21st Century Scholars > Students > High School > Grade 9 Students

This is an exciting time for you and your family as you embark on this important next phase in your educational journey.

As a 9th grader, college may seem a long way off, but there’s a lot you should do now to set yourself up for success in high school, college and your future career.

Even if you don’t know exactly what career you want to pursue or what type of college you want to attend, it’s important to start thinking about it now and make a plan that will help you reach your goals.

That’s why Indiana developed the Scholar Success Program. At each grade level, you will complete practical activities that will help you plan, prepare and pay for education beyond high school.

There are also many other things you can do now to prepare for success:

  • Develop good study habits. Work hard in school, earn good grades and take those challenging courses that will help prepare you for college.
  • Get involved outside the classroom. Did you know colleges look for well-rounded students who demonstrate leadership and devote time to their school and community? Stand out by getting involved with extracurricular activities and clubs at school and taking advantage of
    volunteer opportunities.
  • Start saving for college. It’s never too early — or too late — for you and your family to start thinking about saving and paying for college. The 21st Century Scholarship covers up to four years of college tuition, but there are additional expenses — such as books and meal plans — to consider. Do some research to understand what college costs, what financial aid is available and what steps you’ll need to take to pay for expenses.

The Scholar Success Program has several requirements you must complete each year of high school. Below, you will find information to help connect you and your family to the resources and information you need to know to complete your 9th-grade steps.

Take control of your future by making smart choices and staying on track for college and career success.

Scholar Success Program

In 9th grade, your Scholar Success Program requirements will put you on the right track as you create a high school Graduation Plan, participate in an extracurricular or service activity, and watch the Paying for College 101 video.

Scholar Success Program Guide

Scholar Success Program Activities

Scholar Success Program Activity Worksheets

21st Century Scholar Requirement Summary

Current Grade Level / Graduation Year

Scholar Success Program

High School Cumulative GPA

Core 40 Diploma

Annual FAFSA Filing

Financial Means Testing

College Enrollment

Guaranteed Full Tuition

Scholarship Expiration

  9 (Class of 2019)






Within 1 Year


8 years 

  • Scholar Success Program: 21st Century Scholars must participate in the Scholar Success Program that helps them plan, prepare and pay for college, as defined by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, beginning July 1, 2013.
  • High School Cumulative GPA: Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) required upon graduating from high school to be eligible for 21st Century Scholarship.
  • Core 40 Diploma: 21st Century Scholars must graduate from high school with a Core 40 diploma. Scholars are highly encouraged to pursue a Core 40 diploma with Academic Honors or Technical Honors to increase students’ level of academic preparation and to ensure the widest range of options after high school graduation.
  • Annual FASFA Filing: 21st Century Scholars must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on an annual basis beginning with their senior year of high school, even during years they are not enrolled in a postsecondary institution.
  • Financial Means Testing: If “Yes,” the Scholar’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be evaluated annually based on information provided on the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Scholars who do not demonstrate financial need will receive a one-time award of up to $2,500 if the student has not previously received the 21st Century Scholarship. Click here for more information. 
  • College Enrollment: Scholars must enroll as a full-time student at an eligible Indiana higher education institution within one year of high school graduation.
  • Guaranteed Full Tuition: If “Yes,” Scholar will receive up to four years of full tuition at an Indiana public college or a comparable amount at a private institution. If “No,” 21st Century Scholarship amount may be adjusted based on available state funds.
  • Scholarship Expiration: Scholarship funds must be used within eight (8) years from the time a student first activates the 21st Century Scholarship. Note that the total scholarship amount is limited to the equivalent of four years (eight semesters) of full-time college attendance.