21st Century Scholars FAQ

21st Century Scholars FAQ

you have a question about the 21st Century Scholars program, you’ve come to the right place. Open the tabs below to read through our Frequently Asked Questions on topics like program requirements, enrollment and more. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact us with your question.


What is the 21st Century Scholarship?

A national model for success, Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program started in 1990. It is an early-college promise program designed to help ensure that every Hoosier student can afford the opportunity provided by a college education. Today, eligible students who maintain the Scholar Pledge to excellence in school and life receive a scholarship for up to four years of up to 100% tuition at an eligible Indiana college or university after they graduate from high school.

What does the 21st Century Scholarship cover?

At in-state, public two-year and four-year colleges, the 21st Century Scholarship covers up to 100 percent of tuition and some regularly assessed fees, such as technology, student-activity and health-services fees. The scholarship pays part of the tuition at private or independent colleges and approved for-profit specialty or proprietary schools. A list of colleges that accept the 21st Century Scholarship is available at LearnMoreIndiana.org/scholars/resources/eligible-colleges.

The scholarship does not cover the cost of books, room and board, parking fees, lab fees or any other fees that are not assessed to all students. Students are encouraged to search for scholarships to assist them in covering these additional costs.

What is the Scholar Pledge?

I pledge to graduate with a minimum of a Core 40 diploma from a state-accredited Indiana high school. I will complete the Scholar Success Program in high school and in college that helps me stay on track for college and career success. I will achieve a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. I will not use illegal drugs or alcohol or commit a crime or delinquent act. I will apply for admission to an eligible Indiana college my senior year and apply on time for student financial aid. As a college student I will complete at least 30 credit hours each year to stay on track toward earning my degree on time. I aim to succeed.

What are the requirements to claim and use the 21st Century Scholarship?

  • Graduate from a state-accredited Indiana high school.
  • Graduate from high school with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Earn a minimum of a Core 40 diploma.
  • Complete all 12 high school Scholar Success Program requirements and track them in ScholarTrack by high school graduation.
  • 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 April 15 as a high school senior and each year thereafter until college graduation.
  • Complete the college Scholar Success Program each year of college to renew your scholarship.
  • Complete at least 30 credit hours each year of college.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards established by your college.
  • Maintain Indiana residency.
  • Do not do drugs, commit a crime or delinquent act, or consume alcohol before reaching the legal drinking age.

What is the Scholar Success Program?

The Scholar Success Program includes activities in high school and in college to help students as they prepare for college and career success and stay on track to earn and maintain the 21st Century Scholarship. Learn more about the high school Scholar Success Program here. Learn more about the college Scholar Success Program here. Scholars must complete the specific steps and track their progress online using ScholarTrack. Note: The college Scholar Success Program requirement only applies to the high school graduating class of 2019 and younger.

What is ScholarTrack?

ScholarTrack is the one-stop shop for Hoosiers’ state financial aid needs. ScholarTrack guides students and families through the process of planning for, applying and maintaining their financial aid—beginning as early as middle school and continuing through college completion. ScholarTrack is also used by high school and college students to track the completion of the Scholar Success Program.

What should I do if I change schools or my contact information changes?

It’s important that you receive notifications and updates from the 21st Century Scholars program to make sure you’re on track to complete your requirements in high school and in college. Scholars can update their information in their ScholarTrack account at ScholarTrack.IN.gov.

What if my household income changes between the time I enrolled in the 21st Century Scholars program and the time I graduate from high school?

If you enrolled in the program after June 30, 2011, the state will complete a financial means test each year you are in college to determine how much state aid you are eligible to receive. To qualify to receive the Scholarship after high school graduation, you must be a member of a household with an annual income equal to or below 370% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). This is equal to double the amount to qualify for the Federal Reduced Lunch Program and initially enroll in the program. For more information, click here for English and here for Spanish.

I believe I may have broken the Scholar Pledge. Is it my responsibility to report this potential pledge violation?

