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District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP)

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Mission & Overview

DC-College Access Program (DC-CAP) is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping DC students enroll in and graduate from college as the cornerstone of a successful future. Since 1999, DC-CAP has worked with parents and educational partners, inspiring, counseling and providing fundamental support to help low-income DC students believe that college is possible, find the path to get there and complete their higher education. 

DC-CAP operates under the philosophy that every student should have the chance of a promising future and that lack of financial and other resources shouldn’t hold young people back from wanting to earn their college degree.

Before DC-CAP, less than 25% of DC students enrolled in college and less than 15% graduated. Today, the enrollment rate has doubled, and DC students’ college graduation rates exceed the national average for African American students by 10 percent – 50% vs 40%. Also, DC-CAP established a public-private partnership with Congress for the enactment of the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DC-TAG) program, which has resulted in more than $440,000,000 in federal financial aid for DC students.

To date, DC-CAP has assisted more than 35,000 students enroll in college, celebrated the success of over 14,000 college graduates, and awarded over $55 million in scholarships. DC-CAP is the largest provider of college scholarships to DC public and public charter high school students.

DC-CAP has achieved its goals of creating an enduring and measurable college-going culture within the city, assisting in disrupting the cycle of poverty by empowering these students and their families to pursue their dreams of higher education.

The organization is now focusing its efforts to increase college graduation rates for students by providing additional scholarship opportunities, supporting STEM achievement, and creating partnerships with high performing, public 4-year institutions who are committed to increasing enrollment and graduation rates for DC students.

Copyright © 2014 DC College Access Program