Banking on research

She saw her older siblings graduate from college with debt, but a Center Grove High School student won’t have to take out loans to get through college.

Christina Sluka is the last of her siblings to attend college. But unlike her older brother and sister, Sluka is attending college for free through a full-ride scholarship to Indiana University.

Sluka was eligible for the Cox Research Scholarship through IU, where students have to do 10 hours of research per week while studying at the school. Students also must rank in the top 5 percent of their class, score well on the SAT and ACT and must have at least a 3.0 GPA in college to keep the scholarship. The scholarship covers the cost of attending college for four years, including tuition and room and board, totaling more than $20,000 per year at Indiana University.

About 40 students were interviewed for the scholarship, and 20 received one, according to her mother, Anna Sluka.

“She’s the only one who got a full ride,” Anna Sluka said. “We’re so proud of her. She did this. It was her achievement.”

She also will be considered an honor student at IU.

After watching her brother and sister go off to college, Christina was prepared to take out student loans and graduate with debt, Anna Sluka said.

She also was looking at options on where to work during the school year, she said.

But now, Christina’s work will center around her major: animal behavior. She has been attending IU’s annual animal behavior conferences for years now, Anna Sluka said.

Doing that animal behavior-related research will open doors for her in the future, Anna Sluka said.

The Sluka File

Name: Christina Sluka

High school: Center Grove

College: Indiana University

Major: Animal behavior

Scholarship: Cox Research Scholarship