Yes. It is the responsibility of a Scholar student and/or his or her parent to report potential pledge violations to the program, as soon as they become aware of the violation. Learn more at www.in.gov/che/4500.htm. Potential pledge violations should be reported to Scholars@che.IN.gov or to:

Indiana Commission for Higher Education
ATTN: Student Support Center
101 West Ohio, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Is my child eligible for 21st Century Scholars?

To be eligible for 21st Century Scholars, students must:

  • Be an Indiana resident
  • Be enrolled in 7th or 8th grade grade at an Indiana public or private school accredited by the Indiana Department of Education
  • Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be a member of a family that meets income eligibility guidelines.
    • Note: A student in foster case does not need to meet this requirement.

For detailed requirements, visit LearnmMoreIndiana.org/scholars/enroll.

How do I enroll in 21st Century Scholars?

Parents or guardians enrolling their child should go to ScholarTrack.In.gov and create a parent account. All applications to the 21st Century Scholars program must be submitted before June 30 of the child’s 8th grade year.

Parents or guardians will need the following to apply:

  • Student Social Security number, date of birth and address
  • Parent or guardian Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, if applicable
  • Previous year gross income amounts for all members of the household
  • A valid email address.

For detailed information, visit LearnmMoreIndiana.org/scholars/enroll.

Can I still enroll in high school or college?

Students must enroll in 21st Century Scholars by June 30th of the end of their 8th grade year. The only exception is that students in foster care may enroll in high school. If you missed the enrollment deadline, Indiana offers many other financial aid programs. Learn more at LearnMoreIndiana.org/statefinancialaid.

What do I have to do in high school to be eligible for the Scholarship?

All the requirements are laid out in the Scholars Pledge: I pledge to graduate with a minimum of a Core 40 diploma from a state-accredited Indiana high school. I will complete the Scholar Success Program in high school and in college that helps me stay on track for college and career success. I will achieve a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. I will not use illegal drugs or alcohol or commit a crime or delinquent act. I will apply for admission to an eligible Indiana college my senior year and apply on time for student financial aid. As a college student I will complete at least 30 credit hours each year to stay on track toward earning my degree on time. I aim to succeed.

What is the Scholar Success Program?

The Scholar Success Program includes activities in high school and in college to help students as they prepare for college and career success and stay on track to earn and maintain the 21st Century Scholarship. Learn more about the high school Scholar Success Program here. Learn more about the college Scholar Success Program here. Scholars must complete the specific steps and track their progress online using ScholarTrack. Note: The college Scholar Success Program requirement only applies to the high school graduating class of 2019 and younger.

How do I complete the Scholar Success Program?

To complete the Scholar Success Program, students must create a student ScholarTrack account at ScholarTrack.IN.gov. After they create an account, they should log in and answer a few questions about each activity to confirm completion.

What happens if I don’t complete my high school Scholar Success Program activities on time?

You must verify you’ve completed the three grade specific activities via ScholarTrack by June 30 of each academic year of high school, but you can work ahead or catch up if you fall behind. Failure to complete your activities on time may put you at risk of losing your scholarship. All activities must be completed in order to claim the 21st Century Scholarship.

Can I receive a fee waiver for the SAT/ACT?

Both the ACT and SAT cost about $50 at the time of registration, but as a 21st Century Scholar, you may qualify for a fee waiver to cover the cost. Before you register, talk to your school counselor about requesting a fee waiver. Note: Fee waivers will not reimburse you, so request a fee waiver from your counselor prior to registering.

If my GPA falls below 2.5 for a semester, will I lose the scholarship?

Scholars must achieve an overall, cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale upon graduation from high school. A cumulative GPA is the average of all your grades during all your semesters of high school. Even if your cumulative GPA falls below 2.5 some time during your high school career, you are still eligible for your scholarship as long as your GPA is at least 2.5 at the time of graduation.

Can I use my scholarship to pay for dual credit classes while in high school?

No. The scholarship is only available once you have graduated high school.

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

Your scholarship eligibility will be sent to any college/university in the state of Indiana that you have listed on the FAFSA. If you choose to attend a college/university that is not listed in your FAFSA, you will need to go back into your FAFSA and update your school choices so that it is represented. This can be done at any time.

