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DCTAG turns 10

One of the success stories in D.C. education is marking its 10-year anniversary: the District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DCTAG). Since its creation by Congress in 1999, the program has provided $235 million to help more than 16,000 students bridge the gap between in-and-out-of-state tuition at public colleges and universities.

According to the program's newly released annual report, DCTAG grantees are highly concentrated at colleges and universities in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and the District. The highest percentage of DCTAG recipients are in Ward 4 (22 percent) followed by Ward 5 (16.9 percent) and Ward 7 (16.3 percent).

But the report, assembled by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), also offers a sobering reminder of how much work must be done to improve college graduation rates. Only an estimated 9 percent of students who enter ninth grade at a District public school complete college within five years, compared to 23 percent nationwide. Even among DCTAG recipients, just 41 percent graduate in six years. That's comparable to the national rate for African Americans, but far short of the of 58 percent nationwide level.

You can find more information on DCTAG and other assistance programs, by going go DC OneApp on the OSSE site.

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By Bill Turque  |  May 10, 2010; 9:50 AM ET
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