$1 billion

is a large number. But even larger is the impact that money can make on the lives of young people.

More than 5,000 21st Century Scholars live in the two-county area where Project Leadership programming is offered. These 5,000 individual students represent a potential $1 billion in tuition aid if they utilize the state scholarship to pursue post-secondary educations.

Many students represented in the Scholar program are first-generation college students.

Millions in financial aid

Project Leadership FAFSA labs and college costs trainings educate students about the true costs of colleges and teach them ways to avoid excessive debt.

In 2015, a total of $4.4 million in financial aid was identified for Delaware and Grant county students during in-school FAFSA computer labs that helped students complete the application and then receive a consultation to understand results. Labs took place at 11 high schools across the two counties.

From 2011 to 2014, more than $20 million in college financial aid has been identified for students in Grant and Delaware counties.

Thousands of positive experiences

Project Leadership has introduced hundreds of Delaware and Grant county students to the Passport project – a list of 1,000 life experiences youths are encouraged to complete with a mentor/adult before they finish high school.

Studies by Search Institute show the more positive experiences students have, the more likely they are to grow into successful adults.

Statewide impact

Project Leadership programming is designed to improve educational attainment including degree/certificate completion, particularly for low-income students. Project Leadership’s programming creates a ripple effect in East Central Indiana with the strongest impact on those receiving the most service, but also reaching those in the outer circle – the Delaware and Grant County communities as a whole.


During the most recent recruitment year, 861 or 74% of Delaware County middle school students were recruited as Scholars. Enrollment has increased from 28% in 2008 to 74% in 2014. This represents a potential $25 million in tuition dollars for students.

In Grant County that same year, 74% of eligible middle school students were recruited – an increase from 16% in 2007. This represents a potential $19.2 million in tuition dollars for students.

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