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Core 40 General Information

Indiana Core40

Indiana's Core 40 is the academic foundation all students need to succeed in college, apprenticeship programs, military training and the workforce. Click here for more information on Indiana's course and credit requirements for a high school diploma.

  • Challenging Courses = Big Rewards. Students who take strong academic courses in high school are more likely to enroll in college and earn a degree. That’s important, because higher education pays: On average, college graduates earn more than a million dollars more over a lifetime than those with only a high school education. High school graduates earn 42 percent more than high school dropouts. Core 40 pays.
  • More Career Options. Good jobs require education beyond high school. That means if you want a job that will support you and your future family, provide health benefits and offer a chance for advancement, you’ll need to complete a two- or four-year degree, apprenticeship program, military training, or workforce certification. 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.
  • What Employers and Training Programs Want. Employers, apprenticeship programs and the military all agree – they expect you to arrive with essential skills, including speaking and writing clearly, analyzing information, conducting research, and solving complex problems. The expectations are the same: You need Core 40.
  • Preparation for College Success. It’s not just about getting in - it’s about finishing. To succeed in college-level work, students need to complete Core 40 in high school. Anything less may mean taking remedial (high school) coursework in college, which means it will take you longer to finish and will cost you more in college tuition. It also means you’ll have a greater chance of dropping out before you get your degree. That’s why Core 40 is a college admissions requirement: In fall 2011 you won’t be able to start at a four-year public Indiana college without Core 40 (or a documented equivalent). Most private colleges require students to have at least this level of high school academic preparation. Core 40 is your best preparation for success.
  • Money for College. The Core 40 diploma can help you earn money for college. Indiana students who complete a Core 40 diploma and meet other financial aid and grade requirements can receive up to 90 percent of approved tuition and fees at eligible colleges. Core 40 with Academic Honors graduates can receive up to 100 percent and some colleges also offer their own scholarships specifically for students who earn this diploma.

Succeeding With Core 40

Core 40 became Indiana’s required high school curriculum in fall 2007. Students entering high school since 2007 have been expected to complete Core 40 as a graduation requirement.

By providing all Indiana students a balanced sequence of academically rigorous high school courses in the core subjects of English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies; physical education/health and wellness; and electives including world languages, career/technical, and fine arts, the Core 40 requirement gives all our students the opportunity to compete with the best. That’s great news for Indiana students.

To graduate with less than Core 40, a student must complete a formal opt-out process involving parental consent. See your school counselor for full details.

For more information about Core 40 and your career and course plan, see your counselor and visit Learn More Resource Center at