High School Resources

High school is an exciting time in your life. It’s important to relax, have fun and make the most of the experience while still setting aside time to prepare for college.

If you’re a 21st Century Scholar, you must complete three activities each year as part of the Scholar Success Program. Below, you’ll see the requirements for each year. Don’t forget to track your progress in ScholarTrack!
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Freshman year

Your first year of high school is an exciting time, full of new faces and new experiences. The next four years will have some new challenges, but you’ll also accomplish so much along the way. Below are the things you need to make sure you complete your freshman year. Don’t forget to log your completed activities in ScholarTrack.

Create your graduation plan

It’s important to start your graduation plan early. It will be here before you know it. Meet with your school counselor at the beginning of the year to ensure your graduation plan reflects your college and career goals.

If you’ve been keeping track of your plan online, log into Indiana Career Explorer to review it and make any adjustments to your class schedule as soon as possible.

Watch the "Paying for College 101" video

“Paying for College 101” will help you and your family understand what you need to know about your 21st Century Scholarship and other financial aid options to help pay for college.

Participate in an extracurricular or service activity

Extracurricular activities at school are a great way to complete this requirement and to meet students with similar interests. You can also get involved in various service activities in your community, such as through church, a local youth organization or a community center.

Schools offer activities outside of regular schoolwork like:

  • Choir
  • Band
  • Athletics
  • Newspaper
  • Student council
  • School yearbook

Contact your local volunteer office or place of worship to find out about opportunities in your community.

Download Grade 9 Scholar Success Guide

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Sophomore year

Congrats on finishing your first year of high school! You know your way around the school and your classes are going well. You might be thinking it’ll all be easy from here, but it’s important to stay focused and keep on track. There are a few key things you should prioritize before the end of the year. Don’t forget to log your completed activities in ScholarTrack.

Take a career interests assessment

A career interests assessment is like a personality test. You’ll be asked questions about activities that interest you and about your future goals. Visit Indiana Career Explorer to create an account and take the assessment.

Remember to answer these questions as truthfully as possible. After answering the questions, you’ll be given career options that may align with your interests and goals.

Get workplace experience

Getting workplace experience will help you understand what a particular job or workplace is like, as well as teach you valuable lessons about time management and how to act in a professional environment.

Types of workplace experience:

  • Job shadowing: Spending a day observing someone who works in the field you’re interested in.
  • Informational interview: Asking a professional in the field you’re interested in questions to learn more about their career and what education and training they needed to get to where they are.
  • Internship: Real-world, hands-on experience in a role related to your career interests and goals. Visit WorkandLearnIndiana.com to start your internship search.
  • Part-time employment Part-time workplace experience, whether it’s related to your career interests or not, provides important skills.

Watch the “Estimating Your College Costs” video

Remember that your 21st Century Scholarship only covers tuition and mandatory fees, so it’s important to plan for other expenses, like housing and meal plans. Talk with your parents or guardians and school counselors to explore additional financial aid options and other scholarships that might be available to you. This video will help you calculate the out-of-pocket cost that you and your family should be prepared to contribute toward your college education.

It will also show you how to use the College Scorecard, an online tool designed to help you compare the costs of Indiana colleges and determine what kind of financial aid you may be eligible to receive. It will ask you to estimate your household income, so you’ll want to work with a parent or guardian.

Download Grade 10 Scholar Success Guide

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Junior year

This is a special year for you. Driving, prom and planning for college. From taking entrance exams like the SAT, to scheduling college visits to get a feel for how each college might work for you, there’s so much to work on that it can be easy to be overwhelmed. Don’t worry, just take the process one step at a time.

Graduation will be here sooner than you think, so the following checklist will help you to prepare for what’s just around the corner. Don’t forget to log your completed activities in ScholarTrack.

Take a college entrance exam

Strong test scores will look good on your college applications and may help you qualify for scholarships. If you haven’t already taken the PSAT, you might want to take that and get in practice before the real thing. Speak to your school counselor to find out if you’re eligible for fee waivers, which could qualify you to take your exams for free or at a reduced rate.

After you’ve done these two things, it’s time to take the ACT and/or SAT. The college you are hoping to attend could have the minimum scores they are looking for on entrance exams. If you want to try for a higher score before you submit your applications, you can retake these tests.

Visit a college campus

By now, you hopefully have an idea of the colleges you might want to attend. If not, no worries, you have plenty of time to learn more about which colleges might fit with your interests. College visits give you the opportunity to tour campuses and get a feeling of what campus is really like!

This year you should plan visits to colleges you may want to attend. Make sure to select colleges that will help you achieve the career goals you’re going after.

Search for scholarships

College can be expensive. You should pursue as many scholarship opportunities as possible to help cover any costs.

Your 21st Century Scholarship covers up to full tuition and mandatory fees, but the award does not cover expenses such as room and board, books, supplies and other living expenses—which can be costly.

Search for local Indiana scholarships, as well as national scholarships, that you’re eligible for.

Download Grade 11 Scholar Success Guide

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Senior year

Congrats, senior! You’re heading into the final stretch of high school, and college will be here before you know it. There are three Scholar Success Program activities you must complete this year to help you stay on track for success and earn your scholarship. Don’t forget to log your completed activities in ScholarTrack.

Make sure your school counselor submits your GPA and diploma type. This must be submitted in order to receive the scholarship.  

Submit your college application

Once you have narrowed down the colleges you plan to apply for, work on researching the application requirements and deadlines for each one. After you’ve done your research, it’s time to apply!

File your FAFSA

The FAFSA will determine your eligibility for financial aid, which is money to help you pay for college. Check with the college or colleges you hope to attend to make sure they don’t have an earlier deadline. You must file the FAFSA during your final year of high school to receive the 21st Century Scholarship.

Remember, April 15 is the deadline to file your FAFSA each year.

Watch “College Success 101”

“College Success 101” prepares you for college – showing how you can succeed academically and get the most out of campus life.

Download Grade 12 Scholar Success Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

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In order to earn your scholarship, you must maintain the Scholar Pledge, including completing all 12 high school Scholar Success Program activities by June 30 of your final year of high school. You must track your completion of these activities through ScholarTrack.

Once you’ve completed all Scholar Success Program activities and have enrolled at an accredited Indiana college within a year of high school graduation, the 21st Century Scholars office will send your name to the college you will attend.

The financial aid department will claim the scholarships for each Scholar enrolled and deposit that money into your student account to be used to pay for your college tuition.

If you have questions, you can contact your school’s financial aid office, or the statewide Financial Aid Support Center at 888-528-4719.


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

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.

Yes. If you plan to graduate following your junior year of high school, 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 by June 30 of your junior year. You must file the FAFSA by April 15 of your junior year.

No. You must graduate with a Core 40 diploma or higher from an eligible high school recognized by the Indiana Department of Education. Homeschooled students are not eligible for the 21st Century Scholars program.

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.

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

Some colleges provide incentives to Scholars, like application fee waivers, additional scholarships and more. Research each of the institutions you are interested in attending.

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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