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Students Thrive Through DCTAG

Since it was enacted in 1999, D.C. Tuition Assistance Program (DCTAG) funding has assisted more than 20,000 students in achieving their educational goals. DCTAG is a program that provides college-bound residents living in D.C. up to $10,000 to help offset the cost of attending public colleges and universities.

“Approximately 5,000 D.C. students are attending college today with DCTAG, two-thirds of whom are from low-income families. To demonstrate the importance of the funding, the number of students applying for DCTAG has increased every year, yet no eligible student has ever been denied funding to attend a DCTAG-eligible institution,” Kenneth McGhee, DCTAG director, told The Informer.

Under the pandemic, this work continues. McGhee said that despite the move to hybrid or remote learning environments under the current pandemic, DCTAG funding remains accessible.

“If a student is attending an approved DCTAG college or university, taking online classes is permitted. Also, because we recognize that some students will opt to sit out the fall 2019 semester due to COVID-19 concerns, any student planning to not attend college for fall 2019 but enroll for spring 2020, simply needs to complete the 2020-2021 application by the deadline.”

DCTAG, managed by the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education, affords high school graduates from the District of Columbia the benefits of in-state tuition at State colleges and universities outside the District of Columbia.

“Although most use DCTAG to attend college outside of the District, in 49 states, almost all return home to enrich the local workforce and the economy of this city in today’s increasingly competitive job market,” D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said in a 2014 roundtable featuring parents and students utilizing DCTAG. “DCTAG continues to draw students in large numbers from across the city at a time when some at the national level have raised questions about the value of a college education. Most of these views have been based on the cost of higher education, but we are fortunate in D.C. to have the only federal program that picks up the largest cost of college — tuition — at no cost to local taxpayers.”

Students need to apply each year to be considered for funding and assistance is provided for those who require it in completing applications.

If a student meets the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) eligibility standards, the parent is domiciled as a Washington, D.C., resident, and the student meets all additional program requirements, they can apply.

“Sometimes applying for financial aid can be complicated. If families need help filling out the forms, and for those who need language assistance, OSSE counselors are available,” McGhee said. “We can schedule appointments to provide one-on-one services with application completion. Our staff can be reached at the following web link: https://osse.dc.gov/dctag.”

The deadline to complete the online application and submit all needed documents has been extended again to Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.

Additional Things You Should Know:

Eligibility: Please see the below web link.

https://osse.dc.gov/page/dctag-prepare#supportingdocs

Income Guidelines:

https://osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/osse/page_content/attachments/Information%20on%20DCTAG%20Maximum%20Income%201.30.20.pdf

Applications / Apply online at:

https://dconeapp.dc.gov/

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