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The Sallie Mae Fund Grants $75,000 to DC College Access Program to Support Higher Education Access and Completion


Contribution Part of DC-CAP’s College Signing Day Event on Tuesday, April 30, Celebrating Area Students’ Commitment to Higher Education

Scholly by Sallie Founder Chris Gray Will Speak to Students and Connect Them To Free Scholarship Resource to Help Make College More Affordable

The Sallie Mae Fund today announced a $75,000 grant to the DC College Access Program (DC-CAP) to help increase higher education access and completion among students in the District. The contribution will also support DC-CAP’s 2050 Moonshot Goal of an 80% city-wide six-year college graduation rate.

The Sallie Mae Fund grant comes ahead of DC-CAP’s College Signing Day event scheduled for Tuesday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Capital One Arena. More than 5,000 high school seniors from the District and the wider DMV area are expected to attend the event to honor their dedication, achievements, and future aspirations as they commit to their post-secondary education journeys at four-year universities, two-year colleges, community colleges, certificate programs, military service, or career training programs.

“Access to higher education can be life-changing, particularly for first-generation students and those from underserved communities, but just as important is ensuring students complete their education,” said Nic Jafarieh, executive vice president, Sallie Mae and Chair of The Sallie Mae Fund. “Supporting college completion is integral to our mission and our strategic contribution to DC-CAP will undoubtedly further those efforts.”

“Contributions from partners like The Sallie Mae Fund and events like College Signing Day go a long way in supporting higher education access and completion for students in the District,” said DC-CAP President and CEO, Eric Waldo. “We’re looking forward to celebrating our students and helping them confidently navigate that next step in their educational journey.”

As part of College Signing Day, The Sallie Mae Fund will also connect students to Scholly by Sallie, a top scholarship search app that has provided access to more than $100M in scholarships. Chris Gray, the founder of Scholly by Sallie will speak to students about the wide range of scholarships available which extend beyond athletics and academics.

"There's a scholarship out there for every passion, but the real trick lies in uncovering them, applying ahead of the curve, and doing so persistently,” said Gray, who secured $1.3 million in scholarships on his way to Drexel University and gained widespread recognition after striking a deal for Scholly on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’. “This mission inspired me to develop Scholly—my aim was to streamline the scholarship hunt, and make it more accessible. Now, with Scholly a part of the Sallie Mae family, it's not just free, but also connecting even more students to scholarships for college.”

For more information about College Signing Day and DC-CAP’s 2050 Moonshot Goal visit For free tools and resources to access scholarships and help plan and pay for college visit

Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) believes education and life-long learning, in all forms, help people achieve great things. As the leader in private student lending, we provide financing and know-how to support access to college and offer products and resources to help customers make new goals and experiences, beyond college, happen. Learn more at Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Category: Community and Philanthropy

About DC-CAP

The DC College Access Program (DC-CAP) is a nonprofit organization committed to encouraging and enabling D.C. students to enroll and graduate from college. DC-CAP has worked with students, parents and educational partners for over 20 years to inspire, counsel and provide fundamental support to DC students, the majority of which come from low-income families. DC-CAP continues to achieve its goals of creating an enduring and measurable college-going culture within Washington, DC, assisting in disrupting the cycle of poverty by empowering students and their families to pursue their college education. For more, visit:

Rick Castellano


Source: Sallie Mae

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