Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week Begins, The USM Doubles Top Scholarship Prize

August 13, 2019

Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week is underway, meaning big savings for shoppers and a chance for students attending a Maryland college or trade school to win a huge scholarship, simply by posting their shopping experience on social media through August 17.

The University System of Maryland (USM) Foundation has announced that it will generously match the $2,500 top prize provided by the Maryland Retailers Association (MRA) if the winner attends a member institution, meaning a total prize of $5,000 could be awaiting one Marylander!


“The University System of Maryland is pleased to support this year’s Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week, which is an important and effective way that Maryland students and families can stretch their back-to-school dollars,” said USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret. “We also appreciate the Maryland Retailers Association leveraging this annual activity by sponsoring the #shopmdtaxfree scholarship contest. To add to the excitement, I am happy to report that the USM Foundation will match the MRA’s $2,500 college scholarship if the eventual winner is enrolled at one of the USM’s 12 institutions or three regional centers—that’s a potential $5,000 scholarship to a lucky USM student! Again, we’re happy to do our part to support this important effort by Comptroller Peter Franchot and the MRA—good luck to all!”

In addition, USM institutions may individually choose to add on to this amount with their own matching scholarship, meaning the prize could go even higher.

“Just when I thought tax-free week couldn’t get any better, one student could now be in line for a $5,000 scholarship!” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “All they have to do is take a fun photo or video while shopping, write a creative caption and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #shopmdtaxfree. There’s no application, no interview, no essay – it doesn’t get any easier than that!”

During tax-free week, which runs through midnight on Saturday, August 17, any single qualifying article of clothing or footwear priced $100 or less – regardless of how many items are purchased at the same time – will be exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax. The first $40 of any backpack purchase is also tax-free.

This is the third year that the Maryland Retailers Association have provided scholarship money for Maryland college or trade school students — $2,500 for first place and $1,000 for second place — during tax-free week. Previous top prize winners attended Anne Arundel Community College and Cecil College.

Once again, entering the contest is simple. Eligible students simply need to:

  • Take a fun photo or video while shopping.
  • Write a catchy caption. (Be creative to catch the eye of the judges!)
  • Post to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #shopmdtaxfree.
  • After tax-free week, the MRA will select the two entries that best reflect the spirit of the contest and announce the winners. A scholarship presentation will take place in the following weeks.


4 Responses to Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week Begins, The USM Doubles Top Scholarship Prize

  1. Anonymous on August 13, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    college of southern maryland (csmd), laplata campus, the water fountains, 2 of them, need attention. They are just outside of the library, and, near stairs, next to the lockers, same building. The pour is so poor you can’t even use a cup. How about putting a sign on the water fountain: straight from the toilet

    whew — i thought i was going to have to fill out a comment card about this

  2. Anonymous on August 13, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    When someone gets into an auto accident, those involved like to determine the cause. And, when they find out the cause, they reassess whether they have to do that again. On my way to work… well, do i have to go to work again? yes. on my way to church, do i have to go to church again, well, maybe not the same one, but i don’t want to stop going to church. on my way to the farmers market, I don’t want to stop going there, is there another way i could go? Etc.. Well, what if someone gets into an auto accident……. on their way to class/ school? You could sit there & say, I shouldn’t go that way again, or, you could say, was school the cause of my auto accident? Its not wrong to think of school as a cause of an auto accident if the accident wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been going to school. Thats a fair enough question. Is school the cause of my accident? School is not looked at as a cause of an accident.

    • LOL on August 15, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      All that nonsense just to troll? Do you need a friend? Go get some sunlight and leave mommas basement.

  3. Prizes Games and Social Media! on August 14, 2019 at 6:03 am

    More giveaways, freebies, and prizes.

    No hard work, sweat, or planning required.

    life is a social media sponsored carnival.

    From the state that taxes its working class to death, yet remains in danger of bankruptcy from over-spending every year…..

    Another Maryland memory.