Indiana is more than just corn and soybeans. Indiana is more than just the home to the most-famous racetrack in the country, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indiana is home to numerous, high-quality, prestigious colleges and universities.

Consequently, Indiana is also home to many great college financial aid programs that help Indiana residents afford to attend college such as the 21st Century Scholarship, the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, the Frank O’Bannon Grant and the Adult Student Grant.

21st Century Scholarship

The 21st Century Scholarship Program was created in 1990 in order to make college affordable for as many Indiana students as possible. The program begins early in a student’s academic career as the students can be enrolled in the program as early as 7th grade.

To be initially eligible for this lucrative scholarship program, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Be an Indiana resident;
  • Be a member of a family that meets the income eligibility guidelines:
    • A household of 2 should have a maximum household income of $31,894,
    • A household of 3 should have a maximum household income of $40,182,
    • A household of 4 should have a maximum household income of $48,470,
    • A household of 5 should have a maximum household income of $56,758,
    • A household of 6 should have a maximum household income of $65,046;
  • Be enrolled in 7th or 8th grade at an Indiana public or private school accredited by the Indiana Department of Education:
    • All applications must be submitted before June 30 of the student’s 8th grade year, but also not before the student enters 7th grade.
  • Exceptions to eligibility include:
    • Homeschooled students are not eligible for the program.
    • Foster care students do not need to meet the household income requirement.
    • Foster care students are the only students allowed to apply for the scholarship while attending high school.

To apply for the scholarship, the student’s parent(s) must create an account on Indiana’s ScholarTrack website and submit the 21st Century Scholarship application with all its required information and potential documents.

Once a student is ready to claim the scholarship to use it for college, they must meet specific criteria to be eligible to use the scholarship. A student must:

  • Graduate from a state-accredited Indiana high school;
  • Graduate high school with a cumulative 2.50 GPA on a 4.00 scale;
  • Earn a minimum of a Core 40 Diploma;
  • Complete all 12 High School Scholar Success Program requirements and track them in the ScholarTrack website by the time the student graduates high school;
  • Apply to and be admitted to an eligible Indiana college, university or for-profit postsecondary institution as a high school senior;
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 15 as a high school senior and then each year until the student’s college graduation;
  • Complete the College Scholar Success Program each academic year of college in order to renew the student’s scholarship;
  • Complete at least 30 credit hours each academic year of college;
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 credit hours per semester) at all times during college;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress standards established by the student’s college;
  • Maintain Indiana residency; and
  • Not do drugs, commit a crime or delinquent act, or consume alcohol before reaching the legal drinking age.

If a student attends an eligible, 2-year or 4-year, in-state, public postsecondary institution, 100% of the student’s tuition will be covered by the scholarship, including some regularly assessed fees (such as technology fees, student-activity fees, and health-services fees). The program will not cover the cost of books, room and board, parking, or lab fees as these fees are not assessed to all college students.

If a student attends an eligible private, independent or approved for-profit school, part of the student’s tuition will be covered.

A student who maintains their eligibility for the scholarship can receive these funds for up to 4 years. It is encouraged the students use the scholarship funds during the academic year immediately following their high school graduation, but it is possible to still use the scholarship funds one year after the student’s high school graduation.

Unfortunately, the 21st Century Scholarship cannot be combined with these specific state financial aid programs:  the Frank O’Bannon Grant, the Adult Student Grant and the Workforce Ready Grant. It can be combined with other types of state financial aid programs though.

Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship

There are only 200 Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship awards handed out in Indiana each year. This program is designed to foster students’ interests in pursuing careers in education.

This scholarship is renewable and a recipient can receive up to $7,500 for 4 academic years. The caveat with the scholarship is the student must agree to teach at an eligible Indiana school for at least 5 years otherwise the student will have to repay the corresponding, prorated scholarship amount.

The scholarship is geared towards graduating high school seniors, though college freshmen and sophomores are welcome to apply.

