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Why Washington College is giving low-income students free education

Chestertown, Md. — The moment Isaiah Reese set foot on the idyllic campus of Washington College, a private liberal arts school on Maryland’s eastern shore, he knew he didn’t want to go there.

At the time, he was a high school senior on a school tour. “I told myself I was not going to this school, no matter what,” Reese, who is now a freshman at the college, said over a slice of pizza and a spinach wrap burrito in Washington College’s polished cafeteria overlooking one of the school’s greens.

Though Chestertown, Md., where the college is located, is just 75 miles from Reese’s native Baltimore, the quaint, roughly 5,000 person boating town struck Reese as almost a different universe from the mostly African-American high school he was attending at the time.

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