Indiana University researchers will start a study on Jan. 1 to determine the effectiveness of the 21st Century Scholars (TFCS) program.
The study is being funded by the Spencer Foundation, which will grant $497,000 over the next two years to complete the research.
In 1997, almost 71,000 ninth grade students completed a survey to create a database for the TFCS program. From that database, researchers will determine how many of those students used the TFCS program, and how many went on to higher education.
According to a press release from IU, the TFCS program is eligible to all middle school students in the state that are eligible for free lunch, maintain a 2.0 grade point average and sign a pledge to remain drug and alcohol free.
TFCS will pay tuition and fees for a participating student at an in-state public school, or the equivalent amount for in-state private school.
The program was started in 1990 to curb high school dropouts and encourage further education for underprivileged students.
The study will also try to determine the effects of eligible students not participating.
Also, the study will look at SAT scores and FAFSA financial aid application rates as indicators as to when disinterest in college begins.