Indiana State University Newsroom

‘Sycamore Technology Award’ aims to boost student success

September 14, 2018

Indiana State University officials have announced the creation of the Sycamore Technology Award, which aims to ensure students have the technology they need to be successful.

Effective fall 2019, admitted freshmen and transfer students who are eligible to receive the Pell Grant will receive a free laptop computer. The effort is just one more way Indiana State -- recognizing the unique nature of the student body -- is working to make sure Sycamores overcome the hurdles that may prevent them from completing their degree.

"Indiana State University's mission is to be an accessible institution so that more Indiana residents are able to earn a college degree," said Mike Licari, provost and vice president of academic affairs. "We believe in a robust, supportive learning environment built on diversity and inclusive excellence."

About half of Indiana State students are first generation and Pell-eligible. Thanks to a variety of initiatives, ranging from intrusive academic advising to peer-to-peer mentorship, the university's on-time graduation rate has improved nearly 10 percent in the past three years.

"A college degree is a game-changer for families, so access to higher education must mean access to both the front door and the finish line," Licari said.

The Sycamore Technology Award replaces the merit-based Laptop/iPad Scholarship that has been awarded since 2006.

"When we started offering the Laptop Scholarship more than a decade ago, it was an innovative recruitment tool," said Sarah Wurtz, director of scholarships. "Through the years, we've seen more and more of our students arriving to campus with computers, so the prudent thing to do is to shift resources to where they can make the biggest impact."

All incoming U.S. freshmen and transfer students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be automatically considered for this award. No additional application is required.


Media contact: Libby Roerig, director of communications and media relations, University Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or