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Complete your understanding of the 21st Century Scholars Program with the detailed questions and answers below. Answers to more specific questions are always available by calling the Scholars Helpline at 1-888-528-4719 or by emailing Scholars@che.IN.gov.

1. Am I eligible to enroll in this Program?

Complete eligibility requirements are available on this page.

To apply for the 21st Century Scholars Program you must:

  • Be a resident of Indiana, both when you apply and when you receive the scholarship (determined by the residency of your parent or legal guardian).
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. Read the citizenship qualifications for details..
  • Be enrolled in the 7th or 8th grade at a public school, charter school, freeway school or other Indiana school accredited by the Indiana Department of Education. Children in Foster Care may apply after the 8th grade.  Homeschooled students are not eligible for the 21st Century Scholars Program.
  • Fulfill the 21st Century Scholars Pledge.
  • Be one of the following:
    • A member of a family at or below the 2015-16 income maximums. (See below.)
    • Placed in foster care.
2. What is the Scholar Pledge?

In return for keeping the Scholars Pledge and meeting the expectations of the Scholar Success Program throughout high school and college, the Commission for Higher Education commits to providing Scholars with up to four years of undergraduate tuition assistance at an eligible Indiana college or university, dependent on financial need.

As a Scholar, you pledge to:

  • Complete the Scholar Success Program, which includes activities at each grade level in high school to help you plan, prepare and pay for college.
  • Graduate from a state-accredited high school with a minimum of a Core 40 diploma and a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Not use illegal drugs, commit a crime or delinquent act, or consume alcohol before reaching the legal drinking age.
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 10 as a high school senior and each year thereafter until you graduate from college.
  • Apply to an eligible Indiana college as a high school senior, and enroll as a full-time student within one year of high school graduation.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards established by my college.
  • Complete 30 credit hours each year you are in college to stay on track toward earning your degree on time.
3. I am currently home schooled. Can I enroll in the Program?

Home school students are not eligible for the 21st Century Scholars Program at this time. Learn more about other State of Indiana financial aid resources that are available for home school students.

4. Who are considered household members?

All persons living in the same household as the Scholar applicant should be included in the household size on the student’s application. Only people physically residing in the same household as the applicant can be included in the household size.

5. My household income is over the Program eligibility guidelines. Can I reapply for the Scholarship?

Yes, you may enroll in the 21st Century Scholars program by June 30 in the 7th or 8th grade. In order for you to be enrolled in the Program, your household income must be within the program guidelines during the tax year preceding the year in which you apply.

6. Which year of household income should be included on the application?

All income from all sources received in the applicant's household during the immediately preceding taxable year should be included on the application. If you are applying after December 31, 2015, you must provide your total income received in 2015.

7. Whose income should be used if I live half the year with each of my parents?

If your parents have joint physical custody, then you should provide the household size and accompanying income for the parent with whom the applicant resides at the time of application.

8. Should I leave the income section blank, since I have not filed my taxes at the time of completing the application?

No. All income from all sources received in the applicant's household during the immediately preceding tax year should be included on the application. If you are applying after December 31, 2015, you must provide your total income received in 2015.

9. Can I include child(ren) not living in the household since we pay child support for the child(ren)?

No, the child receiving support is not living in your household and therefore should not be included in the household size on your application.

10. I qualify for free or reduced lunched through my school. Does this automatically make me eligible for the 21st Century Scholars Program?

No, eligibility is based on income. All students must apply to the 21st Century Scholars Program in order to be enrolled into the program. It is not a requirement of the program that students must participate in the free and reduced lunch program in order to qualify to enroll in the 21st Century Scholars program, and participating in the free and reduced lunch program does not automatically qualify a student for the program.

11. My parent(s) lost their job during 2014 or 2015. How should we complete the income section of the application?

You must still report all income received during the tax year in which you are required to report even if there was a change in income later due to job loss.

12. My 2014 household income exceeds the Program guidelines. Can we use our 2013 or 2015 income on the application?

No, if you are applying on or before December 31, 2015 you must provide your total income received in 2014. If you are applying after December 31, 2015 you must provide your total income received in 2015.

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