Increase your understanding of the 21st Century Scholars program with the detailed questions and answers below. Answers to more specific questions are always available by calling the scholars helpline at (888) 528-4719 or by emailing Scholars@che.IN.gov.
- What steps must I, as an eligible 21st Century Scholar, take to use my scholarship?
21st Century Scholars must:
- Be enrolled in the 21st Century Scholars program.
- Maintain Indiana residency, as determined by the permanent residence of your parent or legal guardian.
- Complete all ScholarTrack programs by the time you graduate from high school.
- 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 the March 10 deadline during your senior year of high school. You can request a FAFSA to be mailed to you, or you can complete the FAFSA online at fafsa.ed.gov.
- Fix any errors on your FAFSA by the May 15 deadline.
- Respond to any requests for additional information from the 21st Century Scholars program, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, or your college by stated deadlines.
- How will the scholarship funds be distributed?
Once accepted and enrolled full time at an eligible institution, the 21st Century Scholarship will be disbursed directly to the college on behalf of the student. Your tuition bill will reflect the amount deducted for the 21st Century Scholarship. Money will never be paid directly to a student.
- Can I use the scholarship if I am enrolled in college courses as a part-time student?
No. You must be enrolled as a full-time student.
- Where can I use my 21st Century Scholarship?
Your 21st Century Scholar award can be used at an eligible public, private (independent), or proprietary school in Indiana. Institutions outside the state of Indiana are not eligible to receive 21st Century Scholarship funds.
- Can I receive the scholarship if I transfer or withdraw once I begin college?
Yes. You may transfer or withdraw once you begin college. However, you must file a FAFSA each year by the state deadline. In addition, the 21st Century Scholarship must be used within eight years after the date you first enroll in college.
- Must I enroll in college immediately after high school graduation?
No. You have one year to begin using your award. So if you graduate in May 2016, you have until the fall 2017 semester to activate your scholarship. Remember that you must complete an affirmation form and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 10 of your senior year of high school, even if you are not attending college in the fall. In addition, the FAFSA must be filed by March 10 of each subsequent year.
- What happens if I decide 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 a letter of appeal and a copy of your DD214 to:
Division of Student Financial Aid
402 West Washington Street, Room W462
Indianapolis, IN 46204
- What does the 21st Century Scholarship cover?
The scholarship covers undergraduate tuition and regularly assessed fees at an approved public institution. The scholarship covers only a portion of the tuition and fees at a private (independent) school. At proprietary schools, the scholarship amount is the same as if the student were to attend Ivy Tech Community College. For schools that charge by the credit hour, the scholarship covers a maximum of 15 credit hours per term. All eligible institutions are in Indiana.
At IUPUI, as a public university, your scholarship will cover 100% of tuition and regular fees. At IUPUI, your scholarship will cover tuition for up to 18 credit hours each in the fall and spring semesters; however, it is not generally available for summer courses if you have utilized it for a the full academic year.
The scholarship does not cover the cost of books, room and board, parking fees, lab fees, or any other fees assessed that are not assessed to all students. The Pledge Grant, available through the 21st Century Scholars Success Program at IUPUI, can be used toward these costs for 21st Century Scholars who receive it.
- What if the college listed as the first choice on my FAFSA is not the school I decide to attend?
- 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 for, and maintaining their financial aid, beginning as early as middle school and continuing through college completion.
- My award notice from my college shows the 21st Century Scholars award as paying only a small portion of my tuition. Why?
The 21st Century Scholarship is a supplemental scholarship, meaning it is applied only after all other tuition-specific aid is applied. Also, the scholarship has maximum limits set by state law.
- Won't I pay more of my own money if I attend a private college rather than a public college?
Not necessarily. Private colleges are generally more expensive than public colleges, and while the 21st Century Scholarship only pays an amount equivalent to the average tuition at a public institution, private colleges often offer more institutional financial aid. You may not know how much financial aid you will be offered until you apply and are accepted to the college, so it is always worthwhile to apply to several colleges. Many will also waive application fees if you indicate that you are a 21st Century Scholar, so don’t hesitate to ask the college’s financial aid office about fee waivers.
- What support is available to me once I am enrolled in college?
Colleges must provide support services to 21st Century Scholars who enroll in their schools. Scholars are not required to participate in the support programs provided by their colleges, but the opportunity is a definite advantage and will increase your chance of completing college on time with a valuable degree. Support services vary widely from one college to another, but examples of support include tutoring assistance, financial aid assistance and personal assistance in adapting to college life, social opportunities, and service opportunities. At some campuses, Scholar Corps members provide specific support services and mentoring just for 21st Century Scholars. See the last part of our staff list for a list of Scholar Corps members.
- How long do I have to complete 30 credit hours?
You must complete 30 credit hours for each academic year. At IUPUI, that includes fall, spring, and summer semesters. This means that in most cases you have a full calendar year to complete your 30 credit hours. If you start in the fall of 2017, for example, you have until the the start of the fall 2018 semester to complete 30 credit hours.