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Remember that problem with the University of the District of Columbia not being eligible for the federally-funded Tuition Access Grant, which provides $10,000 per year for D.C. kids to go to colleges outside the District, while local private schools get only $2,500? The Office of the State Superintendent of Education is trying to fix that problem, indirectly.
According to Emily Durso, the former Hotel Association of Washington president now working on post-secondary education and workforce readiness at OSSE, her agency is in the very preliminary stages of designing a program wherein privately raised dollars would bring the total tuition grant up to $10,000 for D.C. schools. The schools, in turn, might be asked to match the grant amount from their own coffers.
If implemented, the grants would be a powerful incentive for District students to stay here for college, which is certainly a gift to residents. I wonder, though, whether going to college here increases the likelihood that they’ll stay here as adults. I also wonder whether local institutions will find any reason to pitch in, given that scholarship funds are scarce and they’ll want to use them to attract the best applicants from all over the country.
Stay tuned, as they say.