While the fees and tuition for post-secondary education can sometimes seem to be unmanageably high, Indiana residents have a number of scholarships available to help them afford a college education. Many of the scholarships are based around academic achievement, encouraging students to perform highly throughout both secondary school and during their college or university studies. Some funding opportunities are only available once a student has managed to maintain a certain GPA or has completed a particular course of study. Others offer additional incentives for higher grades and completed courses or for finishing work on an accelerated schedule. There are other financial aid options which are based primarily around a student's financial need or around achievements such as volunteer work. Moreover, some are aimed at students pursuing a particular career. Many of these scholarships require hard work, but the benefits to the student are considerable.
Frank O' Bannon Grant, Indiana
This is Indiana's primary post-secondary financial aid program. Various amounts are awarded on a student's financial need, as determined by their Expected Family Contributions based on their Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) application. Awarded amounts also differ depending on the type of school the student plans to attend and whether they will be a full-time or part time student. There are additional financial incentives for students to improve their academic performance. A student may be awarded extra funding if they graduate high school with an honors diploma, maintain a 3.0 GPA, complete an associate's degree before beginning a bachelor's degree or complete their work on an accelerated schedule.
21st Century Scholarship
This is another commonly utilized financial aid option. It is specifically available to long-term Indiana residents, as it requires students to enroll while still in secondary school. Having done so, they then have to maintain their Scholars Pledge and complete the Scholars Success Program, which involves a number of tasks undertaken throughout their years in high school. Students must also maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher and apply to an eligible institution in order to receive funding.
Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship, Indiana
This scholarship is awarded to students who manage to graduate from high school one year early. The student must have completed all necessary work to graduate and earn at least a Core 40 high school diploma by the end of 11th grade. They must also have enrolled at an eligible college, university or other post-secondary institution for the academic year immediately following their graduation from high school. This award is only available to students from public institutions.
Next Generation Hoosier Education Scholarship
The Next Generation Hoosier Education Scholarship is a career-based scholarship, awarded to high-achieving students who plan to work as educators within Indiana. Students must have graduated in the top 20 percent of their class or with a top 20 percent ACT or SAT score. They must also maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher throughout their studies. The scholarship is available for renewal on a yearly basis. After graduating, recipients must work for five or more years at a participating Indiana school. If this condition is not met, the money from the scholarship must be repaid.
Indiana's Adult Student Grant
This grant is aimed at adults who have either not been to college or who previously completed some college study but did not finish their degree. Students must be financially independent adults but also demonstrate financial need as determined by their FAFSA application. Recipients must be enrolled for a certain number of hours per academic term and maintain an appropriate level of academic achievement throughout their period of study. This grant is part of the wider “You Can. Go Back.” campaign from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. This campaign has resulted in several institutions offering additional incentives to students, such as discounts on tuition, loan forgiveness and individual institution scholarships.
Indiana's Homeland Security Foundation Scholarship Program
Unlike many of Indiana's scholarships, this program is not run by the state's Department of Education or the Commission for Higher Education but by the Department of Homeland Security. The Homeland Security Foundation is funded by the sales of “Secure Indiana” license plates. While a student must have a GPA of 2.8 or above in order to be eligible, their extracurricular activities are the main focus of the scholarship. Eligible students must volunteer at a public safety organization in Indiana, such as an emergency medical service or a fire department in order to benefit from the scholarship. They must also receive a recommendation letter from the organization's chief executive.