Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is expanding its Twenty-first Century Scholars (TCFS) Enrollment Challenge, which will now include both Marion and Hamilton counties. The Challenge is an incentive-based initiative created to increase the number and percentage of low-income middle school students enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars program.
From 2010 to 2011, the percentage of eligible Marion County eighth-grade students who enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars program increased from 39% to 75% as a result of CICF’s Enrollment Challenge. As of June 30, 2011, 4,797 eligible 8th-grade students in Marion County were enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars Program out of a group of 6,357. An additional 2,843 7th-grade students were enrolled out of 6,628.
Legacy Fund, CICF’s affiliate serving Hamilton County, is leading the Hamilton County program, and plans to provide awards between $300 and $500 to middle school counselors that enroll 75% of seventh and 90 % of eighth grade students into the TFCS program prior to the June 30th deadline. Schools achieving enrollment goals will be publicly recognized and also be eligible for an additional school bonus award provided by local businesses and philanthropists to promote college readiness activities within the school.
The Twenty-first Century Scholar (TFCS) program is an Indiana college readiness initiative that encourages low-income students and their families to enroll, enter and succeed in post-secondary opportunities. The State of Indiana provides college readiness support services and post-secondary tuition assistance for low-income students that enroll into the program during their seventh and eighth grade year.
An estimated 16% of all Hamilton County students meet income-eligibility requirements for TFCS. According to the TFCS Regional Support Site Director, Amy Parraga, there are over 1,200 seventh and eighth grade students that qualify for the Twenty-first Century Scholar program, but less than one-third are currently enrolled into the program.
“Educational attainment is an investment that pays dividends for everyone throughout central Indiana – young people, their families, employers and the entire community,” said Brian Payne, President and CEO of CICF. “We are excited to have the opportunity to expand this incredibly successful initiative to Hamilton County and help even more of central Indiana’s young people take advantage of the Twenty-first Century Scholars program.”
To receive state tuition assistance to attend any public college or university via the TFCS program, students must pledge to: (1) Excel academically during high school, achieving a 2.5 GPA or higher, (2) Demonstrate good citizenship by saying out of trouble and refraining from use of illicit drugs, (3) Apply and be accepted to a college or university, and (4) Complete financial aid forms on time.
About 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.
Parents or guardians must enroll their child(ren) between 7th 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 2.5 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.
For more information, visit: http://www.in.gov/ssaci/2345.htm.
For more information about the Twenty-first Century Scholars Enrollment Challenge, please contact 765.455.9533 or AParraga@ssaci.IN.gov. You may also find additional information about the Twenty-first Century Scholars program by clicking here.