Being a Scholar means giving school your best effort now so you’ll be ready to be a successful college student—and college graduate!—later. Build your college-ready skills with the following 21st Century Scholars requirements and recommendations. For a list of academic requirements by grade level and enrollment year, please see requirements by grade level.
Beginning with the graduating high school class of 2015, all Scholars must earn a cumulative (overall) high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Scholars who graduate from high school in 2013 or 2014 must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale upon graduation.
While you may drop below a 2.5 (or 2.0) GPA one or more semesters and still graduate with a cumulative (overall) GPA of 2.5, it’s not a wise move. Strive to do your best in every class, and treat school like it’s your job to make sure you stay on track to succeed.
Additionally, note that these are the minimum GPA requirements for 21st Century Scholars, but students are encouraged to set their sights even higher. A higher GPA means more college choices and better academic preparation to succeed in college-level courses. Good grades can also earn you other scholarships that will pay for college costs (like books and living expenses) that aren’t covered by your 21st Century Scholarship.
High School Diploma Options
Beginning with the class of 2017, all students who start high school in the fall of 2013 or later are required to graduate from high school with a Core 40 diploma in order to earn their Scholarship. Scholars are highly encouraged to pursue a Core 40 diploma with Academic Honors or Technical Honors to increase their level of academic preparation and to offer a wider range of college options after high school graduation.
Always strive for the highest level diploma you think you can earn, and don’t be afraid to push yourself. Colleges look for students who complete challenging courses and commit to earning a more rigorous high school diploma.
Your diploma options include:
- Core 40: Indiana's Core 40 diploma is the academic foundation all students need to succeed in college, apprenticeship programs, military training and the workforce. Even if you are planning to go directly to work after high school graduation, you will still need to be prepared for training and retooling throughout your lifetime. Core 40 gives you more options — and more opportunities — to find a career with a real future. Students who take strong academic courses in high school are more likely to enroll in college and earn a degree. For even more options and opportunities after high school, you should push yourself by earning a Core 40 diploma with Academic Honors or Technical Honors.
(To graduate with less than Core 40, a student must complete a formal opt-out process involving parental consent. Please note that if Scholars chose to opt out of Core 40, they will no longer be eligble for their scholarship in the 2017 cohort and younger. See your school counselor for full details.)
- Core 40 with Academic Honors: The Academic Honors diploma is required for admission to some Indiana colleges, including Indiana University Bloomington and Purdue University West Lafayette. You must earn an overall grade point average (GPA) of B or higher, take additional classes (many of which are required for college admissions anyway) and choose one of several options to enhance your high school résumé (such as Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate courses or high scores on the SAT or ACT). The Core 40 with Academic Honors pays off, too: you’ll be eligible for more financial aid from the State of Indiana, and some Indiana colleges offer scholarships just for students who have earned this diploma.
- Core 40 with Technical Honors: The Technical Honors diploma includes all the Core 40 requirements. In addition, you must earn an overall grade point average (GPA) of B or higher, and choose one of several options to enhance your technical skills, such as completing an industry-recognized workforce certificate or earning college credit. Like the Core 40 with Academic Honors, the Core 40 with Technical Honors opens the door to more state financial aid while making you more competitive for apprenticeships or college.
- International Baccalaureate: The International Baccalaureate program, available at some high schools, is designed to prepare you intellectually, personally, emotionally and socially to live in a rapidly globalizing world. You can choose courses in languages, business and more.