Next year’s high school seniors will be the first with a chance to earn Indiana’s new scholarship for would-be teachers.
Legislators approved $10 million for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, enough money to put 200 seniors a year through college for three years. They also approved $500,000 for the Commission for Higher Education to get the program ready.
The commission will finalize the application process and marketing plans to make sure students know the scholarship is available. The agency will also be in charge of making sure recipients maintain the required B average in college, and fulfill their pledge to teach in Indiana schools for five years after earning their degree.
Students are eligible if they finish in the top 20 percent of their class. They also qualify based on test scores — an 1810 or better on the SAT or a 26 or better on the ACT. They also have to show involvement in school and community activities.
The scholarship was a pet project of House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, who says it’s a way to both address Indiana’s teacher shortage and honor the profession of teaching.
“It would be my long-term hope that the award of this scholarship to a high school student would be somewhat of a big deal. You would see valedictorians, salutatorians, top 10 or 20 percent students stepping up and saying, ‘I want to be in the honored profession of teaching,’” Bosma says.