HAMMOND | The maximum scholarship a student can receive from the College Bound program has been increased to $10,100 per year.
The board overseeing the program increased the amount by $1,000 for students attending college this fall in response to tuition increases at Indiana University in Bloomington.
College Bound coordinator Courtney Saczawa estimated the program will require an additional $500,000 in funding because of the increase. Hammond backs the scholarships with money the city receives from Horseshoe Casino. In 2011, College Bound received $3.1 million in gaming revenue.
City ordinance requires College Bound to tie the maximum scholarship to what IU charges for tuition and fees in Bloomington, Saczawa said. Last year the maximum scholarship was raised to $9,100 from $8,600.
This year, 524 students qualified for College Bound, and 180 of those will attend Purdue University Calumet.
“Consecutively since we created College Bound, Purdue Cal has been the highest,” Saczawa said.
The amount a student receives through the program depends on tuition costs at their Indiana college and how long their parents or legal guardian have owned a home in the city.
Students who have lived in Hammond since sixth grade are eligible for the full scholarship amount; students who moved to the city in 10th grade can receive up to 60 percent.
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. started the program in 2006 to offer college scholarships to students of Hammond homeowners. The program, now in its seventh year, was given a 10-year run and will be evaluated for its effectiveness at the end of that time period, Saczawa said.
McDermott has told The Times he's working on a long-term funding source for his signature program, hoping to expand the scholarships for an additional 20 years. To do that, McDermott said he hopes to fund the program through a more stable source than gaming revenue.
College Bound can cover up to four years of school if the student meets certain academic and community service requirements.