What is DCTAG and what does it cover?
The D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) program helps eligible students attend an approved public college or university by providing up to $10,000 annually to make up the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. Eligible students attending an approved Washington, D.C.-area private college or an approved Historically Black College or University anywhere in the U.S. can receive up to $2,500 per year.

Where can families get the application and what is the deadline?
The DC OneApp can be found at https://dconeapp.dc.gov. The 2021-22 DCTAG application is now open and will close on Friday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m.

Are there any family income guidelines?
Yes, the student’s family taxable annual income must be below the income thresholds as outlined at https://osse.dc.gov/dctag. If you have questions, please contact your DCTAG Counselor.

Who is eligible for this program?
This award is for U.S. students who reside in the District of Columbia and are in good academic standing in their first bachelor’s degree program. A checklist of required supporting documents can be found at https://osse.dc.gov/dctag.

Are the children of undocumented parents eligible if they are U.S. citizens or legal residents?
Yes, if the student meets the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) eligibility standards and their parents are domiciled in Washington, D.C. Students will need to meet all additional program requirements. Eligibility standards can be found at https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility.

Do students have to reapply every year?
Yes, students need to apply each year to be considered for funding.

Because of COVID-19, some schools may only have remote classes again this fall. Will DCTAG still cover the tuition?
If a student attends an approved DCTAG college or university, online classes will be covered by DCTAGif the out-of-state public tuition charges are in place and all other requirements are in place for the public or private college or university.

What if a student decides to sit out this semester, can they use their funds for spring 2022?
A student planning not to attend college in fall 2021, but enroll for spring 2022 needs to complete 2021-2022 application by the Sept. 17 deadline. If awarded funds, they will be able to use one semester’s award not the annual amount.

Sometimes applying for financial aid can be complicated. Can you share a few tips to help make the process easier?
Please read and review all application materials thoroughly. Staff email addresses and phone numbers can be found at https://dconeapp.dc.gov/contact-information. DCTAG counselors can also provide language assistance and help students complete the forms.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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