If I graduate early, can I still use the 21st Century Scholarship?

Yes. If you plan to graduate following your junior year, you need to notify your school counselor so he or she can inform the 21st Century Scholars program. You should complete all 12 high school Scholar Success Program activities, including filing the FAFSA by April 15 of your junior year.

Can I receive the scholarship if I complete a high school equivalency exam (like an HSE or TASC) or complete home school?

No. You must graduate with a Core 40 diploma or higher from an eligible high school recognized by the Indiana Department of Education.

Must I enroll in college immediately after high school graduation?

No. You have up to one year after high school graduation to use your scholarship. Remember that you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the April 15 deadline of your senior year of high school, even if you plan to take a year off.

What colleges can I use the Scholarship at?

The 21st Century Scholarship can be used at eligible public, private and most proprietary two- and four-year institutions. A full list of eligible colleges can be found at scholars.IN.gov/eligible-colleges.

Do Indiana colleges offer extra financial aid to 21st Century Scholars?

Some colleges provide incentives to Scholars, like application fee waivers, additional scholarships and more. Learn more about what Indiana’s public and private colleges and universities provide here.

Can I receive other state financial aid on top of the 21st Century Scholars program?

Yes. Other state financial aid can be used with the 21st Century Scholarship. However, there are certain programs that cannot be combined. These include (but are not limited to): Frank O’Bannon Grant, Workforce Ready Grant, and Adult Student Grant.

What do I have to do in college to be eligible for the Scholarship?

All the requirements are laid out in the Scholars Pledge: I pledge to graduate with a minimum of a Core 40 diploma from a state-accredited Indiana high school. I will complete the Scholar Success Program in high school and in college that helps me stay on track for college and career success. I will achieve a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. I will not use illegal drugs or alcohol or commit a crime or delinquent act. I will apply for admission to an eligible Indiana college my senior year and apply on time for student financial aid. As a college student I will complete at least 30 credit hours each year to stay on track toward earning my degree on time. I aim to succeed.

What is the Scholar Success Program?

The Scholar Success Program includes activities in high school and in college to help students as they prepare for college and career success and stay on track to earn and maintain the 21st Century Scholarship. Learn more about the college Scholar Success Program here. Scholars must complete the specific steps and track their progress online using ScholarTrack. Note: The college Scholar Success Program requirement only applies to the high school graduating class of 2019 and younger.

How do I complete the Scholar Success Program?

To complete the Scholar Success Program, students must create a full student ScholarTrack account at ScholarTrack.IN.gov. After they create an account, they should log in and answer a few questions about each activity to confirm completion. Note: College students who completed the Scholar Success Program in high school will use their existing account to complete the college Scholar Success Program.

What happens if I don’t complete my college Scholar Success Program activities on time?

In order to renew your 21st Century Scholarship, you must complete the college Scholar Success Program requirements during an award year. If requirements are not met, you will not receive the 21st Century Scholarship during the next award year. To receive the scholarship in the future, requirements must be completed during the year that the 21st Century Scholarship is not being received. If you were unable to complete the requirements for extenuating circumstances, students reserve the right to file and appeal with the state through ScholarTrack. For specific information on requirements, visit LearnMoreIndiana.org/scholars/students/college.

What happens if I lose my Scholarship?

There are a few ways to lose your 21st Century Scholarship, like not meeting credit completion requirements, not filing the FAFSA on time, not completing the college Scholar Success Program, or not maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP). In many cases, if you lose the 21st Century Scholarship, you may still be eligible for the state’s Frank O’Bannon Grant or other state aid.

Credit Completion: You are required to complete 30 credit hours during an award year in order to renew their scholarship. If you do not complete this, you may be able to pull credits from your credit bank to get to 30 credits. You credit bank is populated by credits you earned in high school through dual credit or credits over 30 you earned in an award year. If you don’t have credits in your bank and don’t receive the 21st Century Scholarship in a particular year you can earn your way back into the Scholars program by completing 30 credit hours the following year and staying in good standing with all other requirements. For example, if you earn 28 credits your first year, but earn 30 credits your second year, you will be eligible to receive your full scholarship your third year if you’re in good standing otherwise.

