Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

WASHINGTON UPDATE: Legislation Offers D.C. Students Incentive to Attend HBCUs

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

WASHINGTON UPDATE: Legislation Offers D.C. Students Incentive to Attend HBCUs

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON UPDATE: Legislation Offers D.C. Students Incentive to Attend HBCUs

A Senate committee has approved legislation that would provide more tuition benefits for District of Columbia residents, particularly if they choose to attend historically Black colleges.

Legislation from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee would make several major changes in the D.C. College Access Act, a 1999 law allowing D.C. high school graduates to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges nationwide. The original law also offers D.C. students a $2,500 stipend to attend any private college or university in the Washington area.

But the new changes would allow benefits for thousands of additional residents -- plus incentives for D.C. graduates to attend HBCUs. A provision of the Senate bill, for example, would give a $2,500 stipend to a student attending any Black college nationwide. Under current law, students could get the stipend only for attending two HBCUs near the nation's capital.

The HBCU change "will help many D.C. residents," says Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., a chief sponsor of the 1999 law and a key player in efforts to expand the program.

Within a year, more than 600 students likely would take advantage of the change affecting HBCUs, she says.

Other changes in the Senate bill would allow aid to older students or those who take time to work between high school and postsecondary attendance. For example, the plan would offer instate tuition rates to any D.C. resident now enrolled in college. …

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