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Higher Education Financial Services


The Office of Higher Education Financial Services (HEFS) offers financial assistance for District students to enroll in and complete postsecondary study. Rising college tuition and associated costs continue to dissuade students from accessing higher education, yet research shows that financial assistance contributes to higher rates of college enrollment and success for students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. HEFS’ overall purpose is to support students in accessing, enrolling in, and completing postsecondary study by minimizing their financial costs.

Description of Services

HEFS makes earning a postsecondary degree easier for students by minimizing the overall cost of attending and enrolling in higher education. Through the District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG), DC residents receive funding for tuition at public and private universities, with up to $10,000 toward the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at public four-year colleges and universities, including public HBCUs; and up to $2,500 toward tuition at two-year private institutions in Washington, DC, private HBCUs, and two-year public colleges throughout the country. HEFS also distributes scholarship funds for postsecondary education through the Mayor’s Scholars Undergraduate Program (Mayor’s Scholars), a program available to financially-needy District residents enrolled in an institution of higher education in Washington, DC. For FY 14, maximum Mayor’s Scholars grant awards were $3,000 for UDC-CC, $7,000 for UDC, and $10,000 for private institutions. These programs promote college affordability for District students and support the overall goal of the division to improve enrollment, graduation, certificate completion, and employment rates for youth and adults in the District.


  • To ensure students receive financial support that will enable them to enroll in and complete a postsecondary program of study on time and with less debt.


Applicants must be District of Columbia residents admitted into or enrolled in an eligible first undergraduate degree program. Further eligibility requirements vary by scholarship program. Please visit the OSSE website for specific program eligibility.



Terrence Albert, Program Director
[email protected]
(202) 481-3946

Kenneth Howard, Operations Manager
[email protected]
(202) 741-6483

Melissa McKnight, Director
[email protected]
(202) 741-6413

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