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President Begins DC Student Program

June 20, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton gave a District of Columbia student the first check issued under a program that lets residents of the nation’s capital pay in-state tuition at colleges in Maryland and Virginia.

Clinton presented an oversized check for $4,380 to Zack Gamble, an incoming freshman at George Mason University in Virginia. Zack, a graduate of the district’s Gonzaga College High School, plans to major in computer science.

``Zack, congratulations. And now, in the immortal words of that great movie, we’re going to show you the money,″ Clinton told the teen-ager, who was about to stand behind the politicians assembling around the large check until Clinton steered him toward the front.

``Our capital city’s young people have been left behind, not because they didn’t have the ability, but because they didn’t have the resources to go on to college,″ Clinton said Tuesday. ``This fall, things will be different.″

The funds were distributed under the District of Columbia College Access Act of 1999, which Clinton signed last November. The law authorizes grants of up to $10,000 per year, or $50,000 over a lifetime, to District high school graduates who enroll in public colleges in the Washington area. Those who attend private colleges would receive up to $2,500 per year, or $12,500 for life.

Clinton said this year, the program will assist at least 1,000 college-bound District residents, who only have one public college option, the University of the District of Columbia. Clinton has sought $17 million in his fiscal 2001 budget to continue the program.

``It is one of the best investments we could ever make,″ Clinton said.

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