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District seniors round up college acceptances

It was a long day, starting before dawn Saturday with a 4 a.m. bus trip to North Carolina. But for about 130 D.C. high school students, the journey brought many of them at least a step closer to college. Their destination was the ninth annual College Round-Up at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro, a program designed to help underprivileged students get into college.

They met with counselors from more than 20 historically black colleges and universities to discuss admissions and financial aid. For the third year, Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) sponsored the bus trips.

The event, which draws students from up and down the East coast, is popular because students can bypass costly application fees and deal directly with college representatives. They're encouraged to bring their transcripts and some gain admisssion on the spot to schools such as Winston-Salem State, Virginia State University in Petersburg and Fisk University in Nashville.

Brown reported in an e-mail Saturday evening that of the 130 District kids who made the trip 121 received acceptances, and six got cash scholarships. Darnitra House, a senior at Ballou, wrote to thank Brown.

"I was glad to see that there were so many D.C. students who actually want to pursue a higher education," she said. "You've helped us to cast down a stereotype that haunts our generation and our race."

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By Bill Turque  |  March 14, 2010; 10:21 PM ET
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