The GOP Congressman Who Has Sent Thousands of Black Kids to College

In 1999 Virginia congressman Tom Davis was chair of the House committee overseeing the District of Columbia. Davis cosponsored legislation and engineered its passage through the GOP-controlled Congress. The D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program allows high school graduates in the District of Columbia to enroll at any state-operated university in the United States and pay the in-state tuition costs afforded to residents of that particular state. Graduates of the predominantly black District of Columbia school system can also receive $2,500 to enroll at any private historically black college or university in the nation.

The program has been a major success. Since the tuition grant initiative was enacted in the year 2000, first-time enrollments in college among high school graduates in the District have doubled. Nearly 5,000 students each year receive tuition aid under the program.

Davis, who enrolled at Amherst College in Massachusetts on a need-based scholarship, was honored recently for his role in passing this legislation at a ceremony on Capitol Hill.