for a scholarship award:

  1. 2019 Federal Income tax return, Form 1040 – eligibility determined by the household income reported on Federal 1040A for tax year 2019 is within the threshold limits for household size and income
  2. Documentation from the participating nonpublic school that the student is enrolled or has applied for admission to the BOOST participating school. The list of potential participating schools is available in a link on the main BOOST webpage.

Both required documents must be in pdf file format and uploaded to the BOOST online application. Access detailed information regarding who is required to file a federal income tax returnAccess an inter-active, on-line IRS interview that may provide additional information regarding who must file a federal tax return or who should file to receive a refund.

ONLY if by law, you are not required to file a federal income tax return, and have not submitted a federal income tax return to the IRS, you may complete and submit an alternative income verification form with supporting documentation necessary to verify income. Access the alternative income verification form. Supporting documents may include supplemental social security statements, or a 2020 budget letter from your local department of social services if you are receiving public benefits. Letters from a local school system will not be considered as documentation for BOOST eligibility.

Informal Kinship Care - for students in informal kinship care, the BOOST application should be completed with information on the relative/other adult providing kinship care as the guardian, and the federal 1040A tax return listing the student as a dependent. The application must also include an electronic attachment of an affidavit verifying informal kinship care.  Access the MSDE kinship care affidavit form.

For children in foster care, a written state/local documentation re: child placement must be uploaded instead of a federal tax return. The BOOST application should be completed with information on the foster parent as the guardian, and the family income should be reported as zero.

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Deadline to submit complete application – midnight July 15, 2020.

The online application portal can be found here:  BOOST Application 2020-2021

Access instructions how to print completed application.