Higher Education Policy Brief

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1 Higher Education Policy Brief Indiana s Twenty-first Century Scholars Program: A Look at Impact Contents High School Completion 2 History and Overview In 199, Indiana policymakers created a program to help raise the educational aspirations of low and moderate income families. Administered through the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana, Twenty-first Century Scholars aims to ensure that all Indiana families can afford a college education for their children. By Indiana Code (IC ), the program was established to: 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 institutions of higher learning. Encourage eligible students to attend institutions of higher learning 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. Students who are eligible (based on free and reduced lunch enrollment) can sign up in the 7th or 8th grade to become a Twenty-first Century Scholar. Along with their application, students must fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, which includes a promise to achieve a high school diploma with a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2. on a 4. scale; not use illegal drugs or alcohol, or commit a crime; apply for admission to an eligible Indiana college, university or proprietary school as a high school senior; and apply for state financial aid on time. Following completion of the pledge, students are guaranteed the cost of four years of college tuition at any participating public college or university in Indiana. If the student elects to attend an Indiana independent or private institution, the state will award an amount comparable to that of a public institution. If the student attends an Indiana participating proprietary school, the state will award a tuition scholarship equal to that of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Upon admittance to the Twenty-first Century Scholars program, students and their parents instantly are linked with a network of support sites to encourage and support the student in throughout high school, and assist with the college admission and financial aid process. Through the 14 regional support sites, students and parents have access to a variety of workshops, campus visits and other assistance. Participating public, private and proprietary colleges and universities are required to provide mentoring programs to support the academic and social needs of Twenty-first Century Scholars. In general, these mentoring and support programs range from the robust to the cursory with predictable results. The more engaging support sites provide financial aid assistance, tutoring and mentoring and social events for Twenty-first Century Scholars. College Readiness 2 College Participation 3 College Completion 4 Who are Twenty-first Century Scholars? Summary 7 End Notes 7 5

2 Page 2 Figure 1 than their peer groups. It is perhaps because of this support, and the significant promise of a free college opportunity, that sees Scholars graduating at greater rates than their peer groups Scholars All Students Free and Reduced Lunch Scholars Graduate from High School at Higher Rates The Twenty-first Century Scholars program primarily is designed as a college access initiative to get students who face significant financial barriers into Indiana s colleges in greater numbers. However, the program does not simply begin at the college doors. Instead, Scholars sign up in 6th, 7th and 8th grade, prior to entering high school and making important course-taking decisions. Throughout their high school career, they have the option of taking advantage of the Scholars support sites to assist them in making important academic and collegiate decisions. Scholars are required to earn at least a 2. GPA and have been encouraged to take the college and workforce readiness curriculum of Core. It is perhaps because of this support, and the significant promise of a free college opportunity, that sees Scholars graduating at greater rates High School Graduates During the 25-6 academic year, Scholars graduated from high school at an approximate rate of 82%, while all students followed behind at a rate of 77%. Differences also exist between Scholars and their peer group (other students who qualify for free and reduced lunch). Indiana s free and reduced lunch students graduated at a rate of % from high school during the same year 22 percentage points behind their Scholar peers. Students with a Strong High School Curriculum (Core ) Graduate from College at Higher Rates During the mid-199s, Indiana business leaders, K-12 educators and higher education faculty came together to establish a set of high school curriculum (Core ) for Indiana students that would ensure they were ready for the next step, whether it be college or the workplace. Core has become synonymous with Hoosier students looking for success. 45 All College Entrants 75 African American Figure Hispanic White Entrants who had a Strong High School Curriculum

3 Page 3 71% of Scholars complete Core, as compared to 63% of all students. Although Core completion is was not a requirement of the Scholars program, participants have been encouraged to earn the Core diploma to lay the foundation for college success. Beginning with students entering high school in 2 27 (the graduating class of 211), all Indiana students will be required to graduate completing the important preparation of Core. Additionally, Core will become the minimum core admission standard for all Indiana public fouryear institutions of higher education. Scholars are More Likely to Attend College Within the last two decades, Indiana has made significant strides in the number of students going on directly to college after high school. Coming from nearly last in the country up to the top Figure Figure 3 Scholars Scholars All Students Low-income Students All Students Recent Indiana Public College Entrants with Core ten, Indiana now sends over % of its high school seniors directly to college. When calculated into a students chance for college by age 19, however, it is apparent that there is much work left much work left to be done. The chance for the average Hoosier student to get to college (much less receive a degree), is a disappointing 42%. However, the bright spot in this data is the Twenty-first Century Scholars. If that same Hoosier student enrolled in the program during their 7th or 8th grade year, the student is are nearly twice as likely to go to college. The chance for the average Scholar to get to college is 77%. 28 Chance for College by Age One can assume that the Twenty-first Century Scholars program plays a role in the dramatic difference. Specific program elements attributing to this success include the high school support services and the strong focus on ensuring participants

