Indiana Schools, Communities Rally to Keep Students on Track for Scholarships

INDIANAPOLIS –The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is working statewide to ensure Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars stay on track to earn their scholarships and prepare for college success before graduating from high school. Beginning with the high school graduating Class of 2017, all Scholars must complete specific activities designed to help them prepare for college—called the Scholar Success Program.

The Commission is holding more than 30 events on college campuses across the state this summer and providing grants to help communities support Scholars in meeting the new requirements.

“While plenty of time remains for next year’s high school graduates to complete these required activities, the Commission has launched a full court press with schools and communities around the state to help Scholars gain these valuable experiences and remain eligible to receive their scholarships,” Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers said.

The activities are steps that all college-bound students should take, including visiting a college campus, researching the cost of attending college, and exploring potential career paths. Students are required to confirm completion of all activities with an online account called Scholar Track. Scholars who do not complete all required activities are ineligible to receive their 21st Century Scholarships.

Indiana’s Scholar Success Program Requirements

Earlier this month, the Commission sent postcards to all 21st Century Scholars in high school as well as informational packets to Indiana principals and superintendents—alerting them to their current progress toward meeting these new requirements. Student response was immediate. In less than four weeks, the number of Scholars who have completed all required activities has increased by 12 percentage points.

By the Numbers: Class of 2017 Evan Bayh 21st Century Scholars

  • 17,782 Scholars statewide are expected to graduate high school in 2017.
  • 71 percent of these Scholars have created on online Scholar Track account to log the activities they’ve completed.
  • 20 percent of Indiana’s Class of 2017 Scholars have completed all Grade 9-11 Scholar Success Program requirements.
  • Top 10 Counties for % of Class of 2017 Scholars Completing Scholar Success Program Activities: Benton, Switzerland, Howard, Crawford, Starke, Wabash, Harrison, Boone, Perry and Warren
  • See an Online Dashboard with results by county: scholars.in.gov/scholar-data/scholar-progress-reports/
  • Find Reports for Every School District and High School in Indiana: scholars.in.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/4_27_2016-SSP-School-Reports.pdf

“These required Scholar Success Program activities are designed so that Scholars can complete the requirements on their own,” Lubbers said. “That said, the Commission is working with schools, communities and students to provide assistance and make sure this first class of Scholars is aware of the new requirements and has the support they need to meet these expectations.”

Efforts to Support Class of 2017 Scholar Success

  • Events: The Commission is working with K-12 schools, colleges and communities this summer to provide opportunities for Scholars and their families to learn about and complete their Scholar Success Program requirements. See a full list of upcoming events to help Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars meet all requirements and prepare for college online at scholars.in.gov/events/.
  • Community Grants: The Commission is providing grants to help communities support Scholars and their families understand new Scholar Success Program requirements. Learn more here.
  • Direct Mail, Phone Calls, and Emails: 21st Century Scholars receive guides upon enrolling in the program, tools and resources to help them prepare for and succeed in college, and regular updates to help them track their progress toward completing Scholar Success Program requirements.
  • Website: Earlier this year, the Commission launched a new 21st Century Scholars website at Scholars.in.gov. The new site is easy to navigate and provides clear guidance to help Scholars succeed and stay on track to earn their scholarships.

About Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program

For 25 years, Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program has been providing up-to four years of full tuition scholarships for low-income students who meet certain academic and behavioral requirements. Seventy thousand Hoosier students have taken advantage of the 21st Century Scholarship. Currently, more than 118,000 students from Grade 7 through college are enrolled as Scholars.

The Scholar Success Program was created in response to changes passed in 2011 by the Indiana General Assembly designed to help more of Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars succeed in college and complete a college degree on time. The program aims to help more Hoosier students be prepared for the academic rigor, expense, and social demands of college. The Class of 2017 is the first group of 21st Century Scholars who must complete the requirements of the Scholar Success Program to earn their scholarships.

These Scholar Success Program requirements complement financial aid reforms enacted in 2012 that require Scholars to complete enough credit hours per academic year to graduate on time. Together, these changes are helping ensure more 21st Century Scholars earn a quality college degree or workforce credential.

Learn more about Indiana’s Evan Bayh 21st Century Scholars Program, the Scholar Success Program, and upcoming Scholar Outreach Events at Scholars.in.gov.

 

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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