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CICF expands Twenty-First Century Scholar Enrollment Challenge program

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Indianapolis, IN – Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is expanding its Twenty-first Century Scholars (TCFS) Enrollment Challenge, which will now include both Marion and Hamilton counties. The Challenge is an incentive-based initiative created to increase the number and percentage of low-income middle school students enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars program.

From 2010 to 2011, the percentage of eligible Marion County eighth-grade students who enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars program increased from 39 percent to 75 percent as a result of CICF’s Enrollment Challenge. As of June 30, 2011, 4,797 eligible 8th-grade students in Marion County were enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars Program out of a group of 6,357. An additional 2,843 7th-grade students were enrolled out of 6,628.

Legacy Fund, CICF’s affiliate serving Hamilton County, is leading the Hamilton County program, and plans to provide awards between $300 and $500 to middle school counselors that enroll 75 percent of seventh and 90 percent of eighth grade students into the TFCS program prior to the June 30th deadline. Schools achieving enrollment goals will be publicly recognized and also be eligible for an additional school bonus award provided by local businesses and philanthropists to promote college readiness activities within the school.

The Twenty-first Century Scholar program is an Indiana college readiness initiative that encourages low-income students and their families to enroll, enter and succeed in post-secondary opportunities. The State of Indiana provides college readiness support services and post-secondary tuition assistance for low-income students that enroll into the program during their seventh and eighth grade year.

An estimated 16 percent of all Hamilton County students meet income-eligibility requirements for TFCS. According to the TFCS Regional Support Site Director, Amy Parraga, there are over 1,200 seventh and eighth grade students that qualify for the Twenty-first Century Scholar program, but less than one-third are currently enrolled into the program.

“Educational attainment is an investment that pays dividends for everyone throughout central Indiana – young people, their families, employers and the entire community,” said Brian Payne, President and CEO of CICF. “We are excited to have the opportunity to expand this incredibly successful initiative to Hamilton County and help even more of central Indiana’s young people take advantage of the Twenty-first Century Scholars program.”

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