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Mayor Joe Hogsett, EmployIndy encourage parents of 7th and 8th grade students to file before June 30 deadline

June 24, 2019 – The deadline for 21st Century Scholars is only six days away and there are still many eligible 8th grade students that can sign up for a full tuition scholarship to Indiana colleges. One of the main reasons is that many are still unaware of the opportunity for their 7th or 8th grader to receive free college tuition.

“As a community, we leave a significant amount of money on the table every year – money that could provide an education and a path to a promising future,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “That is why it is so important for Marion County residents to apply for 21st Century Scholars before the June 30th deadline, to make sure all available resources make it into the hands of our students and families who need it most.”

Led by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the 21st Century Scholars program provides income-eligible Hoosier students up to four years of college tuition at any participating college or university in Indiana. A crucial part of the process is that the application must be completed by June 30th of a student’s 8th grade year, which can sneak up on families currently focused on the transition to high school. In recent years, only about half of eligible Marion County students have enrolled.

Indy Achieves, an initiative launched by Mayor Joe Hogsett and housed at EmployIndy, is pursuing many avenues to make it easy for individuals to apply and boost enrollment rates, such as:

  •      Implementing a mobile application process;
  •      Working with families one-on-one to file and submit their applications;
  •      Attending school functions to inform individuals about 21st Century Scholars; and
  •      Partnering with community organizations to spread the word

In about five minutes, parents are able to file an application for their student to go to an Indiana college tuition free, removing a financial burden that can takes years post-graduation to pay back.   

The application is a one-sheet, front and back document that makes a difference in a child’s life forever and time is running out for all Indiana 8th graders to submit their information. Once the deadline passes, rising high school freshman who have not applied will no longer have the opportunity to receive free college tuition through the 21st Century Scholars program.

Learn more and access the application at indyachieves.org/21cs


Mayor Joe Hogsett, EmployIndy encourage parents of 7th and 8th grade students to file before June 30 deadline

June 17, 2019 – Indianapolis 7th and 8th grade students and their parents are encouraged to take a moment to think about something further in the future than summer break: college tuition.

Led by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the 21st Century Scholars program provides income-eligible Hoosier students up to four years of college tuition at any participating college or university in Indiana. An crucial part of the process is that the application must be completed by June 30th of a student’s 8th grade year, which can sneak up on families currently focused on the transition to high school. In recent years, only about half of eligible Marion County students have enrolled.

“As a community, we leave a significant amount of money on the table every year – money that could provide an education and a path to a promising future,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “That is why it is so important for Marion County residents to apply for 21st Century Scholars before the June 30th deadline, to make sure all available resources make it into the hands of our students and families who need it most.”

Boosting promotion and applications for 21st Century Scholars is a key component of Indy Achieves, an initiative established by Mayor Hogsett and housed at EmployIndy to support Marion County students as they pursue a postsecondary degree or credential.

“Partnerships with local organizations like Indy Achieves are critical for the success of this program, as we find awareness of the Scholars program is one of the barriers to student enrollment,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers.

Indy Achieves staff have been working to increase awareness of 21st Century Scholars (which is a statewide program) by working with guidance counselors, coordinating digital advertising and attending school functions, encouraging parents and educators to register their students before the June 30 deadline.

“With school ending for the summer and the June 30th deadline looming, we ask our partners in the community to spread the word about this important opportunity,” said Matt Impink, executive director of Indy Achieves. “Utilizing existing postsecondary aid programs like 21st Century Scholars qualifies Marion County students for additional scholarship dollars and support services through Indy Achieves.”

Learn more and access the application at indyachieves.org/21cs


  Staff increases to support admitted student retention and boost awareness of 21st Century Scholars program as June 30 deadline approaches

From growing staff to partnering with over 100 community and business leaders to mentor young adults, Indy Achieves is making progress in its first year. This initiative was established by Mayor Joe Hogsett and is housed at EmployIndy to support Marion County students as they pursue a postsecondary degree or credential. Over the past few months, Indy Achieves has furthered relationships with IUPUI, Ivy Tech Community College, and the Commission for Higher Education to make it possible to bridge the education attainment gap in Marion County.

The broad goal of Indy Achieves is to address the Indianapolis skills gap of 215,000 residents who need job-ready credentials by 2025. EmployIndy is also putting the personnel in place to improve summer retention for students and increase public awareness of available (and often overlooked) financial aid for their postsecondary education.

One of the key components of Indy Achieves is the mentorship program. Yecenia Tostado, Associate Director of Indy Achieves, has taken lead in making this program a reality as the first connections were made between mentors and mentees in February 2019. Since its inception, this program has connected over 100 business and civic leaders with two to three college-bound students each by utilizing a text messaging system to send reminders about important deadlines, such as filling out an application, attending orientation, registering for courses, and more.

“Yecenia Tostado has been integral in building the Indy Achieves mentorship program from the ground up,” said Matt Impink, Executive Director of Indy Achieves. “Under her direction, we surpassed our recruitment goals and she has established a lasting model that provides flexibility and ease for students and mentors alike.”

With the mentorship program underway, the Indy Achieves team is focusing their efforts on an even younger population: middle school students. In 2017, only 51% of the eligible 8th grade Marion County students were registered for 21st Century Scholars, a program from Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education that grants full tuition scholarships for Hoosier students to attend an Indiana two- or four-year college after they complete high school. 

Esther Gamble, Indy Achieves Manager of Student Progress, recently joined the team and is working to increase awareness of 21st Century Scholars. From meeting with guidance counselors and sharing a 21st Century Scholars Enrollment Toolkit to speaking on the news, Gamble is going school to school, encouraging parents and educators to register their students before time runs out for graduating 8th graders on June 30, 2019.

In addition to grassroots promotion, EmployIndy is furthering awareness for Indy Achieves via an online and radio advertising campaign targeting parents and guardians as schools are reaching summer break.

“The growth of this program fulfills the vision of EmployIndy to remove barriers for all Marion County residents so every individual has the opportunity to excel,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president & CEO of EmployIndy. “Indy Achieves creates an avenue to improve the future of the workforce by addressing the projected skills gap in Indianapolis.”

With available funding from Commission for Higher Education programs like 21st Century Scholars, students currently experiencing financial barriers have the opportunity to invest in their education. More good and promising jobs now than ever before require individuals to have some form of postsecondary training or education. In order to build up Indianapolis and open doors for our young people, it is crucial to utilize the education funding available.

The due date to register all Indianapolis graduating 8th graders for 21st Century Scholars is June 30th, 2019. For Marion County residents seeking application assistance, Indy Achieves aims to help so students can achieve their dreams – learn more at indyachieves.org/21cs.