Maintain Eligibility in College

You made it to college. Congratulations!

This is an exciting time, and it’s the result of all of your hard work over the years. With the 21st Century Scholarship, you have the tools you’ll need to succeed in this new phase of your education. Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars College Success Guide is designed to help you adjust to college study habits and lifestyle and give you helpful tips on maintaining your 21st Century Scholarship in college. If you are getting ready to graduate, be sure you visit our Alumni page for more information on how to stay involved with the Scholars program after you graduate.
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Keeping your 21st Century Scholarship

To maintain your full 21st Century Scholarship in college, you must do all of the following:

Earn at least 30 credits each academic year.

File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by Indiana’s April 15 priority deadline every year.

Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as determined by your college.

Contact your college’s financial aid office for SAP questions.

FAQs about being a 21st Century scholar in college

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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.

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
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.

Yes. Other financial aid can be used with the 21st Century Scholarship. However, certain programs cannot be combined such as:

  1. Frank O’Bannon Grant
  2. Workforce Ready Grant
  3. Adult Student Grant

All the requirements are laid out in the Scholars Pledge:

  1. I pledge to graduate with a minimum of a Core 40 diploma from a state-accredited Indiana high school.
  2. I will complete the Scholar Success Program in high school and in college, which helps me stay on track for college and career success.
  3. 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.
  4. I will apply for admission to an eligible Indiana college my senior year and apply on time for student financial aid.
  5. 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.

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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.

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).

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

Students must be enrolled full-time 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 to graduate.

Ex: a Scholar only needs to take 6 credits in their final semester 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.

No. The scholarship can only be applied for up to four years in college.

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.

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.

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 return 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 entire four years of award within eight years of first activating the scholarship.

If extenuating circumstances caused you to not meet your requirements before taking time off, you must file an appeal.


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