Indiana offering $7,500 college scholarships for 200 future teachers
Dan Carden | Times of Northwest Indiana
Top-ranked high school seniors interested in becoming teachers can apply, starting today, for a renewable $7,500 a year state-funded college scholarship.
The new Next Generation Teacher Scholarship will be awarded in April to 200 students statewide as part of a legislative initiative to produce more high-quality Hoosier educators and reduce Indiana's teacher shortage.
"This scholarship encourages our best and brightest to enter the teaching profession, which will strengthen Indiana's talent pipeline and improve the overall quality of education in our state," said House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis.
"We strongly believe that the most important factor in a child’s education is a great teacher in the classroom."
Scholarship applications are available online at LearnMoreIndiana.org/NextTeacher and must be submitted by Dec. 31, with a nomination from a current teacher and a 500-word essay on why the applicant wants to become a teacher.
Applicants should be set to graduate in the top fifth of their high school class or scored at least a 26 on the ACT exam or 1190 on the SAT. Recent graduates and current college students meeting those criteria also may apply.
Scholarship winners are required to complete 30 credit hours a year in college with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average to continue receiving the annual $7,500 award. Students are limited to $30,000 in total scholarship funds.
The money can be used to attend any public or private university in Indiana with a teacher training program.
For example, the $7,500 scholarship would cover all but $198 in tuition for an Indiana resident attending Ball State University in Muncie.
After graduation, students must teach in Indiana for five consecutive years, or repay 20 percent of the scholarship for each of the five years they don't teach.
"Our goal with this scholarship is to attract Hoosiers who will become engaged and effective teachers, not only through monetary reward, but by elevating the teaching profession," said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education.
The $1.5 million annual state cost for each scholarship class initially will be covered using excess revenue collected through Indiana's 2015 tax amnesty program.