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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

Places in Washington DC

Norton Says Republican-Requested GAO Report Shows DCTAG is Delivering Success for D.C. Students and Should Be Continued

Sep 6, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said that a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DCTAG), released today, shows the program has been successful in providing D.C. students access to higher education.  Norton said the GAO study points up the essential need for the program’s continuation in preparing young people for jobs in the D.C. regional economy.  The study was mandated by a Republican provision included in the fiscal year 2017 D.C. Appropriations bill.  The GAO’s conclusion states, “Steady enrollment in DCTAG provides an encouraging signal that the program may be meeting the purpose set forth in federal law to expand access to higher education opportunities for D.C. students.”

The study also highlighted that “rates for [DCTAG] recipients compare favorably to rates for national and regional groups of students with characteristics similar to those of DCTAG recipients. Our analysis confirmed that in academic year 2015, about 72 percent of DCTAG recipients were African-American and the DCTAG graduation rate was about 10 percentage points higher than for African-Americans nationwide.”

“DCTAG has long enjoyed strong bipartisan support because of the program’s success in helping students from every income group in the District to attend and graduate from college,” Norton said.  “Especially noteworthy is the GAO finding that DCTAG students perform considerably better than similarly situated students nationwide.  This GAO study confirms that success and vindicates Congress for providing $40 million in funding for DCTAG for each of the last three fiscal years and shows its understanding of the importance of funding DCTAG for the thousands of D.C. students who rely on the program.  I look forward to working with D.C. officials on ensuring the recommendations made in the report are implemented to continue DCTAG’s success.”