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IU Bloomington 21st Century Scholarship Covenant

Last modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First IU 21st Century Covenant Scholars arrive on Bloomington campus

August 22, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new freshman class arrives on the Indiana University Bloomington campus this week. The students have high hopes for the future; but for 275 of them -- the inaugural class of 21st Century Covenant Scholars -- coming to IU is the realization of a dream in itself.

"Having the IU 21st Century Covenant Scholarship means so much to me," said Monica Burris, an incoming elementary education major from Indianapolis' Thomas Carr Howe Academy. "I'm a first generation college student, so I am creating a new foundation for me, my children and generations to come. For me, the IU Covenant represents opportunity and accomplishment."

Opportunity and accomplishment were just what IU officials had in mind when the IU Covenant was created. IU President Michael McRobbie was interim provost when he and former IU President Adam W. Herbert, announced the IU Covenant last fall. The pledge to qualified students promised that IU would supplement the state of Indiana's 21st Century Scholarship monies -- which are designated toward tuition and fees -- with enough funding to cover the full cost of attendance, including books, room and board.

"Making IU Bloomington more accessible to qualified students from low- and moderate-income families continues to be a priority of Indiana University and its board of trustees," said McRobbie. "I am pleased that we were able to serve such a large number of truly deserving students in the first year of this program."

McRobbie said he is well aware of the growing interest in keeping public universities affordable and accessible to all deserving students, regardless of family income.

"Indiana University is always looking for ways to meet this need," McRobbie said. "The 21st Century Scholarship Covenant is the university's promise that we will be there for students who work hard in high school and qualify for admission."

As a group, the 275 freshmen will receive approximately $1.3 million in IU Covenant grant aid, with an average of $4,700 per student. This money is in addition to that from the state's 21st Century Scholarship Program and all other scholarship and grants for which they qualify. The IU Covenant money comes from the university's general fund.

"Welcoming this group of new freshmen to IU Bloomington is a true pleasure for me," said IU Provost Karen Hanson. "After announcing the IU Covenant last fall, we distributed 65,000 brochures stating our promise to every identified student in the seventh grade and above, and also to organizations and programs that serve adolescents in that age group.

"Now, we are seeing positive results at the high school level, including a significant increase in the number of students applying to the state's 21st Century Scholarship Program. This is an excellent example of IU's continuing commitment to keeping access affordable to all eligible Indiana students to attend the flagship campus of IU. But it also is tremendous motivation for promising high school students to work hard, knowing that they can obtain a college education from a fine university," Hanson said.

Students in the seventh and eighth grades of Indiana schools are identified by the state as potential 21st Century Scholars, and by the end of junior high school, they must apply to the 21st Century Scholars Program. This also means signing the state's 21st Century Scholarship pledge requiring that students graduate from an Indiana high school with a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, that they not use illegal drugs or alcohol or commit a crime, and that they apply to an accredited Indiana college or university.

Admissions officials recommend that high school seniors who qualify for the 21st Century Scholarship apply to IU early in the fall. Once accepted, they become eligible for IU's Covenant.

Mario Ramierez, a finance major, comes to IU this fall from East Chicago's Bishop Noll Institute. He brings an open mind and is eager to interact with different groups of people.

"I wanted to get a great education, and I knew I could do that at IU and the Kelley School of Business," said Ramierez. "What does having the 21st Century Covenant Scholarship mean to me? Everything. It enables my mom and me to sleep at night, not worrying about how to pay for college. It just means the world. I have to work hard to maintain it, and I'm very grateful."

The IU 21st Century Scholar Covenant to Indiana students:

"We will meet your financial need, as defined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, each year you are eligible to receive your 21st Century Scholar award to pay your fees as a full-time bachelor's degree candidate at Indiana University Bloomington.