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DC Futures Information for Students

The DC Futures Program (DC Futures) was created to support DC residents who want to enroll in a local university and earn their first associate or bachelor’s degree.

DC Futures is a new program, and as additional information becomes available, this page and related content will be updated.

What is DC Futures?

DC Futures is so much more than a scholarship.

Completing a degree takes more than money, especially for first-time college students. The DC Futures program will offer DC participants a variety of supports. To participate you must apply for the program each year.

  • A scholarship – all DC Futures recipients are eligible for last-dollar scholarship to attend one of three approved local universities if they major in a set of program areas or majors.

AND

  • College coaching – all DC Futures recipients are required to participate in a college coaching program – either through DC Futures designated providers or through an approved program such as DCPS Persists. This support comes with a stipend of up to $125 per month, in addition to any scholarship awarded. Please see the relevant handbook for information and amounts specific to partial award periods (such as spring/summer 2023). The stipend is intended to be divided evenly by the months in an academic year – fall, spring, summer – over twelve months, so the maximum stipend possible will be less for participants in partial award periods.
  • Access to additional funds – all DC Futures recipients are eligible to request up to $2,000 annually in emergency funds for those expenses that come up on a rainy day. This support will be based on need and fund availability. Recipients may also request up to $1,500 one-time to pay down a previous years’ unpaid balance at an institution of higher education.

Whether you are interested the scholarship, coaching, career advice, or peace of mind about unforeseen college costs – we encourage you to explore the sections below, determine if you are eligible for the DC Futures program and apply!

The spring/summer 2023 application opens on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Eligible individuals are invited to review the information below and check back here for application updates.

2022-23 Award Year

  • This award year includes two award periods: (1) the 2022-23 award year and (2) the spring/summer 2023 award period.
    • Most DC Futures participants completed their application to participate in DC Futures by August 2022 and will participate August 2022 through July 2023.
    • A second application for spring/summer 2023 opens in October 2022 and if approved, these DC Futures participants will participate January through July 2023.
  • The DC Futures Handbooks provide the best information for participants and interested community members regarding the details of the program by award period.

    • The handbook reviews eligibility and renewal criteria, timelines, award details, participant responsibilities, and what to do in case of a transfer, change of major, or appeal.
    • There is a new handbook for spring/summer 2023 participants and the original handbook for 2022-23 participants.
    • For spring/summer 2023 applicants, the handbook describes the application documents & process beginning on page 4 and required majors by university are here.
    • The policy discusses general program management and may also be useful.
  • Scholarship: If eligible for a scholarship, DC Futures students should
    • Maintain their academic progress and remain in good standing.
    • Talk to the financial aid office at their university if they have a question about their award
    • If a student changes their major, transfers, or withdraws from their university they should notify their DC Futures College Coaching provider and the DC Futures Program Manager Melanie Fleming.
  • Coaching: Participating DC Futures students should be matched with an assigned coaching provider before the add/drop period of their first semester in the program.
    • The providers are:
      • JMG Productions
      • Associates for Renewal in Education
    • If a DC Futures student does not hear from their assigned coaching provider by before the add/drop period of their first semester in the program, please email Alexis Miller at [email protected].
    • To be eligible for DC Futures, students are required to participate in a college coaching program. Participants will be assigned to a DC Futures College Coaching provider by OSSE after the participant accepts the program terms. DC Futures participants will be required to engage with their coach at least once per month. If a participant already has a college coach or mentor from an approved entity, the participant may work with their assigned DC Futures coach to submit the Alternative Coaching Approval form that affirms that the participant is receiving services that are comparable to those the participant would have received from the assigned DC Futures coach.
    • Coaching participation stipends will be administrated by each DC Futures participant’s designated coaching provider on a monthly basis. Coaching participation stipends are contingent upon participants’ monthly engagement with their assigned coaching partner.
    • Participating students may receive up to $1,500 per year for regular engagement with their coaching provider. The lifetime cap for stipends is $6,000 for students enrolled in a two-year program, and $9,000 for students enrolled in a four-year program.
    • Please note: The stipend is intended to be divided evenly by the months in an academic year – fall, spring, summer – over twelve months. So, participants in partial award periods (e.g., spring/summer 2023) will not be eligible for the maximum stipend amount, since the number of months with coaching participation will be fewer than those of a participant in the full academic year. For example, a full academic year – fall, spring, summer would include up to twelve months of coaching stipends totaling $1,500 (12 months at $125 per month). Participants who begin coaching in January for spring/summer, would include up to seven months and could receive up to $875 for their participation (seven months at $125 per month). Regardless of time period, the monthly stipend is based on participation and disbursal is managed by the designated DC Futures College Coaching providers.
    • Each provider may have their own process for disbursing these funds.
  • Emergency Funds and Previously Unpaid Balance Requests: DC Futures students should receive directions from their university regarding the process used to request and receive these funds.
    • DC Futures students may request up to $2,000 in emergency funds each year they participate in the program to cover unexpected emergency expenses that would impact their ability to remain enrolled at the university they attend (i.e., food, housing, child care, transportation, health, safety and security, and learning resources).
    • DC Futures students may also submit a one-time request to pay a previously unpaid balance at a college or university. These funds are intended to enable DC Futures students to access transcripts and credit(s) that can be applied to their current program.
    • The assigned coaching provider may provide support around a student’s requests for emergency funds and previously unpaid balances, but those requests must be submitted through the student’s university.
  • Please review the Q&A page for answers to common questions such as what to do if a DC Futures student changes their major, changes their university enrollment, stops out, or wants to know more about the 2023-24 application.

Applicants will be asked to indicate their intent to pursue a major associated with a high-demand field when applying for DC Futures (see Eligibility Criteria). Your enrollment in an approved program for the current year will be verified by your university after you apply. OSSE will update approved fields and related programs annually.

You may transfer between approved programs without penalty.

DC Futures offers support to applicants pursuing majors on the approved list. If you change to a major not on this list, you will no longer be eligible for DC Futures programming and you should contact OSSE at [email protected] or (202) 741-6406 to formally withdraw from the program.

If an eligible major is removed from the list of approved programs after your first award year, participants remain eligible if the following criteria are met:

  • You remain enrolled in the same university, program, and major.
  • You apply for DC Futures each consecutive year.
  • You continue to meet all other eligibility criteria.