Preparing for DCTAG means gathering the information you will need for the application, and completing other steps that the DCTAG team will need to consider your application. You and/or your family will need to complete your taxes, file your FAFSA, and possibly get documents from other DC agencies.
A good first step when you consider any scholarship or grant is to see if you are eligible. DCTAG has a list of required characteristics for each applicant to meet, and information on which schools can accept DCTAG awards. This page also has links to clarify technical words, or to show you an example of a document.
DCTAG applicants must be:
- A US citizen or have an eligible non-citizenship status;
- One who is attending an eligible public or private college or university;
- A District of Columbia resident for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the applicant’s first time in college and maintain continued domicile throughout the applicant’s college matriculation (NOTE: Dependent students’ (under age 24) domicile is established though the parent or guardian);
- Not in a defaulted status with federal student loans;
- A high school graduate or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) recipient;
- Accepted for enrollment in, or working towards, a first undergraduate degree on, at least, a half-time basis as a regular degree-seeking student;
- One who has not earned or received a bachelor's degree;
- One who is not a professional or graduate-level degree candidate;
- In compliance with Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by the college/university of enrollment or accepted enrollment;
- 26 years of age or younger; and
- In compliance with DCTAG maximum income thresholds. To determine income level by award year and first year of postsecondary education, please review this guidance - DCTAG Maximum Income [Please note, this document was updated March 4, 2019 to reflect updated legislation. If you have questions, please contact your DCTAG Counselor.]
DCTAG students are limited to a maximum of six years of receiving awards and may not receive more than either the maximum award amount per year or the lifetime maximum award amount (these vary by institution type – please see the Students and Families Awards page for details).
This is a list of colleges and universities (institutions) that have signed the DCTAG Participation Agreement in the past. If you do not see the institution you attend or would like to attend, and it falls within an eligible category (see below), please contact the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s (OSSE) Postsecondary and Career Education (PCE) at (202) 727-2824. PCE will contact the institution.
DCTAG eligible institutions are: all public colleges and universities throughout the US; public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) throughout the US; all private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Proprietary schools are not eligible.
Proprietary institutions are defined, by the Internal Revenue Service, as institutions that are for profit.
The DCTAG team needs to verify the documents you submit to make sure you are eligible for DCTAG.
You can submit the tax forms online in the OneApp or bring all the documents to OSSE. If you do not file taxes there are other documents the DCTAG team can use to verify domicile.
Starting early is the key to success for getting all documents submitted before the June 30 DCTAG deadline! All required supporting documents must be postmarked or hand delivered to the OSSE office, to be considered for an award. Submitting the required items on the checklist allows the DCTAG Staff to start the review process
Helpful Hint – In the past when we said “submit your documents” it led students and families to believe they could just drop their documents off quickly and walk away. This was not exactly the way it worked, so while the process has not changed, we want to clarify what actually happens.
This step is really more of a meeting to review documents with a DCTAG Counselor. Most students (and their families) usually need to visit the DCTAG office, sometimes more than once. You may hand deliver documents or send them by US Mail. We hope the checklist/lista de verificación (above) and the example documents will help this process go smoothly for you.
Where can I get my Certified D-40 (tax documents)?
You should visit the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) at 1101 Fourth St. SW, Suite W270, Washington, DC 20004.
The office hours are 8:15 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and the phone number is (202) 727-4829. The closest Metro stop is on the Green Line at Waterfront Station.
Helpful Hints: Another person cannot receive a certified copy of a DC Income Tax Return (D-40) for a parent, guardian, or other relative without:
- A notarized letter signed by the parent, guardian, relative or other person authorizing the release of the Certified D-40 to the individual presenting the letter.
- A copy of the tax filer’s identification information (driver’s license, employment ID, etc.) for the parent, guardian, or other relative.
- The individual picking up the certified D-40 must present their identification.
Yes. Applicants will not need all of these documents to complete their DCTAG application, but if there is a document in the checklist that you can’t figure out, this packet has an example of each document we request to look at. The year may not be exactly correct – these are just visual examples.
Note: See more information about who may be a Ward of the Court or Ward of the District of Columbia.
Words to Know
To be eligible for DCTAG, an applicant must have established domicile in the District of Columbia for at least 12 months preceding the commencement of freshman year attendance at an institution of higher education. For full eligibility requirements please see the DC Code, Title 38, Chapter 27 and D.C. Municipal Regulations, Title 29, Chapter 70. In the District of Columbia, the term domicile has the same meaning as term “residence” when used for the purposes of verifying eligibility to enroll in District public schools.
Domicile is a person’s permanent place of dwelling. Consequently, domicile is a combination of two factors: (1) an actual residence and (2) an intent to remain.
Expected family contribution (EFC)
The EFC is a number used by your college or university to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive. EFC is calculated using a formula that uses your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security). The formula also considers your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year.
The information you share on your FAFSA is used to calculate your EFC. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.
Your EFC is not necessarily the amount of money your family will have to pay for college and it is also not the amount of federal student aid you will receive.
What is a SAR?
Your Student Aid Report (SAR) is a paper or electronic document that gives you some basic information about your eligibility for federal student aid as well as listing your answers to the FAFSA questions. Whether you receive your SAR online or on paper depends on whether you provide an email address on your FAFSA form.
If you have an FSA ID (username and password) and your FAFSA information has been processed, you can log in at fafsa.gov to view SAR information regardless of whether you filed the online or paper FAFSA form or provided an email address or not.
There is an example SAR in the documents above.