FAFSA: The FAFSA must be completed and submitted by April 15 each year you plan to receive the scholarship.

College Scholar Success Program: Activities must be completed by end the of each award year and logged through ScholarTrack. The next year’s 21st Century Scholarship cannot be awarded until the activities are complete.

Not maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): SAP is determined by each campus individually. If you have questions about your campus’ SAP requirements, please speak to your academic advisor, the bursar’s office, or financial aid on your campus.

If you were unable to complete the requirements for extenuating circumstances (such as a medical issue), you reserve the right to file and appeal with the state. You can file an appeal through ScholarTrack. Learn more at: www.in.gov/che/4500.htm.

What colleges can I use the Scholarship at?

The 21st Century Scholarship can be used at eligible public, private and most proprietary two- and four-year institutions. A full list of eligible colleges can be found at scholars.IN.gov/eligible-colleges.

Do Indiana colleges offer extra financial aid to 21st Century Scholars?

Some colleges provide incentives to Scholars, like application fee waivers, additional scholarships and more. Learn more about what Indiana’s public and private colleges and universities provide here.

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

Your scholarship eligibility will be sent to any college/university in the state of Indiana that you have listed on the FAFSA. If you choose to attend a college/university that is not listed in your FAFSA, you will need to go back into your FAFSA and update your school choices so that it is represented. This can be done at any time.

Must I enroll in college immediately after high school graduation?

No. You have up to one year after high school graduation to use your scholarship. Remember that you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the April 15 deadline of your senior year of high school, even if you plan to take a year off.

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 an appeal that includes your discharge papers (if possible). For more information about the appeals process, please visit www.in.gov/che/4500.htm.

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

No. You must be enrolled as a full-time student (12 credit hours in fall and spring semester and 6 credit hours in the summer) in order to use the scholarship.

Do I have to be full time in my last semester?

Students must be enrolled full time in order to use the 21st Century Scholarship. The only exception is if a Scholar does not need to be enrolled full time in their final semester in order to graduate. Ex: a Scholar only needs to take 6 credits in their final semester in order to graduate. If this is the case, the Scholarship may be used for part time attendance. You should talk with your financial aid office about this so that they pull down your scholarship.

Can I extend my Scholarship to a fifth year?

No. The Scholarship can only be applied for up to four years.

Can I split tuition between multiple campuses?

In some cases. If you plan to take classes during the same semester on two campuses, the scholarship can only be applied to your bursar bill at one of the campuses. You can talk with financial aid to see if they have a reciprocity agreement with the other campus to see if you can use your scholarship on both campuses during the same semester. If you intend to transfer to another college or to take summer classes at another college, you should contact your college’s transfer or financial aid office for more information on how to use your scholarship.

Can I use the 21st Century Scholarship to take summer classes?

The 21st Century Scholarship may be used to take summer classes, depending on how your college charges for tuition. This is often more difficult for students attending colleges that charge banded tuition (your tuition fee covers 12-18 credit hours for one cost). Contact your college’s financial aid office for more information.

What if I need to take time off?

We understand that circumstances may arise that require a student to take time off. As long as you are in good standing with your requirements when you take time off, you should be able to continue using the 21st Century Scholarship when you go back to school, as long as you file your FAFSA by April 15 for the academic year you plan to return. Scholars also must use their full 4 years of award within 8 years of first activating the scholarship. If extenuating circumstances caused you to not meet your requirements before taking time off, you will need to file an appeal. For more information about the appeals process, please visit www.in.gov/che/4500.htm.

Can I receive other state financial aid on top of the 21st Century Scholars program?

Yes. Other state financial aid can be used with the 21st Century Scholarship. However, there are certain programs that cannot be combined. These include (but are not limited to): Frank O’Bannon Grant, Workforce Ready Grant, and Adult Student Grant.

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