INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana seventh- and eighth-grade students can still apply for the 21st Century Scholars program, but the deadline is June 30.

Led by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, 21st Century Scholars is the state’s early college promise program that provides up to four years of undergraduate tuition and fees for eligible low-income students at Indiana colleges and universities, according to a provided news release.

To qualify, students must apply during their seventh- or eighth-grade year. Most students who qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch guidelines will qualify for the 21st Century Scholars program – but students can only take advantage if they apply before the June 30 deadline.

“To achieve economic security and mobility in today’s economy, education beyond high school is vital,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “The 21st Century Scholars program not only makes college affordable, but when accompanied with the Scholars Success Program, it keeps students on track for college and career success.”

The Commission’s 2021 College Readiness Report shows that 88% of 21st Century Scholars who meet the program’s requirements are enrolling in college, compared to the statewide college-going average of 59%. The program has also been shown to close the race and ethnicity equity gap for low-income students.