Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Indiana

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Support for Completing High School

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 12-12-6-1; 12-12-6-5

The Twenty-First Century Scholars Program is established to do the following:

  • Reduce the number of students who withdraw from high school before graduation
  • Increase the number of students who are prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation
  • Increase the number of students entering postsecondary educational institutions in Indiana
  • Encourage eligible students to attend postsecondary educational institutions in Indiana by reducing the financial burden on the eligible students and their families
  • Decrease drug and alcohol abuse by encouraging higher educational pursuits
  • Increase individual economic vitality
  • Improve the overall quality of life for many Indiana residents

A student qualifies to participate in the program if the student meets the following criteria:

  • Before or during grade 7 or 8, is placed by or with the consent of the Department of Child Services, by a court order, or by a child-placing agency in one of the following:
    • A foster family home
    • The home of a relative or other unlicensed caregiver
    • A child-caring institution
    • A group home
  • Meets the following requirements:
    • Is a resident of Indiana
    • Is enrolled in grade 7 or 8 at a public school or a nonpublic school that is accredited either by the State board of education or by a national or regional accrediting agency
    • Is otherwise qualified under the rules of the commission to include students who are in grades other than grade 8 as eligible students
  • Agrees in writing, together with the student's caseworker or legal guardian, that the student will do the following:
    • Graduate from a secondary school located in Indiana that meets the admission criteria of an eligible institution
    • Not illegally use controlled substances
    • Not commit a crime or an infraction described in chapter 9-30-5
    • Not commit any other crime or delinquent act
    • Timely apply, when the eligible student is a senior in high school, for the following:
      • For admission to an eligible postsecondary institution
      • For any Federal and State student financial assistance available to the eligible student to attend an eligible institution
    • Achieve a cumulative grade-point average upon graduation of at least 2.0, if the student graduates from high school before July 1, 2014, or at least 2.5, if the student graduates from high school after June 30, 2014, on a 4.0 grading scale (or its equivalent if another grading scale is used) for courses taken during grades 9, 10, 11, and 12
    • Complete an academic success program required under the rules adopted by the commission, if the student initially enrolls in high school after June 30, 2013

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 21-12-6.5-1; 21-12-6.5-2; 21-12-6.5-3; 21-12-6-14

An individual may apply for the program under chapter 21-12-6 if he or she meets the following criteria:

  • Is receiving foster care
  • Is in grades 9 through 12
  • Is a resident of Indiana at the time the individual applies

An individual may enroll in the program and is eligible for higher education benefits under chapter 21-12-3.

Determination of initial eligibility for higher education benefits authorized under this chapter is vested exclusively in the Commission for Higher Education. Any individual described above may make a written request for a determination by the commission of eligibility for benefits under this chapter. In determining the amount of an eligible individual's benefit, the commission shall consider other higher education financial assistance in conformity with this chapter.

For each eligible student assigned to a caseworker, the caseworker shall provide that student with information about the Twenty-First Century Scholars Program at the appropriate time for the student to receive the information, explain the program to the student, and provide the student with information concerning the following:

  • Pell grants
  • Chafee grants
  • Federal supplemental grants
  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Individual development accounts (as described under chapter 4-4-28
  • The Commission for Higher Educations programs under chapter 21-18.5-3

A student who receives this information shall sign a written acknowledgment that the student received the information.

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 21-12-6-6; 21-12-6-7

A student may apply to the commission for a scholarship. To qualify for a scholarship, the student must meet the following requirements:

  • Be an eligible student who qualified to participate in the program under § 21-12-6-5
  • Be a resident of Indiana
  • Be a graduate from a secondary school located in Indiana that meets the admission criteria of an eligible institution and have achieved a cumulative grade-point average in high school of either of the following:
    • At least 2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale, if the student is expected to graduate from high school before July 1, 2014
    • At least 2.5 on a 4.0 grading scale, if the student is expected to graduate from high school after June 30, 2014
  • Have applied to attend and be accepted to attend as a full-time student an eligible institution
  • Certify in writing that before the student's graduation from high school the student met the following criteria:
    • Did not illegally use controlled substances
    • Did not illegally consume alcoholic beverages
    • Did not commit any other crime or a delinquent act
  • Timely filed an application for other types of financial assistance available to the student from the State or Federal Government
  • Completed an academic success program required under the rules adopted by the commission
  • Submit to the commission all the information and evidence required by the commission to determine eligibility as a scholarship applicant
  • Have a lack of financial resources reasonably available to the applicant, as defined by the commission, that, in the absence of an award under this chapter, would deter the scholarship applicant from completing the applicant's education at the approved postsecondary educational institution that the applicant has selected and that has accepted the applicant
  • Meet any other minimum criteria established by the commission

For an individual who graduates from high school after December 31, 2011, to be eligible for a scholarship under this section, he or she must initially attend an eligible institution no later than the fall semester (or its equivalent, as determined by the commission) in the year immediately following the year in which the student graduates from high school.

A scholarship awarded this by program may be renewed. To qualify for a scholarship renewal, a scholarship recipient must do the following:

  • Submit to the commission a renewal application with the required information to determine eligibility for the scholarship renewal
  • Continue to be enrolled as a full-time student in good standing at an eligible institution
  • Continue to have a lack of financial resources that, in the absence of an award, would deter the scholarship applicant from completing the applicant's education
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress, as determined by the eligible institution
  • If the student initially enrolls in an eligible institution for an academic year beginning after August 31, 2019, complete a student success program designed by the commission in coordination with eligible institutions
  • Beginning in an academic year beginning after August 31, 2017, the student successfully completes either of the following:
    • At least 30 credit hours or the equivalent during the last academic year in which the student received State financial aid
    • At least 30 credit hours or the equivalent during the last academic year in which the student was enrolled in postsecondary education
  • Continue to meet any other minimum criteria established by the commission

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 21-12-6-10.3; 21-12-6-8; 21-12-6-12

A student who qualifies for a scholarship under the program shall be awarded the following amount:

  • If the scholarship applicant attends an approved postsecondary educational institution that is a State educational institution, the full educational costs that the scholarship applicant would otherwise be required to pay at the eligible institution
  • If the scholarship applicant attends an approved postsecondary educational institution that is private, the greater of either of the following:
    • The average of the educational costs of all State educational institutions, not including Ivy Tech Community College
    • The amount the applicant is eligible to receive under chapter 21-12-4
  • If the scholarship applicant attends an approved postsecondary educational institution that is a postsecondary credit-bearing proprietary educational institution, the lesser of the educational costs that the scholarship applicant would otherwise be required to pay at the postsecondary credit-bearing proprietary educational institution or the educational costs of Ivy Tech Community College

The total of all tuition scholarships awarded under this section in a State fiscal year may not exceed the amount available for distribution from the fund for scholarships under this chapter. If the total amount to be distributed from the fund in a State fiscal year exceeds the amount available for distribution, the amount to be distributed to each eligible applicant shall be proportionately reduced so that the total reductions equal the amount of the excess based on the relative financial need of each eligible applicant.

A scholarship may be renewed under this chapter for a total scholarship award that does not exceed the number of academic terms that constitutes 4 undergraduate academic years.

Each eligible institution shall develop specific mentoring programs for scholarship recipients to assist the scholarship recipients through particularized academic and social counseling.