CICF News / 2010 / May / News Post
May 12, 2010
CICF provides thousands in incentives to increase Twenty-first Century Scholars enrollment

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), The Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation (OEI), the Twenty-first Century Scholars program, and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) announced today their partnership in the Twenty-first Century Scholars Enrollment Challenge, an effort to prepare more students for post-secondary opportunities by increasing the number of 7th and 8th grade students in Indianapolis enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars program.

The Twenty-first Century Scholars program, established in 1990 by the State of Indiana, encourages low-income middle school students to prepare for post-secondary opportunities. In exchange for academic and civic accomplishments during high school, enrolled students receive post-secondary tuition assistance to attend any public college or university in the State of Indiana. The estimated 8th grade Twenty-first Century Scholars enrollment rate for Marion County is approximately 40 percent. The Twenty-first Century Scholars Enrollment Challenge goal is to enroll 75 percent of all 8th grade students into the program in 2010 and 2011. In recent years, between 50 percent and 60 percent of all Marion County 8th graders have been eligible to enroll in the program.

The Twenty-first Century Scholars Enrollment Challenge is a part of CICF’s College Readiness Initiative, funded by The Indianapolis Foundation (a CICF affiliate) and Lumina Foundation for Education. CICF is providing thousands of dollars in incentives to encourage county-wide enrollment prior to the 8th grade enrollment deadline of June 30th. GIPC will serve as the fiscal agent for this initiative.

Each school will be given a target enrollment number to achieve prior to the end of the school year. If a school successfully meets their enrollment target, the lead representative will receive a Simon Gift card of at least $100, and up to $400. Each school will be publicly recognized for meeting their enrollment targets in a community recognition ceremony in the Fall of 2010.

“The Twenty-first Century Scholars program is an immensely valuable tool that has demonstrated significant success in encouraging low-income students to seek post-secondary opportunities. CICF’s College Readiness Initiative goal is to maximize the program’s value by promoting a community-wide standard of enrolling high rates of eligible students into the Twenty-first Century Scholars program,” said Brian Payne, President of Central Indiana Community Foundation and The Indianapolis Foundation.

Parents or guardians must enroll their child(ren) between 6th and 8th grades to qualify to receive the Twenty-first Century Scholarship. Students are also required to sign a pledge that promises they will: (1) graduate from an accredited Indiana high school with a diploma and at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average, (2) abstain from the use of alcohol, drugs or committing a crime, (3) apply for college admissions, and (4) complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on-time.

“Research shows that students enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars program, and participates in college readiness activities, are several times more likely to take rigorous college preparatory course in high school and enroll in a post-secondary education,” according to Seana Murphy, State Director of the Twenty-first Century Scholars program.

For more information about the Twenty-First Century Scholars Enrollment Challenge, please contact Jonika Hudson, 317.274.1592, or, or click for additional information about the Twenty-first Century Scholars program.

For more information about CICF’s College Readiness Initiative, please contact Roderick Wheeler at 317.631.6542, ext 138, or, or visit the College Readiness section of our site.

For more information about the Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation, please call 317.327.3601.