Indiana State University Newsroom

Record field again this year for top scholarships

February 4, 2010

For the second straight year, Indiana State University is welcoming a record number of high school students as candidates for the university's top scholarship.

More than 200 high school seniors from 12 states have accepted invitations to visit the Indiana State campus as President's Scholars finalists.

The response means that, for the second straight year, ISU has set aside two days for interviews of students being considered for the scholarship, valued at $60,000 for four years.

"ISU's President's Scholarship competition grows larger and draws more highly qualified students with each passing year. Those competing represent the best of the best - not only academically, but in terms of their involvement in school organizations and community volunteerism," said John Beacon, vice president for enrollment management, marketing and communications.

"Every student minimally enters the competition already having qualified for an Academic Excellence Award worth $8,000 over four years, along with a laptop computer. The competition is fierce because every student realizes he or she has the potential to take home one of the top 20 awards. It is an event our campus looks forward to each year."

Approximately 100 students took part in interviews on Jan. 30 with 100 more scheduled for interviews on Feb. 13.

The majority of students invited to campus (162) are from Indiana with another 43 students from Illinois. Prospective scholars also hail from 10 other states with one student making the trip to Terre Haute from Centreville, Utah - a distance of nearly 1,500 miles.

Most prospective President's Scholars share Indiana State's commitment to community engagement. 162 have volunteered in their communities and 146 belong to clubs at their high schools. 60 have been involved in student government, with 31 having served as student government officers. The field includes three legislative pages and two Eagle Scouts.

About three-fourths of the candidates are National Honor Society members and 37 have competed in science, engineering or math contests. More than half are student athletes and 33 have served as team captains. About one-third are musicians.

Students in this year's pool of top ISU scholarship prospects have an average high school grade point average of 3.9 on a 4.0 scale and had an average score of 1189 on the SAT, nearly 200 points above the state average.

Most popular intended majors are pre-medicine, nursing, computer science and elementary education.

"This is truly an outstanding group of prospective scholars. They've accomplished much in high school and each of them recognizes that Indiana State can help them achieve even more," said Richard Toomey, executive director of admissions.

"We appreciate the faculty and staff volunteers who annually step forward to help with these weekend events. We couldn't deliver this level of competition were it not for the support we receive from across campus."

In addition to the more than 200 prospective President's Scholars, dozens of additional students are interviewing separately this month for the Networks Scholarship for selected business majors, which covers in-state tuition and provides a $3,000 professional development account, as well as the Gongaware Scholarship for prospective students in insurance and risk management or financial services and the Rural Health Scholarship for pre-medicine students.

Photo: - Greg Bierly, director of the University Honors Program at Indiana State University, addresses students and parents Jan. 30 during the first of two President's Scholars interview days at Indiana State. (ISU/Gurinder Singh)

Contact: Sarah Wurtz, associate director, Office of Admissions, Indiana State University, 812-237-3935 or 

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications & Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or