21st Century Scholars

The Program

Indiana started the 21st Century Scholars in 1990 to ensure that every student can afford a college education. Income-eligible 7th and 8th graders who enroll in the program and fulfill a pledge of good citizenship are guaranteed to receive up to four years of undergraduate tuition at any participating public college or university in Indiana. If you attend a private or an independent institution, the state will award an amount comparable to that of a public institution. If you attend a participating proprietary (private career) school, the state will award a tuition scholarship equal to that of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. As a 21st Century Scholar, you can get help finding free tutoring, a mentor and a part-time job, and once you get to college, students who are 21st Century Scholars receive support to finish their college degrees. But first you must enroll in the program. Students and their parents must complete and return the application by June 30 of the 8th grade year. Don’t wait. Apply online today!

*The scholarship amount may be reduced depending on the availability of funds and the availability of the student’s family to contribute to college.


  • Help more students continue their educations,
  • Reduce the high school dropout rate,
  • Prepare students for the workforce,
  • Decrease the use of drugs and alcohol among middle and high school students, and
  • Improve individual economic productivity and the quality of life for all Indiana residents.


  • To apply for the 21st Century Scholars Program you must:
  • Be a resident of Indiana, both when you apply and when you receive the scholarship (determined by the residency of your parent or legal guardian).
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. Read the citizenship qualifications for details..
  • Be enrolled in the 7th or 8th grade at a public school, charter school, freeway school or other Indiana school accredited by the Indiana Department of Education. Children in Foster Care may apply after the 8th grade. Homeschooled students are not eligible for the 21st Century Scholars Program.
  • Fulfill the 21st Century Scholars Pledge
  • Also be one of the following:
    • A member of a family at or below the income maximums.
    • Placed in foster care.

Income Eligibility

Scholars’ families must be at or below the income maximums at the time they apply (except for students placed in foster care). If a Scholar’s family’s financial situation improves by the time the Scholar enrolls in college and claims the scholarship, the scholarship amount may be reduced based on the family’s ability to contribute to the student’s college education.

How to Apply

All applications to the 21st Century Scholars program must be submitted before June 30 of the eligible student’s 8th grade year. Double check that you have everything you need with the Scholar application checklist, and then apply online. Students and their parents may apply for the 21st Century Scholars program online.

Apply through a Local School or Community Organization

Some students may not have access to the online application at home or another convenient location. School counselors may agree to submit an online application on behalf of a student using the official Scholar Enrollment Worksheet found on the 21st Century Scholars website or the School Counselor’s Office.

NOTE TO SCHOLARS: Check with your school first to make sure they are able to submit an application on your behalf.

Application Checklist

Before you apply online, make sure you have the following:

  • Student’s Social Security Number, date of birth and address
  • Parent or guardian’s Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, if applicable
  • Previous year gross income amounts for all members of the household (Example: if you are applying after December 31, 2018, use 2018 amounts.)
  • A valid email address. Free email addresses are available at: yahoo.com, gmail.com, hotmail.com and live.com.

During the application process, you will:

  • Answer pre-enrollment questions
  • Enter student contact information (address, phone, email, school information and SSN)
  • Agree to the 21st Century Scholar Pledge
  • Enter income information for parent or guardian
  • Review and submit application.

You will also receive an email with an application summary and program enrollment information after the application is received.

NOTE: BMS School Code is 7219