House committee nixes changes to Indiana scholarships

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A proposal to tighten requirements for Indiana's popular 21st Century Scholars program for low-income students is in limbo after a legislative committee removed it from a package of revisions to college financial aid programs.

The House Education Committee also diluted proposals that would have limited the number of full college scholarships given to the children of disabled military veterans.

The committee on Monday deleted changes to the 21st Century Scholars program because a similar bill was caught up in the five-week boycott by House Democrats over unrelated issues.

Changes approved by the Senate would increase the required high school grade-point average from 2.0 to 2.5 for a student to receive the scholarship.

Nearly 13,000 students received 21st Century scholarships last school year — up 44 percent from 2006. Those students promised as middle school students to not use drugs, stay out of criminal trouble and receive acceptable grades.

Rep. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, said he was committed to making changes to the 21st Century Scholars program to ensure its long-term sustainability. Dermody has sponsored a bill that would have required a check at the end of high school to make sure students still met the income guidelines for the scholarships.

Dermody said he was looking for a way to put the provisions into another bill in the Senate, which would be allowed under the agreement House leaders reached to end Democrats walkout over GOP-backed legislation they consider an assault on labor unions and public education.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, sponsored the proposals in the Senate and could restore them to the state budget bill.

"I'm not sure where we're going," Kenley told The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne. "The ball is in (the House's) court."

The House committee also removed many of the changes to the college scholarship program for the children of disabled veterans that Kenley had advocated.

That plan would have continued granting full scholarships to children of deceased veterans and to those of veterans who are at least 80-percent disabled. Benefits for others would be staggered based on the parent's level of disability.

Kenley said no funding cuts were planned for the program but that he wanted to make sure money was available for the children of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans groups have opposed those changes, saying it devalues the sacrifices of disabled veterans.

The committee took out all reference to disability percentages and instead simply limits the scholarships based on a few eligibility changes. For instance, children must use the scholarships before age 32, any federal tuition aid must be used first and parents must live in Indiana.


  • 2.5
    I think 2.5 is reasonable for a scholarship but 2.0 is a bit low.
  • Scholarship
    Anyone who can not make a least a 2.5 gpa should not be able to get a scholarship. If you cannnot make at least a Cn you should not be going to college. That is a waste of money that could be given to a student who makes better grades. No wonder we have so many dumb graduates in Indiana!!!!

    Post a comment to this story

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

    2. Shouldn't this be a museum

    3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

    4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

    5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.