Featured Grant
Improving Graduation Rates for Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars
Indiana’s 24-year-old 21st Century Scholars program has been tremendously successful in improving the high school graduation and college enrollment rates of lower-income students. Unfortunately, the program has not been as successful in promoting completion of postsecondary education by program participants.
Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars can qualify for up to a four-year scholarship at an Indiana college or university by fulfilling a commitment they make in middle school to maintain academic success, remain drug and alcohol free, and complete college-preparation activities. On-time college completion rates for 21st Century Scholars average 15 percent, slightly better than the 9 percent on-time completion rates for all low-income Indiana students, but short of the overall 23 percent average for Indiana’s full-time students.
A $2.4 million grant from USA Funds® to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education aims to increase the graduation rates of 21st Century Scholars by 10-15 percent through the support of trained College Success Coaches. Nearly 2,500 incoming freshmen at Indiana State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Ivy Tech Community College will benefit from a one-on-one relationship with a trained college coach. Coaches will encourage students to identify obstacles to their success in college, create contingency plans, connect with existing campus resources, and link students’ short-term actions to their long-term goals.
The program will use a student coaching model developed by Inside Track.
The 21st Century Scholars coaching initiative supports USA Funds’ efforts to promote postsecondary education “Completion With a Purpose ” through innovations in college and career preparation.

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