African-American College Students Are Major Beneficiaries of the Five-Year Extension of the D.C. College Tuition Program

President Bush has signed a five-year extension to the District of Columbia Tuition Assistance program. Under the plan, residents of the District of Columbia, which has a black population approaching 60 percent, can attend any state university in the United States and pay the same tuition as residents of that particular state. There is a maximum assistance credit of $10,000 per year and a lifetime $50,000 limit per student.

Under the plan, students in the District of Columbia can also receive up to $2,500 per year to attend a private college or university in Virginia or Maryland or any private historically black college or university in the nation.

The only major departure from the original law is that students from families with annual incomes of $1 million or more are no longer eligible for benefits.

Since the program was set in place, the percentage of high school graduates in the District of Columbia who went on to college has increased from 30 percent to 57 percent. Two thirds of the funds allocated under the program go to graduates of the predominantly black public school system.