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Higher Achievement DC Metro

Program Description

Higher Achievement is rigorous. From 5th through 8th grade, Higher Achievement scholars spend 650 hours a year learning an advanced curriculum that is aligned to state standards. This commitment is in addition to attending school for the standard 900 hours a year.

Higher Achievement's year-round program is grounded in research. It combines high expectations with high support, demanding academic work plus mentoring, skill-building, individual student achievement plans, and personal encouragement. The program includes Afterschool Academy, Summer Academy, and high school placement services.

Afterschool Academy includes core subjects, such as literature and mathematics, as well as seminars, artistic electives, field trips, and opportunities to engage in community service.

Summer Academy includes coursework in literature, science, mathematics, social studies, and electives, as well as a three-day trip to a college. Small classes and mentoring sessions encourage intellectual curiosity and teach both basic skills and critical thinking.

The program culminates with high school placement services, which help scholars advance to top academic high schools. In addition to helping scholars identify schools that fit their needs, Higher Achievement helps them prepare for placement tests, practice interview skills, complete applications, and identify resources for financial assistance.

The Higher Achievement program also includes special academic events, including spelling bees, student readings of their own poetry, Olympics of the Mind, and the Green Apple awards.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Arts and cultural
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • Community service/service hours
  • Mentoring


Race & Ethnicity

  • Hispanic/Latino: 12%
  • Other: 13%
  • African American: 75%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 300
  • Middle School: 500
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk


  • More than 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Catholic University of America
  • Duke University
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Howard University
  • Morgan State University
  • Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
  • Trinity University
  • University of Maryland-College Park
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Virginia Tech

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Graduation: 65%