Not too long ago, the population of the District of Columbia was 70 percent Black. Now due to gentrification Blacks make up only 47 percent of the city’s population. However, in the public school system, Blacks still make up more than two thirds of all enrollments.
So a new free college program at American University in Washington, D.C., for students who graduate from the city’s public schools will benefit large numbers of African Americans.
The university recently announced that its District Scholars Award program will provide full scholarships for high-achieving students with financial need who graduate from the city’s public and charter high schools. The program will provide the students with high academic achievement and significant financial need with full tuition, room and board, and other expenses. Each year, 10 District of Columbia students will be awarded the full scholarships. The university set aside $3 million to initially fund the program.
Sylvia M. Burwell, president of American University, stated that “one of the imperatives in our strategic plan is partnering with our Washington, D.C., community, and these scholarships will help local students pursue their educational goals close to home and join fellow Eagles in shaping the future of their neighborhood and the world.”