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Vital financial aid program faces reduction


Federal funds for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DC TAG) could be significantly reduced if a bill proposed last month by the Senate Appropriation Committee is passed.

DC TAG helps make college affordable for thousands of DC students by providing up to ten thousands dollars per year in financial aid towards residents’ college education. Since 1999, twenty six thousand students have made use of the program to attend over 578 schools nationwide. The program was established “in recognition of the fact that DC does not have the same robust university system as other states, which means DC residents don’t have the benefit of paying in-state tuition,” said Fred Lewis, a representative of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

The proposed bill would cut the program’s funding from 40 million dollars to 30 million dollars, and calls on the DC government to cover the difference. DC officials have not yet stated whether or not the city would be willing to do so. Mayor Muriel Bowser released a statement shortly after the proposal of the bill, and said that she would “stand shoulder to shoulder with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and fight to save full funding for this program, which has given a fair shot to thousands of young District residents.” 

PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR

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