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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. What steps must I, as an eligible 21st Century Scholar, take to use my Scholarship?
  • Be enrolled in the 21st Century Scholars Program.
  • Maintain Indiana residency, as determined by the permanent residence of your parent or legal guardian.
  • Submit an Affirmation Form by March 10 of your senior year in high school.
  • Apply to and be admitted to an eligible Indiana college, university or proprietary school as a high school senior.
  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the March 10 deadline during your senior year of high school and every year thereafter until you graduate from college. You can request a FAFSA to be mailed to you or you can complete the FAFSA online at Fafsa.ed.gov.
  • Fix any errors on your FAFSA by the May 15 deadline.
  • Respond to any requests for additional information from the 21st Century Scholars program, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education or your college by stated deadlines.
2. How will the Scholarship funds be distributed?

Once accepted and enrolled full-time at an eligible institution, the 21st Century Scholarship will be disbursed directly to the college on behalf of the student. Your tuition bill will reflect the amount deducted for the 21st Century Scholarship. Money will never be paid directly to a student.

3. Can I use the Scholarship if I am enrolled in college courses as a part-time student?

No. You must be enrolled as a full-time student.

4. Where can I use my 21st Century Scholarship?

Your 21st Century Scholars award can be used at an eligible public, private (independent) or proprietary school in Indiana. Institutions outside the state of Indiana are not eligible to receive 21st Century Scholarship funds.

5. Can I receive the Scholarship if I transfer or withdraw once I begin college?

Yes. You may transfer or withdraw once you begin college. However, you must file a FAFSA each year by the state deadline. Additionally, the 21st Century Scholarship must be used within eight years after the date you first enroll in college.

21st Century Scholars must complete at least 30 credits each academic year—beginning with students first entering college during the 2013-2014 academic year—in order to receive the full scholarship award.

Completing at least 30 college credits each academic year is the best way to stay on track to graduate on time. Scholars who complete fewer credits may be eligible for a reduced award (about 35% of the amount you would have received by earning the full award). The number of credits completed will be evaluated at the end of each academic year, which typically includes fall, spring, and summer terms at traditional-semester colleges.

6. Must I enroll in college immediately after high school graduation?

No. You have one year to begin using your award. So if you graduate in May 2013, you have until the Fall 2014 semester to activate your scholarship. Remember that you must complete an Affirmation Form and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 10 of your senior year of high school, even if you are not attending college in the fall. Additionally, the FAFSA must be filed by March 10 of each subsequent year.

7. What happens if I decided to serve in the military, causing me to exceed the one-year requirement to begin college as a full-time student?

If you exceed the one-year requirement to begin college as a full-time college student due to active-duty service in the military you will need to submit a letter of appeal and a copy of your DD214 to:

Division of Student Financial Aid
ATTN: Appeals
402 West Washington Street, Room W462
Indianapolis, IN 46204
8. What does the 21st Century Scholarship cover?

The scholarship covers undergraduate tuition and regularly assessed fees at an approved public institution. The scholarship covers only a portion of the tuition and fees at a private (independent) school. At proprietary schools, the scholarship amount is the same as if the student were to attend Ivy Tech Community College. For schools that charge by the credit hour, the scholarship covers a maximum of 15 credit hours per term. All eligible institutions are in Indiana.

The scholarship does not cover the cost of books, room and board, parking fees, lab fees or any other fees assessed that are not assessed to all students.

9. What if the college listed as the first choice on my FAFSA is not the school I decide to attend?

If you decide to attend any college other than the one listed as the first choice on your FAFSA, you must change your first choice college selection through eStudent at www.ssaci.in.gov/estudent.

10. What is eStudent?

eStudent is an online service for students who have filed a FAFSA as residents of the State of Indiana. The eStudent site allows you to:

  • See any issues with your FAFSA that could prevent you from receiving state aid, so that you can make necessary changes.
  • View your state grant award amount.
  • View your state grant history.
  • View your grant application which includes information from your FAFSA, your diploma type, your 21st Century Scholar status, National Guard status and school of choice.
  • Update your school of choice. Please make sure the school you are attending is listed as we will only send your grant information to that school.
11. My award notice from my college shows the 21st Century Scholars Award as paying only a small portion of my tuition. Why?

The 21st Century Scholarship is a supplemental scholarship, meaning it is applied only after all other tuition-specific aid is applied. Also, the scholarship has maximum limits set by state law.

12. Won't I pay more of my own money if I attend a private college rather than a public college?

Not necessarily. Private colleges are generally more expensive than public colleges, and while the 21st Century Scholarship only pays an amount equivalent to the average tuition at a public institution, private colleges often offer more institutional financial aid. You may not know how much financial aid you will be offered until you apply and are accepted to the college, so it is always worthwhile to apply to several colleges. Many will also waive application fees if you indicate that you are a 21st Century Scholar, so don’t hesitate to ask the college’s financial aid office about fee waivers. We encourage you to calculate your college costs using the free Indiana College Costs Estimator.

13. What support is available to me once I am enrolled in college?

Colleges must provide support services to Scholars who enroll in their schools. Scholars are not required to participate in the support programs provided by their colleges, but the opportunity is a definite advantage and will increase your chance of completing college on time with a valuable degree. Support services vary widely from one college to another, but examples of support include tutoring assistance, financial aid assistance and personal assistance in adapting to college life, social opportunities and service opportunities. At some campuses, ScholarCorps members provide specific support services and mentoring just for 21st Century Scholars. See the last part of our staff list for a list of Scholar Corps members. Additionally, please view the list of incentives and supplemental supports provided by various colleges around the state by clicking here.

14. I have already earned a bachelor's degree, but have semester(s) of Scholarship eligibility remaining. Can I use those semesters of eligibility toward a second bachelor's degree or toward an advanced degree?

Congratulations on completing a college degree! Unfortunately, 21st Century Scholarship funds can only be applied to approved costs associated with attaining your first bachelor's degree.

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