Indy Achieves, the initiative started by Mayor Hogsett to invest in Indianapolis residents seeking higher education, is receiving an increase in funding, thanks to the city budget that passed earlier in October.  

According to their website, Indy Achieves is Mayor Joe Hogsett’s response to Indianapolis’s rapidly changing labor market by ensuring that every Indianapolis resident can pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree program and empowering residents to pursue careers that put them on a pathway to the middle class. 

In May 2018, Ivy Tech and IUPUI signed agreements with the City of Indianapolis and EmployIndy to launch Indy Achieves. Through Indy Achieves, Marion County residents attending Ivy Tech and IUPUI qualify for additional financial assistance and wrap-around services.

At IUPUI, Indy Achieves is a part of University College. It provides Promise Scholarships, support services, and success coaching to IUPUI students who are Marion County residents and who are eligible for state financial aid. The program launched in 2019, and director Alina Pizarro has been here since the beginning. 

With this partnership, it just presents a unique opportunity for us to work collaboratively, you're on the same page of what support we want to provide to the students and make sure we execute on that and make sure we're providing a really good resource to our Marion County students who can directly benefit from the scholarship program.

Alina Pizarro

Matt Impink, the vice president of EmployIndy and postsecondary of Indy Achieves, shared that the program is unique in the way that it provides funding to students. By working with the financial aid office at IUPUI, Indy Achieves knows what students are eligible for scholarships and automatically offers it to them on their student account as a financial award they can accept without needing to apply for it.  

“The partnership really consists of working very closely with the financial aid office to identify students behind the scenes who are eligible for both a Promise Scholarship and also for completion grants,” Impink said. “All they have to do is simply go in and accept the financial aid award as part of their overall package. They don't have to write an essay or jump through hoops or do an interview or anything like that. We really want to make it as simple as possible so students can focus on being students.” 

At the press event on September 21, hosted in the IUPUI Campus Center, students supported by the program had the opportunity to speak on their experiences. 

“I didn't realize how exciting it would be to make that announcement and to have all of those partners in one place,” Pizarro said. “We had the interim chancellor, Andy Klein, we had Mayor Joe Hogsett, we had Lorenzo Esters, the chancellor of Ivy Tech, and different folks from around the city and IUPUI at the event, but most importantly, we had students, both from IUPUI and Ivy Tech, be able to talk about their experience of how the program has made a difference in their life.” 

On October 18, the city budget passed, granting the program an additional $500,000 through the budget to fund 200 more grants for Marion County students. 

“Considering the important role financial resources play in decision-making about college, we are pleased to be able to help our students address financial challenges and create opportunities for Marion County residents through Indy Achieves,” Interim Chancellor Klein said in an EmployIndy press release. “This increased investment will allow even more students to pursue their educational goals and build the pathway towards a successful future at IUPUI and beyond.”

This story was written by the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications at IUPUI. For more information contact