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10 District High School Students Earn a Full-Ride College Scholarship to the George Washington University

A 2018 SJT Scholarship recipient
GW’s Trachtenberg scholarship program recognizes academically talented students from Washington, D.C. high schools
March 07, 2018

Maralee Csellar: [email protected], 202-994-7564
Lindsay Hamilton: [email protected], 202-994-3566

WASHINGTON (March 7, 2018)—Hard work and determination paid off for ten academically talented District of Columbia high school students today when GW President Thomas LeBlanc hand-delivered acceptance letters and full-ride scholarships to students across the city.

“It is with tremendous pride that we are able to provide these academically talented students with an opportunity to accomplish their goals and meet their dreams by delivering the news that the cost of their college education at the George Washington University will be fully covered,” said Dr. LeBlanc.

Throughout the day, the GW scholarship awards team—comprised of Dr. LeBlanc, George the mascot, and admissions staff—visited high schools across the city. At the schools, the GW team stopped into classrooms, libraries, guidance counselor and principal offices to deliver the news to the deserving students. Many students and their families became emotional when they learned their GW education would be free.

This year’s Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship recipients are:

  • Clau Diah Buenconsejo of Theodore Roosevelt High School (Ward 4)
  • Aniyah Fields of Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School (Ward 8)
  • Elizabeth Lozano of Calvin Coolidge Senior High School (Ward 4)
  • Lester Maupoy of Woodrow Wilson High School (Ward 3)
  • Cristy Mendoza of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School (Ward 1)
  • Chidera Obiwuma of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School (Ward 1)
  • Pedro Ramirez of Columbia Heights Education Campus (Ward 1)
  • Cassell Robinson of McKinley Technology High School (Ward 5)
  • Anthony Thomas of School Without Walls (Ward 2)
  • Alejanda Valdez-Rivas of Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus (Ward 1)

GW selects students based on high school academic performance, strength of curriculum, recommendations, leadership qualities, community service, extracurricular activities and achievements and standardized test scores, should they choose to submit them under the university’s test-optional policy. 

Students are nominated by their high school counselors and then participate in an interview process before being chosen. All D.C. residents graduating from an accredited high school in the District – public, charter or private – are eligible to receive the scholarship. The scholarships are renewed annually based upon satisfactory academic progress at the university.

Since 1989, GW has opened the door to higher education to high school students in D.C. through the university’s Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship (SJT) Program. GW’s SJT Scholarship Program provides academically exceptional students with full-ride scholarships that cover tuition, room, board, books and fees. The program has awarded scholarships and enrolled 174 students since the program began. The graduation rate for participants in the program is approximately 92 percent.

“We are excited to have these exceptional scholars join our GW community,” said Costas Solomou, dean of admissions at GW. “These ambitious and academically talented young people are well on their way to become the next generation of citizen leaders.”

A University Focus on Excellence and Access 
This merit-based scholarship program expands on GW’s connections with students from the District. At the public magnet School Without Walls on GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus, students can pursue associate degrees from GW while still in high school.

This long-standing scholarship program also complements the initiatives the university has undertaken to improve access to a college education for high-achieving students from all backgrounds. The university no longer requires most undergraduate applicants to submit SAT or ACT test scores. Other access programs include:

  • District Scholars Award, a grant launched in 2015 that expands college access to District of Columbia high school students to ensure that accepted D.C. students from families with annual household incomes at or below $75,000 can attend GW.
  • The Posse Foundation partnership, a nationwide college access and youth leadership development program offering full-tuition leadership scholarships to exceptional or top Atlanta-area public high school graduates.
  • Say Yes to Education partnership that provides full-tuition scholarships for outstanding public high school students from participating chapters in New York and North Carolina whose annual family income is at or below $75,000.