Washington DC Student Grants for College
Fund Your Education with Free Grant MoneyThe cost of higher education is steadily increasing, making it more and more difficult for low-income students to pursue education after high school.
Benefits for Going Back to School
Working adults trying to further their opportunities, low-income families and disadvantaged students fall by the wayside when accounting for college graduates.
The federal government and individual states have come up with a way to assist disadvantaged students by awarding grants.
Grants vs Scholarships & Loans
Grants are very different from scholarships and loans; loans are expected to be paid back with interest and scholarships are earned by merit.
Grants are money that is paid out to qualified students with no expectation of back-payment and given under certain conditions that vary by grant type. The federal government gives out grants each year; however, grants are also issued by the state of residence.
Grants in Washington DC
Students that reside in Washington D.C have the opportunity to attend a variety of public and private institutions. Throughout the District of Columbia, 35 colleges and Universities have opened their doors to those receiving a higher education.
There are some very well known institutions in Washington D.C, including Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College and Georgetown University. The quality of education that is offered in Washington D.C draws many students to our nations capitol.
The State Education Office in Washington D.C offers three options for grant aid:
The DC Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG)
The DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program was designed specifically to target the most disadvantaged students residing throughout Washington D.C who are interested in attaining a degree beyond high school. There are two options for those students who qualify for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG):
1. Public College for disadvantaged Undergraduate students: the public institution option provides an award amount of up to $10,000 per year for no more than five consecutive years. Students do not necessarily need to attend a school within the District of Columbia; the amount per year covers the economic difference between attending an in-state school and an out-of-state school anywhere in the United States.
2. Private College for disadvantaged Undergraduate students: the private institution option awards less money than does the public option and is limited to the schools in the District of Columbia area, including the counties of Prince George, Montgomery, Arlington and Fairfax. The private school option awards up to $2,500 per year for no more than five consecutive years.
Eligibility RequirementsStudents applying for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant are subject to the following:
- Having graduated from high school or earned a comparable degree (GED) after January 1, 1998
- Having resided in the Distict of Columbia for a year prior to enrolling in a college with financial aid
- Having enrolled in college within three years of graduating from high school or earning a GED
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal non-U.S. citizen
- Having been accepted at an institution that is eligible for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG)
Application ProcessStudents who are wishing to apply for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant must complete the DC One Application which is available to students at the DC-CAP centers, the TAG website, the Greater Washington College Information Center or by speaking to a TAG representative at (202)727-2824
The DC Adoption Grant
The DC Adoption Grant was authorized in 2001 by the Adoption Voucher Act and is designed to give financial assistance to those students in the District of Columbia area who were adopted or lived in foster care; the grant is also extended to those students who had a parent killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Upon creation of the Adoption Voucher Act in 2001, $1 million was set up by the federal government to start a fund for qualifying students in the DC area who were attaining a degree further than high school.
Eligibility RequirementsStudents wishing to obtain the DC Adoption Grant must adhere to the following:
- Having been adopted through the District of Columbia's Child and Family Services after October 1, 2001
- (or) Having been in the District of Columbia's foster care system after October 1, 2001
- (or) Having lost one or both parents to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 while they were living in Washington DC and must maintain living in Washington DC throughout college career
- Be a U.S or eligible non-U.S citizen
- Having graduated from high school or obtained a comparable degree, including a GED
- Be 24 years old or younger before the date of deadline for the grant application
- Having no previous holds or debts from student or federal loans
- Applicants must be accepted in an eligible instution or already working towards a degree at an eligible institution on at least a part-time basis (converts to at least 6 credit hours in a semester)
The DC Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program (LEAP)
The DC Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program is a grant that is based on financial need. Disadvantaged students in the District of Columbia area are eligible to receive financial aid if they are enrolled in an eligible instution for at least part-time (6 credit hours per semester).
The DC Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program (LEAP) is a renewable grant program that awards approximately $1,500 per year to qualified students. This award was formerly called the DC SSIG Grant and is completely need-based, allowing students to attend any private or public instutition throughout the United States.
Eligibility RequirementsStudents wishing to gain access to the LEAP grant will adhere to the following:
- Be a U.S or eligible non-U.S citizen
- Be a legal and permanent resident of the Washington D.C area for at least 18 months prior to application
- Students must be enrolled at an eligible institution for at least part-time status (6 credit hours per semester)
Application ProcessStudents who are applying for the DC Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program grant should fill out and turn in two separate applications:
- FAFSA form
- LEAP application form with a copy of the Student Aid Report to the planned institution of attendance
The DC College Access Program (DC-CAP) Last Dollar AwardsThe DC College Access Program (DC-CAP) Last Dollar Awards provide students with up to $2,000 per year for no more than five consecutive years. These award amounts are given to help students with additional expenses after receiving financial aid.
Students who are wanting to obtain the DC College Access Program Last Dollar Awards need to be living in the Washington DC area and graduating from a Washington DC public school. These awards are given out based on need.
Application Process: applications for the DC College Access Program Last Dollar Awards can be done though the DC-CAP website, or by contacting an advisor at 202-783-7933.
Students need to show proof of Student Aid Report and Financial Aid Award letter. Aside fom the three main state grants that are given to disadvantaged students throughout Washington DC, there are other grants and scholarships that are awarded based on need and merit through institutions individually or are federally funded.
For colleges and Universities throughout Washington DC, grants are given out based on need, and vary by institution.
Loyola CollegeLoyola College offers a general grant that help relieve the stress of undergraduate students with a certain amount of financial need:
- Full-time students can be awarded anywhere between $200 and $22,000 for tuition, based on need
- Minority students can apply for the additional Claver Grant
- Claver Scholarships: merit based and Claver Grant: need based
- Loyola also offers academic scholarships including the Loyola Presidential Scholarship award
Georgetown provides disadvantages students with financial aid through their own need-based grant program. The University offers up thousands of dollars in scholarship and grant programs, offering students up to $35,000 in financial aid depending on requirements and eligibilty being met.
The District of Columbia has also instituted a "loan-repayment program" in specialized studies called the DC Health Professional Recruitment Program Act. This first took place in the Fall of 2006 and is designed to train health professionals without the stress of additional expenses.
If students are willing and able to work in DC low-staffed health facilities, participants in the health program will receive payments that pay off student loans in exchange for these professional services in these facilities.
There are opportunities available to those students with the motivation and drive to succeed in today's economy by furthering their education outisde of high school.
College students have enough stresses to worry about inside of the higher education institutions and out in the workforce; Washington DC grants are making it easier for students to find their way without losing everything else for it.