Anderson University Receives IYPC Grant


Anderson, Ind. — Anderson University was recently awarded the Indiana Youth Persons on Campus grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant, worth $800,000, is designed to help Indiana colleges and universities to engage youth, ages 5 to 18, in high-quality, on-campus enrichment programs that can help young people envision a future for themselves in college. The grant includes a $200,000 match by Anderson University and community partners in Anderson and Madison County, bringing the total value to $1 million.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Lilly Endowment with this grant,” said President John S. Pistole. “This will help us invest in the lives of young people who may not have previously considered college as a possibility. The Endowment is doing commendable work in helping us and other schools make a meaningful difference in our communities.”

In collaboration with its community partners, Anderson University will provide opportunities for engagement and learning to underserved youth in four age categories. Each group will have a primary focus in addition to the introduction and access to campus, increasing a “college going mentality,” as well as the ability to participate in enrichment and learning activities which contribute to academic success and social-emotional well-being. 

The central focus for these categories include:

  • Elementary: Reading and music.
  • Intermediate: STEM, character development, music, and career exploration.
  • Middle School: Leadership, character development, 21st Century Scholars enrollment, theater, music, career exploration, and the “arts” in gaming
  • High School: Bridge programming for college and post-secondary experiences, career exploration, music, and the “arts” in gaming

“This grant provides area youth an opportunity to explore ideas, interests, and career opportunities that many would not have the resources for or access to in the past,” said Dr. Stephanie Moran, director of engagement and adult learning. “Anderson University is thrilled to host camps and programs that will contribute to the success of students in Anderson and Madison County as they prepare for the future.”

Lilly Endowment launched the initiative, in part, to respond to the significant decrease in the number of Hoosiers pursuing higher education degrees. In 2015, 65 percent of Indiana high school graduates were going straight to college. The college going rate has dropped steadily since. In 2020, only 53 percent of Hoosiers were attending college the year after high school. 

Goals for the initiative include increasing the number of Indiana youth who obtain valuable post-secondary degrees and credentials, and to help schools strengthen how they recruit students, especially students who have been traditionally underserved by higher education institutions.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.