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21st Century Scholars Program To Change

Last updated on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

(UNDATED) - Indiana is changing the look of its college financial aid budget.

The 21st Century Scholars program guarantees state university tuition to students who maintain a C average in high school and stay out of trouble. But financial aid commissioner Mary Jane Michalak says the program's budget has stayed flat while eligibility has grown.

The state has filled the gap with money from other aid programs. But Michalak says the brand ID of the 21st Century Scholars program is so strong that students sometimes see the amount from that fund and think they've been shortchanged.

Both House Republicans' budget and Governor Pence's nearly quadruple the scholarship fund for the next two years while trimming others.

Cost-control measures enacted in 2011 begin to take effect in 2016, when the state will cap scholarships at $2,500 dollars for students who don't show financial need. Starting that year, the state has the option of reducing scholarships for all students if there's not enough money.

Students who registered for the program in 2011 still have the full guarantee, but the new rules will apply to all students starting with the class of 2018 -- this year's seventh-graders.

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