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DCTAG Students & Families

DCTAG – Go with the Flow

Applying for financial aid can be complicated. The DCTAG team is here to help you through the DCTAG application process. We believe a few keys to success with DCTAG and going to college in general are to: start early, be persistent, and ask for help.

The table below lists the big items to check off as you Prepare, Apply and Submit, and Receive DCTAG Awards. Click the links for more information on each step.

A note about timing - It is a good idea to plan your college-going application process in September. The DCTAG process starts in the October BEFORE you plan to enroll in college. These are some of the major steps in that process:

October - February

Apply and Submit
February - September

July - October

If you are in school, attend regularly and work on completing your graduation requirements.

Work with your family and counselors to:

  • Apply for college (if you are a high school senior or high school graduate who has not enrolled),
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),
  • Begin gathering supporting documents for DCTAG.

Complete the DC OneApp application.

Work with your family and DCTAG counselor to submit documents for approval at OSSE.

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Complete your Federal taxes (this will help you out next year for FAFSA).


If eligible, you should receive a DCTAG award letter by this time.*

Make a copy (or a few) of your award letter.

Submit your original DCTAG award letter to the Financial Aid Office at the college or university where you enroll.

DCTAG will send the funds directly to your college/ university each semester.

*Applicants should receive their award letter via email as soon as they are deemed eligible, so that may be earlier than July. The timing depends on when you complete the DCTAG application and have all your documents submitted (and accepted).

Other helpful hints:

  • Start a secure binder, folder, or file where you save information about all of your college and financial aid applications – don’t forget your passwords and your FSA ID!
  • It is best to consistently use your own personal email address rather than your high school or college-specific email address on applications (college, financial aid, or job) – you won’t be a student forever.
  • Make sure your information matches across college applications, FAFSA forms, taxes, and other documents when you fill them out.
  • Explore other scholarships and grants – choose those that are a good fit (for you, your college, or your field of study).
  • Get Help: If you need help with your DCTAG application or documents you may contact your assigned DCTAG Counselor at (202) 727‐2824 or 1-877‐485‐6751.