To apply for the scholarship, a student must complete and submit an application through ScholarTrack and complete and submit their FAFSA.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Be an Indiana resident;
  • Be a current high school senior or college student in Indiana;
  • Have graduated or will graduate from an accredited, Indiana high school or non-accredited, non-public high school;
  • Be able to utilize the scholarship for at least 2 full academic years;
  • Rank in the top-20% of their high school graduating class OR have a top-20% ACT or SAT score;
  • Currently attend or plan to attend an eligible Indiana postsecondary institution as a full-time student;
  • Be pursuing or intend to pursue a course of study that would enable the student to teach at an eligible Indiana school after graduating college;
  • Obtain an Indiana teaching license and serve as a teacher in an eligible Indiana school for 5 consecutive years after college graduation;
  • Maintain a 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale, complete 30 credit hours per academic year AND meet all other requirements established by the program to annually renew the scholarship;
  • Complete and file FAFSA annually;
  • Not be in overpayment or default on a federal student loan or grant; and
  • Complete the service requirement or have all funds provided converted to a loan that must be repaid.

Frank O’Bannon Grant

The Frank O’Bannon Grant is a need-based grant (as determined by FAFSA) that can be used to cover college tuition and regularly assessed college fees.

To apply for the grant, a student must complete and submit their FAFSA annually.

To be eligible for the grant, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen and eligible non-citizen;
  • Be an Indiana resident by December 31 of the year prior to apply for the grant;
  • Remain an Indiana resident throughout the academic year;
  • Be a high school graduate or hold a GED;
  • Attend or plan to attend an eligible Indiana postsecondary institution;
  • Be enrolled or plan to enroll in a course of study leading to an associate degree or a first bachelor’s degree or a be seeking a certificate at Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University;
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student;
  • Abide by credit completion requirements each academic year in order to renew the grant:
    • Completing 30+ credit hours per academic year means a student will receive an “On-Time” award AKA a maximum award,
    • Completing 24-29 credit hours per academic year means a student will receive a “Full-Time” award;
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress requirements as determined by the college; and
  • Complete and submit FAFSA annually by the April 15 deadline.

The amount of funding a student can receive from this grant varies greatly. A student can receive anywhere from $900 to well over $9,200 per academic year. To see all the variables and award options, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education has a helpful chart breaking it all down.

The base award from this grant is dependent upon the student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and the amount of credit hours a student is taking.

A student can add additional money onto their award based on Student Performance Incentives, which can then increase the amount of funding the student can receive from the grant. Even if a student’s base award is $0, the student can still earn the Student Performance Incentives from the grant.

Adult Student Grant

The Adult Student Grant is part of Indiana’s “You Can Go Back” initiative. The program is built to encourage the over 750,000 Indiana adult residents who have started to earn a college degree to go back to school so they can finish their degrees.

The grant itself is handed out to qualifying students on a first-come, first-served basis. It is a renewable grant, and a student can receive up to $2,000 per academic year to cover tuition and regularly assessed fees.

To apply for the grant, a student must complete and submit FAFSA annually to reserve a spot in the program and complete an online application via ScholarTrack.

To be eligible for the grant, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Be an Indiana resident;
  • Be financially independent as determined by FAFSA;
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding;
  • Be enrolled or plan to enroll in a course of study leading to an associate degree or a first bachelor’s degree, or a certificate at Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University;
  • Be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours or the equivalent of that each term;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by the student’s school; and
  • Complete at least 18 credit hours or its equivalent in the previous academic year in order to renew the grant.

The award amount a student receive is also based on the student’s EFC:

  • An EFC of $0-$500 can result in a $2,000 grant,
  • An EFC of $501-$1,000 can result in a $1,750 grant,
  • An EFC of $1,001-$1,500 can result in a $1,250 grant, and
  • An EFC of $1,501-$2,000 can result in a $750 grant.

Major Indiana Colleges and Universities

Within Indiana’s 36,418 sq. miles of land, there is a plethora of great colleges and universities to choose to attend. Some of the major schools include:

  • Ball State University in Muncie (public),
  • Butler University in Indianapolis (private),
  • DePauw University in Greencastle (private),
  • Indiana State University in Terre Haute (public),
  • Indiana University (main campus) in Bloomington (public),
  • Purdue University (main campus) in West Lafayette (public),
  • University of Notre Dame in South Bend (private),
  • University of Southern Indiana in Evansville (public), and
  • Valparaiso University in Valparaiso (private).

Indiana really does a thorough job when it comes to making sure its residents are able to afford to attend in-state colleges thanks to all the college financial aid programs the state offers.