GW announces new grant for D.C. students

GW announced a new grant Thursday to help more D.C. students attend the University without paying the full cost of tuition.

The District Scholars Award will help finance tuition for students from District high schools whose families make less than $75,000 a year and are accepted to GW, according to a University release. Students will receive a $7,500 award from the University, in addition to a $2,500 D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant. The $10,000 total is equivalent to what a student would have received from the D.C. grant if they were to attend a public university outside of D.C., according to the release.

The award will be first be offered to D.C. students applying for undergraduate admission as a full-time first-year student for the fall 2016 semester. Officials said in the release that the award will allow GW to meet full financial need for each accepted District students.

“The GW District Scholars Award is the latest expression of our commitment to the students and families of our great capital city,” University President Steven Knapp said in the release. “We want to ensure that District of Columbia students with the talent and ambition to benefit from a George Washington education will not be prevented from doing so by their financial circumstances.”

GW already offers annual scholarships for the District’s high school students. The Stephen Joel Trachtenberg scholarship was launched 26 years ago and provides full-ride scholarships to D.C. high school seniors. Last year, nine D.C. seniors were awarded the Trachtenberg scholarships.

“We’re thrilled to have the support of President Steven Knapp and excited to have the George Washington University continue their support of our students from the District,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in the release. “Providing students in the District with a high-quality education and a pathway to the middle class is a critical priority, and this opportunity will be attractive for our academically-talented students who are striving to attend a top university to meet their educational goals.”

More than 1,500 students from D.C. are currently enrolled in schools across the university, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Planning.

GW increased its financial aid pool by $27 million this year to help support a larger undergraduate class.

Officials have been focused on bringing in and keeping more minority and low-income students at the University in recent months, including adopting a test-optional admissions policy this summer and creating a partnership with the Posse Foundation to bring 10 students from on Atlanta to GW on full-tuition scholarships next fall.

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