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$10 Million for East of the River Students to Attend College

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a $10 million grant for the D.C. College Access Program, a nonprofit that helps Ward 7 and Ward 8 students afford college.

For more than two decades, DC-CAP has helped District students attend college, providing financial assistance as well as counseling and advice to students and their families. The new grant will allow DC-CAP to partner with the College Success Foundation to expand their outreach to middle schools in Southeast and will help to provide up to $25,000 in scholarships for each eligible student.

This award follows a $122 million grant from the Gates Foundation to DC-CAP and the College Success Foundation, a decade ago, with the goal of doubling the number of DC high-school graduates who finished college within six years of graduation. At the time of the earlier grant, only about 15 percent of District graduates finished college; among students in Wards 7 and 8, that figure was only about 5 percent. Sixteen years later, DC-CAP reports that the six-year graduation rate is now near the national average of 55 percent.

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