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Roger Thompson
Vice Provost for Enrollment Management

Last modified: Friday, November 3, 2006

Indiana University boosts financial aid incentives for incoming freshmen

Nov. 3, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As many as 1,000 additional Hoosier students in next fall's entering freshman class at Indiana University's Bloomington campus will benefit from a series of new financial aid packages.

The cost of the four new initiatives -- a mix of merit and need-based programs -- will rise to nearly $10 million annually during the next few years.

The initiatives were unveiled Thursday by Roger Thompson, vice provost for enrollment management, during a meeting of the IU Board of Trustees at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne.

"These initiatives are designed to give this state's best and brightest high school students yet another reason to stay in Indiana and enroll at the state's flagship campus," Thompson said. "These programs will also help us recruit more minority and low-income students."

The programs were designed by Thompson, Michael McRobbie, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Neil Theobald, senior vice provost and special assistant to the President. IU President Adam W. Herbert reviewed the programs this week and directed that they be put into place for next fall.

"This is a major step toward aligning our financial aid practices with our recruitment strategy," McRobbie said. "The Board of Trustees has directed us to find ways to attract more high-achieving students from within Indiana as well as increase the enrollment of minority and first-generation college students. I am confident these initiatives will help us meet those goals."

In his presentation to trustees, Thompson said IUB's new 21st Century Scholars Covenant program will leverage an important state program that has helped thousands of young people whose family circumstances would have otherwise ruled out a college education.

The Covenant will supplement the state grant for tuition and fees to cover the full cost of attendance, including books, room and board. This additional funding amounts to a full-ride scholarship for every 21st Century Scholar student.

"Now, the Covenant will offer hope to disadvantaged young people that if they work hard in high school, they will have a chance to come to Bloomington as a residential student," Thompson said. "This eliminates all potential financial barriers to promising students with no chance of family support."

Thompson pointed out that in-state students from families with incomes ranging from $45,000 to $100,000 will especially benefit from the new IU Excellence Award. These students do not qualify for federal or state grant programs, and often must finance the bulk of their education with loans.

"About 70 percent of our freshman class come from these middle-income families," Thompson said. "We have not had strong aid programs for these students, but this will change that situation. Now, we can reward high-achieving Indiana high school students with a grant offer that should make IU Bloomington a very appealing choice."

Here is a description of each program:

  • IU Excellence Award: This program will pay full tuition to as many as 400 Indiana students who meet pre-set achievement standards for high school. It is specifically designed to provide a new incentive to top achieving students to choose IU over out-of-state institutions. The program will cost $2.9 million next year.
  • 21st Century Scholar Covenant: Applies to students attending IU on grants from the state's 21st Century Scholar Program, which pays tuition and fees to qualifying low-income students. The Covenant will supplement the state grant to cover the "full cost of attendance," including books, room and board. This additional funding amounts to a full-ride scholarship for every 21st Century Scholar student. About 200 such students enroll at IUB each year. The program will eventually cost an estimated $2.6 million per year.
  • Hudson-Holland Scholar supplement: This program adds $1 million per year to the Hudson-Holland Scholar Program, which provides financial and educational support to academically talented undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented minority populations. This funding will make possible a significant increase in the number of Hudson-Holland Scholars enrolled each year. Currently, there are 523 Hudson-Holland Scholars enrolled at IUB.
  • Research Scholar: This new program will provide a full-ride tuition to as many as 160 students who demonstrate strong academic potential in high school. They will "earn" a portion of their grant by working in laboratories side-by-side with IU research faculty. The program, which will initially cost $2.4 million, will be expanded to $4.7 million annually.

For more information, contact Thompson at 812-855-8908 or