Since 2000, more than 1,200 students have attended Howard with support from the D.C. tuition grants, the second-highest total in the city after Trinity Washington’s 3,100.
The grants do not account for every student in the city who goes to college, but they are an indicator of the college-going patterns of D.C. high school graduates.
D.C. students are eligible if they are 24 or younger, come from a family with annual taxable income of less than $1 million and meet certain other criteria.
About 5,100 students benefited from the grants last school year. Congress is debating funding for the program. A Republican bill moving through the House would cut annual funding in half, to $15 million. Democrats plan to block the cut in the Senate.
Many D.C. students use the grants to attend historically black colleges such as Morgan State, Virginia State, Delaware State and Bowie State. Others head to universities such as Penn State and Michigan.
In the District, Trinity Washington has been a leading recruiter of city students for many years. The Catholic women’s school has focused on helping “the women at our doorstep who could reap so many benefits,” university President Patricia McGuire said.
GWU, which has the public School Without Walls high school on its campus, also has pushed hard to recruit in its home city.
“The university has made it a priority to invest heavily in students from the District of Columbia,” said Forrest Maltzman, a senior vice provost at GWU. “Over the last couple of years, we have stepped up our outreach efforts. For example, we have an admissions staff member assigned to District schools who is really committed.”
At Georgetown, the number of grant beneficiaries reached 25 for several years during the past decade but slid to 19 last school year. “We do care deeply that we are enrolling and available to D.C. students,” Georgetown spokeswoman Rachel Pugh said.
Howard has extensive partnerships in the city, Frederick said. This summer, he said, the campus has hosted the nonprofit D.C. College Access Program, which helps public high school students. Howard has visited numerous D.C. schools in the past year, he said, hosted campus tours for local students and sent representatives to college fairs and church events to promote the university.
The campus also hosts the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, a public charter school that Frederick called a “crown jewel.” Former students of the school have enrolled at Howard — evidence, Frederick said, that the university is “reaching back and participating in the pipeline” to college.