4 Page 4 entrance and success. The distinguishing mark of the program the promise of a free college degree cannot be overstated as a significant motivating factor. The impact of the program also is expressed in the large difference between the chance for college for students of Scholars and their low-income peers. The chance for college for the average low-income students hovers around 28%, dramatically lower than all students and Scholars. College Completion Across Indiana and the rest of the country, policymakers, parents and students increasingly have turned their attention to the cost of college. As costs rise, so do the stakes for completing a college education. In Indiana, this also means keeping an eye on the college completion rates of state-sponsored scholarship programs, such as the Twenty-first Century Scholars. Based on preliminary data, Twenty-first Century Scholars are more likely to graduate from college than their low-income peers (34% versus 31%). However, Scholars lag significantly behind all Hoosier students at Figure 5 Scholars All Students Pell Recipients Graduates at Indiana Four-year Public Colleges All Students Scholars Pell Recipients IU-Bloomington 65% 55% 49% PU West Lafayette 67% % 54% BSU 59% 53% 45% ISU 45% 46% 34% Total 62% 54% 47% Figure 6: Graduation rates for Hoosier students at Indiana s public residential campuses. Indiana four-year public colleges, who are graduating at a rate of 49%. Particular attention should be paid to Indiana four-year residential colleges, who are graduating students at higher rates than their nonresidential peers. In this instance, Scholars begin to separate themselves further from Pell Recipients and edge further toward the all Hoosier student average. It should be noted that the graduation rates provided are conservative of actual completion activity as the rates do not reflect transfer or part -time students. Furthermore, due to data availability, the students represented in the graduation rate for this report were the first Scholars cohort. These students did not receive the full breadth of high school support services currently available to Scholars. It is expected that Scholar graduation rates from subsequent cohorts will demonstrate dramatic impact as a result of the support service interventions. Indiana University is has taken steps to help Scholars through their Covenant Program, which provides money for the remainder of their college expenses books, room and board. It is hoped by the Commission that this model can be used and replicated at other campuses and university systems to help this group of students complete college.

5 Page 5 Characteristics of Twenty-first Century Scholars Ethnicity or Race Count American Indian or Alaska Native 579 Asian 43 Black or African American 12,758 Multiracial 775 Hispanic or Latino (duplicated count) 4,336 White 34,651 Gender Count Male 26,31 Female 34,435 Unknown 1,5 Total 61,85 Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 97 Unknown 12,5 Total (excluding duplicates) 61,85 58% are first generation college students 49% are from single parent families 25% African-American as compared to 8.5% in college and total Indiana population. Come from families with an average family income of $29,, compared to their peers average family income of $55,.

6 Page 6 Characteristics of Twenty-first Century Scholars Continued... Characteristics of dependent students filing the FAFSA in st Century Scholars Students not eligible for state aid First generation college goers, percent 58% 33% Single parents, percent 49% 11% Family size, average Age of older parent (yrs), average Mother s 24 earnings from work, median $14,2 $25,763 Father s 24 earnings from work, median $15,699 $52,796 Parent s 24 adjusted gross income, median $28,862 $79,9 Honors Diploma Graduates, percent 31% 45% Core Diploma Graduates, percent 43% 3% Cohort Enrolled Affirmed Admitted to College ,715 2,562 1, ,317 2,835 2, ,4 2,8 2, ,237 2,638 2, ,748 2,999 2,5 2 5,744 3,395 2, ,336 3,93 3, ,717 3,99 3, ,595 3,732 3, ,775 4,448 4, ,27 4,832 4, ,638 4,997

