HOW TO MAINTAIN 21ST CENTURY
SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY GUIDE

Maintaining Eligibility

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.

Check out our College Incentives Guide for information and resources just for 21st Century Scholars on your campus. 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.

KEEPING YOUR

21ST CENTURY
SCHOLARSHIP

To maintain your full 21st Century Scholarship, 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.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE

You’ve gotten to college and are pursuing your dreams and building a foundation to last the rest of your life. Now, it’s time to ensure you stay on track through graduation.

First, if you haven’t already, meet with an advisor and create a success roadmap to complete your degree.

FAQs ABOUT BEING A 21ST
CENTURY SCHOLAR IN COLLEGE

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 decided 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.

Can I receive other financial aid in addition to the 21st Century Scholars Program?

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

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

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.

How do I complete the Scholar Success Program?

To complete the Scholar Success Program, students must create a full student ScholarTrack account.

After you create an account, you 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?

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 could not complete the requirements for extenuating circumstances, students reserve the right to file an appeal with the state through ScholarTrack.

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 must complete 30 credit hours during an award year to renew your scholarship. If you do not complete this, you may be able to pull credits from your credit bank to get to 30 credits. Your 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 the end 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 could not complete the requirements for extenuating circumstances (such as a medical issue), you reserve the right to file an appeal with the state.

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).

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 the fall and spring semesters and 6 credit hours in the summer) to use the scholarship.

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

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.

Can I extend my Scholarship to the 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 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.

DON’T WAIT!

Find out more about entrance exams and filling out applications.