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* Twenty-first Century Scholars Program

May 29, 2007

Twenty-first Century Scholars Program nears application deadline

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The deadline is drawing near for junior high school students from Tippecanoe and surrounding counties to enroll in the Twenty-first Century Scholars Program, yet only 67 percent of eligible eighth-graders have applied so far.

To enroll, eligible junior high students must apply by June 30 of their eighth-grade year. Upon successful completion of the program, qualified students whose families are in low to moderate income brackets will receive four years of college tuition to a public Indiana college or university or the equivalent amount to attend private college in Indiana.

Applicants also must apply for financial aid and take a pledge. The pledge includes staying drug-free, graduating high school with a GPA of at least 2.0 and being admitted to an eligible Indiana college, university or technical school.

Seventh- and eighth-grade students who have not enrolled in the program are invited to bring a parent to complete an application at the Tropicanoe Cove Family Aquatic Center, 1915 Scott St., Lafayette. Twenty-first Century Scholars staff will be at the water park from 1-4 p.m. June 7, 3-6 p.m. June 13, 3-6 p.m. June 20 and 1-4 p.m. June 28.

Applicants should bring a school ID or report card. A completed application also will serve as one free admission to the water park, Castaway Bay or Vinton Pool.

Aside from tuition benefits, the program offers free summer camps and visits to colleges and universities throughout Indiana. Other college preparatory activities include tutoring, mentoring, community service projects and newsletters on planning for college.

Yvonne Smith, site coordinator for the Twenty-first Century Scholars Program at Purdue University, said she encourages students to take advantage of this opportunity to realize their dreams of earning a college degree.

"This program, which is one of the country's premier models for college access programs, has unlocked the door to higher education for so many people," Smith said. "More than 5,000 scholars statewide have received college degrees since the program began 17 years ago. We also have distributed more than $85 million in scholarships."

The Twenty-first Century Scholars west-central regional support site, for which Purdue serves as the host, works with approximately 3,000 students in seventh through 12th grade to assist them in preparing for college. It serves students in Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren, and White counties. More than 200 students will graduate this year and receive financial awards.

The Purdue site is managed by Student Access, Transition and Success Programs, an office within the Division of Enrollment Management. For more information about the program or related events, contact Twenty-first Century Scholars staff at (765) 496-0046, tfcs@purdue.edu.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704, mforbes@purdue.edu

Sources: Yvonne Smith, (765) 494-7991, ynsmith@purdue.edu

Drew Koch, director of Student Access, Transition and Success Programs, (765) 496-3618, akkoch@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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