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Photo credit: University of the District of Columbia
Photo credit: University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia receives a $2.3 million grant to aid BIPOC scholars

The historic grant marks the largest private donation gifted to the university for student development programs.

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The University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. plans to support its BIPOC scholars who face financial struggles with a new private $2.3 million donation.

In a letter to UDC President Ronald Mason Jr., the donor, who chose to not disclose their identity, decided to give the money after admiring the school’s success and commitment to its students.

UDC’s Developing America’s Workforce Nucleus initiative (DAWN), in 2021 also received a $300,000 grant to create more STEM-based opportunities for underrepresented communities.

With the addition of over $2 million, the university said they will launch two new scholarship programs, which will be under the same DAWN umbrella; the DAWN Deans’ Community Leaders Scholarships and the DAWN Deans’ Scholarships by Degree and Programs.

“We are so grateful to the anonymous donor for stepping forward with such a generous gift that will help ensure UDC continues to drive the social mobility of its students and develop the next generation of leaders,” said Mason.

BIPOC students who express financial concerns to complete their education, and who meet the minimum GPA requirements of 2.0 may be eligible for a scholarship.

UDC in a statement released their plan for distributing the $2.3 million to its students.

Under the DAWN Deans’ Community Leaders Scholarships, $300,000 will be put towards student living expenses and scholarships of BIPOC students with much community involvement.

As for the DAWN Deans’ Scholarships by Degree and Programs, selected undergraduates will be awarded and scholarship eligibility will be determined by each program's requirements.

These programs include the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS); the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); the School of Business and Public Administration (SBPA) and the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) who will each be given $300,000 for more than three years. The Community College and Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning (WDLL) will be given about $252,000 and $248,000, respectively.

Scholarship Deficiency

Across the U.S., Latino and multicultural college students still confront obstacles to securing sufficient financial aid to continue their studies.

Collegestats.org says Caucasians receive over “75% of all institutional merit-based scholarship and grant funding” and that they are “40% more likely to win private scholarships” than BIPOC students.

At UDC, the institution currently scores a medium on College Simply for racial diversity. A demographic report of the university shows about 60% of Blacks, 10% of Hispanics, 12% of international, and 1% of Asian students are enrolled. 

In addition, Hispanics nationwide remain among the least represented to graduate due to financial difficulties, compared to other ethnic groups.

As for the price to attend college, the research found that tuition increases have doubled more than inflation rates.

The university’s largest private donation will sow into the future of many BIPOC generations, and it will continue to create opportunities for success.

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