7 In Summary: Indiana s Twenty-first Century Scholars program has served as a national model for what state s can do to help low-income students access college. The successes outlined in this issue brief continue to make the case for this important program. It is clear that high expectations, the promise of college opportunity, and free tuition can do much to ensure at least limited increased access and success for these students. Also, it cannot be forgotten that while the program provides substantial monies for tuition, the situation of the recipients does not change they are still poor, come from largely single parent households, and are often the first person in their family to attend college. It is only through the work of the Scholars supports sites, families and on-campus program that these students can work past and through the situations that would label them at risk to reach the final goal a college degree. While data in this brief suggests that Scholars can overcome many of the barriers associated with their situation, this by no means indicates that the Scholars program cannot be improved. There is still much work to be done to ensure that every student in Indiana, Twenty-first Century Scholar or not, can graduate high school, go to college and walk away with a degree at the end of two or four years. Page 7 End Notes: Page 1: State Student Assistance Commission, Indiana Code Page 2: Figure 1: 1) For 21st Century Scholars, State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana and Indiana Department of Education merged data files for the Scholars cohort graduating in the 25-6 academic year. 2.) For All Students and Students with Free and Reduced Price Lunch, Indiana Department of Education using new state graduation calculation for students graduating in the 25-6 academic year, preliminary graduation data, 12/31/6. Note: Free and reduced lunch data underestimate the extent of poverty among high school students, as free and reduced lunch participation rates significantly decline in grades Figure 2: Adapted from Adelman, Clifford, US Department of Education, Answers in the Toolbox, 1999.Note: Students with strong high school Curriculum completed at least Algebra II plus other courses. Page 3: Figure 3: Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Student Information System (SIS), ran Represents entering Indiana resident students graduating high school in 24-5 and entering an Indiana public college in Figure 4: Source: 1) For Scholars - a) High School Graduation Rate - Compiled by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education using data from the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana. Based on three year average (23-4, 24-5, 25-6). b) College-going Rate - Compiled using data from the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana - Ratio of the number of affirming Scholars from a specific graduating class to the number of affirming Scholars from the respective graduating class that starts college in the next Fall (which means the student filed for financial aid and was admitted to college). Based on three year average (23, 24, 25). 2) For All Students - Mortenson, T. Postsecondary Education Opportunity, Chance for College by Age 19, Oskaloosa, Iowa. (Note: Technical corrections were made to three states: Indiana, Kentucky, and Utah in the 24 data and are reflected in the chart). Based on three year average of high school grad rates and college-going rates (2, 22, 24). 3) a) High School Graduation Rate - Indiana students with Free and Reduced Price Lunch, Indiana Department of Education using new state graduation calculation for students graduating in the 25-6 academic year, preliminary graduation data, 12/31/6. b) College-going Rate - National percentage calculated by Mortenson, T. Postsecondary Education Opportunity, College Continuation Rates by Family Income for Recent High School Graduates 1987 to 24 (Uses Census Bureau, Current Population Survey). Page 4: Figure 5:Source: 1) For 21st Century Scholars, Indiana Commission for Higher Education and State Student Assistance Commission for Indiana merged data files for first-time, full-time bachelor-seeking students (1999 cohort) attending an Indiana public four-year institution. 2) For Pell Grant Recipients, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Student Information System. Represents fall first-time, full-time resident 1999 cohort receiving PELL in the Academic Year and Excluding 21st Century Scholars six year graduation rates. 3) All Students, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Student Information System, 1999 cohort, Represents first-time, full-time bachelor-seeking students attending an Indiana public four-year institution. Figure 6: Source: 1) For All Students, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Student Information System, 1999 cohort. 2) For 21st Century Scholars, Indiana Commission for Higher Education and State Student Assistance Commission for Indiana merged data files for first-time, full-time bachelor-seeking students (1999 cohort) attending an Indiana public four-year institution. 2) For Pell Grant Recipients, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Student Information System. Represents first-time, full-time bachelor-seeking students (1999 cohort) attending an Indiana public four-year institution and receiving a Pell Grant as indicated by the reporting institution. Page 5: Information provided by the State Student Assistance Commission, Affirmed scholars are estimated. Indiana Commission for Higher Education 11 W. Ohio St., Suite 55 Indianapolis, IN 4624

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