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OSSE Announces Policy Changes to DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) That Expand Access

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Contact: [email protected], (202) 412-2167

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announced changes today to the District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) program that will enable the program to serve more college-bound DC students. The changes increase the award amount for community college students to up to $10,000 per year in tuition assistance; increase the age limit for DCTAG eligibility to age 26; and change the eligibility time limit to reflect six years of receiving a DCTAG award. Previously, students who attended public community colleges were only eligible for up to $2,500 per year, the age limit for receipt of DCTAG funds was set at 24 years old, and the six-year limit on funding was based on a student’s initial postsecondary enrollment.

“It is critical that we do everything we can to support the success of college bound District residents,” said Mayor Bowser. “DCTAG will now help even more students reach their full potential during their journey through college and career.”

DCTAG provides funding to District residents to cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition - up to $10,000 toward tuition at public colleges and universities throughout the US, Guam and Puerto Rico. DCTAG also provides up to $2,500 for tuition assistance at private colleges and universities in the District and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) throughout the nation. DCTAG has helped over 25,000 District of Columbia students pay for college since its inception in 1999.  

The changes announced today are meant to ensure that the program’s policies reflect today’s postsecondary landscape while staying true to DCTAG’s legislative purpose to “enable college-bound residents of the [District] to have greater choices among institutions of higher education.”

“Compared to students in previous generations, current postsecondary students often need more flexibility in order to balance the demands of attending school, working, and caring for families, which means completing college can take longer. Additionally, tuition has risen disproportionately to inflation, sometimes making even community college cost-prohibitive for District students,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “These changes will help more students persist through college, earn degrees, and continue on the pathway to the middle class.”  

The application period for DCTAG opens Wednesday, February 1 and runs through June 30. Eligible District residents should apply early as funds are dispersed on a first come, first served basis.

To apply for DCTAG, interested applicants should: complete the DC OneApp; complete the FAFSA; and provide the Required Supporting Documents.