The 21st Century Scholars program provides students who meet certain financial guidelines with tuition for up to four years at public Indiana colleges and universities on the approved list. Students can also receive a comparable amount at private Indiana colleges on the approved list. http://scholars.in.gov/
- Students and their parents must apply on the 21st Century Scholar website by June 30 of their 8th grade year. https://studentaid.ssaci.in.gov/SCHOLARENROLLMENT/ENROLLMENT/UI/GENERALQUERY.ASPX
- After being accepted into the program, students must complete 12 Scholar Success Program tasks by the time they graduate, maintain an overall GPA of 2.5/4.0, graduate with at least a Core 40 Diploma, refrain from using drugs/alcohol, stay out of trouble, and maintain financial eligibility. http://scholars.in.gov/
- Foster care students: Students who enter the foster care system from 7th grade to 12th grade are eligible to enroll in the 21st Century Scholars program without proving family income information. Usually, the case worker assigned to the student will enter the application, but counselors and community partners can enter the application on behalf of the student as well. To enter an application, click the blue “Apply for Scholar” button and select the foster care option. You will only need to enter the student’s identifying and contact information and the name of the case worker. The application then goes to the state DCS office for verification. The student must be in foster care on the day that the application is submitted in order to be approved.
- The biggest issue I run into is that the families do not want to give out their personal financial information. I would say if you have the ability of funds, have a dinner/informational meeting and get as many computers out as possible and have them do it right there. I have found that a meal is a good motivator to getting the families to come in, and if possible a room with volunteer adults of older kiddos (if you have access to a high school NHS program) to help set up a kind of babysitting for younger siblings to go to during the meeting.
- We mail home paper forms with our enrollment paperwork over the summer. I also send home paper forms for each 8th grader who may qualify that has not applied at each parent conference. In April, I call and take the info over the phone for those that remain on my list. End of May, I make home visits to whomever is still on my list. Our school is 95% free/reduced lunch so enrollment is a priority. 100% of eligible families must apply or give me a note saying that they know about the program and know they do not qualify.
- We increased our enrollment by adding incentives. Our community foundation gave us money to create a class competition between the 7th and 8th grade, the class with the highest applied % gets a pizza party. Also any student that has applied, enrolled or denied, is entered into a drawing for a tablet. We give a tablet to a 7th and 8th grade student.
- I call, using the school auto-call system, allowing families to use the paper worksheet and have my secretary use the info to apply for them, set up a sign up station at the local soup kitchen one evening, had a Saturday sign up at the local library, used my college intern to pull kids out and have them fill out all but the parent income and signature and then have the kid take the worksheet home. I also had sign up time right before my freshmen orientation and used the grant funds to pay mileage and gave a sack of groceries from my school food pantry.
- Incorporate the enrollment with registration and have the application become standard practice with the application for F/R lunch. I relied heavily on the “worksheet” and then entered the applications for the families. I was able to catch mistakes that way too. The “worksheet” is also printed by the state in Spanish. We had an interpreter meet with me and families to help complete the form and answer questions too.
- Scholar Track Login: https://secure.in.gov/apps/Che/scholartrack/
- Parent Resources for 21st Century Scholars: http://scholars.in.gov/parents/
- Educator Resources for 21st Century Scholars: http://scholars.in.gov/educators/
- List of Participating Colleges: http://scholars.in.gov/eligible-colleges/
- List of Available Resources to use in various formats and for different audiences: http://scholars.in.gov/resources/
- An updated College Incentives Guide is on the CHE website. It lists all incentives that colleges provide 21st Century Scholars, but for public and private institutions: http://scholars.in.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-18_Scholar_Incentives_Guide_10_23.pdf
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This post was last modified by Heather on November 21, 2017.
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