Here’s your chance to put an end to the College Affordability Crisis

Oct 27, 2017

Here’s your chance to put an end to the College Affordability Crisis. Contribute to the College Sustainability Fund TODAY [CLICK HERE]

There is a College Affordability Crisis in America. The Greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan region is trapped in it, too.


States and the federal government are investing less in higher education as the cost of tuition keeps going up.  That’s putting a serious strain on families and young people who dream of a better life through a quality education. 

The annual cost of tuition at a four-year college has increased by more than 33 percent over the past 10 years 

In Arizona alone, its increased by 90 percent while in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia and Hawaii tuition has increased by more than 60 percent.


This puts aspiring college students in a conundrum: being told throughout life that the ultimate pathway to future success is a four-year degree or more, yet watching helplessly as society erects barriers to that success. Too many talented young people with promise are, tragically, realizing that a college degree is out of reach because college itself is unaffordable.  It’s the main reason why:

Nearly 40 percent of students graduating from high school in June never see their first college class August.

And it’s one of the leading causes behind a 30 percent college drop out rate – with 60 percent of those students receiving very little to no financial support from their families. Most of these students are from historically underrepresented, underserved Black and Latinx communities. 


It’s the reason why Black and Latinx youth are least likely to attend college compared to their peers – yet, most likely to suffer from low college attendance and completion. 

College enrollment rates for Black and Latinx students in Prince George’s County, MD and Montgomery County, MD are also, on average, 5 to 20 percentage points behind their peers. Even six-year college completion rates for District of Columbia students – the vast majority being Black – are at 44 percent or nearly 20 points below the national average. 

A 2016 study by The Education Trust also found that higher education graduation rates for black students have not increased at the same rate as white students at four-year public institutions across the U.S. The leading culprit, according to a survey of Black and Latinx communities, was lack of affordability.

While the number of Black adults with at least a two-year college degree grew by 5 percent since 2007 in 2015 to 33 percent, it’s still low compared to peer performance at 47 percent. Only 23 percent of Latinx adults have a two-year degree, a 4 percent increase since 2007.

Yet, even with these slight increases, states continue cutting funding to public colleges by 21 percent per student. It’s gotten worse since the Recession, in fact, as tuition skyrocketed by 28 percent.  At one time, public colleges and universities were a safe, affordable academic haven for low-income and students of color.  That’s not the case anymore.


The Greater Washington Urban League College Sustainability Fund provides financial support to underrepresented and underprivileged college students currently enrolled in a 4-year public institution anywhere in the United States, but have a permanent residence in one of the three jurisdiction areas GWUL serves, including the District of Columbia, Prince Georges County, MD and Montgomery County, MD. This fund works to eliminate some of the financial burdens affiliated with higher learning and to increase the graduation rate of underrepresented populations.

Our College Sustainability Fund campaign will make higher education more affordable and accessible to low-income, Black and Latinx students in the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, Maryland and Montgomery County, MD. 

The College Sustainability Fund works to make higher education affordable for low-income, Black and Latinx college students from the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, Maryland and Montgomery County, Maryland.  In addition to continuing to award $25,000 in scholarships to high-school graduates each year, GWUL is also now looking to raise $50,000 by the end of its 80th year of service to ensure students stay in college through to graduation.  GWUL will apply funds towards hybrid merit and income-based scholarships for existing college students enrolled in a 4-year undergraduate institution.

Individuals and groups can contribute to the College Sustainability Fund today [CLICK HERE].  Social media users are also encouraged to use #GWULCollegeFund to call attention to the unique higher learning affordability challenges faced by underserved youth in the region.

Contribute today [CLICK HERE].  Help our young people achieve a better future for themselves so we can secure a brighter future for us all.