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21st Century Scholars and IHEA

The Indiana Higher Education Award and 21st Century Scholars are two state programs meant to assist students who demonstrate financial need. They receive funding through appropriations made by the Indiana General Assembly.



The student must:

  • Be enrolled full time (at least 12 credit hours) before the last day of the term to receive State Aid;
  • Be working toward his or her first bachelor's degree;
  • Demonstrate significant financial need (IHEA only);
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress;
  • Be an Indiana resident; and
  • Have submitted a valid FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by April 15, with ISU as the first choice school. Indiana State's school code is 001807.
  • For 21st Century Scholars, students sign up for the program in 7th or 8th grade and complete the Student Success Program, for more information concerning the Student Success Program go to the following link:
  • The Indiana Higher Education Award amount varies from $950-$4,500 based on the Expected Family Contribution as determined by the FAFSA. 21st Century pays 100% of tuition and mandatory fees.
  • Restricted to tuition and fees only
    • Neither award pays for textbooks, but some partner scholarships are available for 21st Century Scholars.
  • Indiana Higher Education Award offers incentives for eligible students (21st Century Scholars are not eligible for these incentives):
    • Academic Honors Incentive ($800 per academic year) - graduate high school with Academic or Technical Honors Diploma, for the second, third and fourth award years, you are required to have a 3.0 cumulative GPA through end of previous award year;
    • Accelerated Schedule Incentive ($1300, second and third years) - complete at least 39 credit hours by the end of the first year; complete at least 78 credit hours by the end of the second year;
    • Associate's Degree Incentive ($800, first, second, third, and fourth years) - earn an associate's degree from an accredited Indiana college or university before enrolling in a baccalaureate program.
  • Valid for 8 semesters of full-time enrollment, and must be used within 8 years of initial application.
  • 21st Century Scholars must file a FAFSA on time (April 15) for all consecutive years. Skipping a year is permissible for IN Higher Education Award recipients.
  • IMPORTANT: Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) requires that students meet the following credit completion standard to receive their On-Time award:
    • Earn 30 completed credit hours per academic year;
    • If you do not complete the 30 hours requirement,
      • Then your 21st Century will be reduced to IHEA, and
      • Your IHEA will be reduced dollar value (Full-Time Award compared to a On-Time Award)
      • You must at least have 24 credit hours to receive the IN Higher Education Award.
    • For more information please click on the following link:
  • Part time students may be eligible for grant funding if they complete at least 6 but less than 12 credit hours per term. To apply for a part-time grant, visit the Part-Time Grant Program webpage.
  • Note: Not all transfer credit is immediately evaluated. View the academic progress tab in the MYISU Portal to view your own credit hour calculation.
Notification and Disbursement

If eligible, the Indiana Higher Education Award or 21st Century Scholars will be listed on the student's award notification as well as posted to the MyISU Portal account. Funds are applied directly to the student's account approximately ten days before the start of the applicable semester. Students can check their eligibility for state awards on their Division of Student Financial Aid e-student account. Users who are not familiar to using e-student can view a "How To" video appropriate to the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Am I subject to the completion requirements?

    • Yes: If your first time receiving state aid was July 1, 2013 or later.
    • No: If you received state aid prior to July 1, 2013, you were grandfathered out of these requirements. Visit and log in to E-Student to view your first award year.
  • What counts as "earned"?
    • Anything earned at ISU for credit, including even D-
    • All pre-college work, including dual-credit, AP, LEAP, Summer Honors, and College Challenge.
    • All transfer work
    • ISU only reports cumulative credit earned at ISU. If you're worried about transfer credit being included, talk to your previous institution to ensure they are reporting those hours to the state.
  • What if I didn't make my hours?
    • If you earned 24 hours or more, and demonstrate financial need, you could get a reduced award. You can regain eligibility if you get back on track.
    • The state accepts appeals based on extenuating circumstances. Visit for details.