Financial Aid

HOPE & Zell Miller Scholarship

Please note:  The HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship programs are regulated by State law and are subject to change. For information you may visit GaCollege411.

How to Request HOPE & Zell Miller Scholarship

In order to receive HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship, you must have a valid FAFSA on file or the GSFApps application available at www.gacollege411.org. To notify the Office of Financial Aid that you would like to be reviewed for HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship, you may contact us by phone, e-mail, or stopping by. You may also submit written notification that you would like to be reviewed for HOPE or Zell Miller by using the HOPE/Zell Miller Evaluation Request Form .

Learn About These Programs

What is HOPE?

  • HOPE - Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally - is Georgia's unique scholarship and grant program that rewards students with financial assistance in degree, diploma, and certificate programs at eligible Georgia public and private colleges and universities, and public technical colleges. HOPE is funded entirely by The Georgia Lottery for Education, which also funds Georgia's statewide pre-kindergarten program. You can benefit from HOPE in several ways. Visit Georgia's HOPE Program website for more information.

Eligibility

Georgia's HOPE Scholarship is available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement. The scholarship provides money to assist students with their educational costs of attending a HOPE eligible college in Georgia.

To receive HOPE Scholarship funding, students must:

  1. Meet one of the following academic requirements:
    • Graduate from a HOPE-eligible high school with a 3.0 grade point average.
    • Complete a HOPE eligible home study program with a 3.0 grade point average.
    • Graduate from an ineligible high school, complete an ineligible home study program, or earn a GED, and score in the national composite 85th percentile or higher on the SAT or ACT tests.
    • Graduate from an ineligible high school or complete an ineligible home study program, and then earn a 3.0 grade point average on 30 semester hours of college degree-level coursework. This option allows for payment of the first 30 semester hours after they are taken.
    • Earn a 3.0 grade point average at the college level on degree coursework after attempting 30, 60, or 90 semesters hours, regardless of high school graduation status.
  2. Meet HOPE's U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen requirements.
  3. Meet HOPE's Georgia residency requirements.
  4. Be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at an eligible public or private college or university or technical college in Georgia
  5. Be in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements.
  6. Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college.
  7. Not be in default or owe a refund on a student financial aid program.
  8. Be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990. A student may be ineligible for HOPE payment if he or she has been convicted for committing certain felony offenses involving marijuana, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs.
  9. Meet additional rigor requirements, beginning with students graduating from high school on or after May 1, 2015.

Award Amounts

  • HOPE Scholarship will be applied towards tuition charges using the Georgia Student Finance Commission’s per hour rate. To review the HOPE Award Amounts, review GSFC's Award Amount Chart . See GACollege411 for triggers that could affect the award HOPE provides. The HOPE Scholarship will not cover any student fees, book allowances, nor will HOPE pay for any institutional charges such as lab fees. HOPE funds may be applied only to tuition.  HOPE scholars paying tuition outside of the standard rate will be responsible for payment. This applies to tuition rates such as Online Learning.

    Students may renew their scholarships for the sophomore, junior, and senior years. To do so, students must:

    • maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for all course work attempted (not just course work completed);
    • reapply for the scholarship by completing the FAFSA or, if applicable, the GSFAPP by the appropriate deadline;
    • make satisfactory academic progress.

Maintaining HOPE

  • HOPE eligibility is reviewed at the end of every spring semester (unless you are a part time freshman) and at the end of the semester in which 30, 60, or 90 semester hours have been attempted. "Attempted hours" refers to all hours attempted in a degree program at a postsecondary institution after high school graduation, including classes which you may have dropped or failed, as well as degree-seeking transfer hours.

    A college degree-seeking student is ineligible for the HOPE Scholarship if the student has:

    • Received payment from any combination of HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, HOPE Grant, and Accel Program funds (through Spring term 2011) totaling 127 semester hours of credit; or
    • Attempted 127 semester hours of college degree credit, regardless of whether or not HOPE funds were received while  attempting the hours; or
    • Earned a baccalaureate (four-year) college degree, regardless of whether or not HOPE funds were received while earning the degree, or
    • Reached the Seven Year Expiration of Eligibility date.
    • A student has seven years from their graduation date from high school to be a first time HOPE recipient (active military service during the seven years shall not count against the seven year period);
    • A student that has received the HOPE Scholarship prior to July 1, 2011 may continue to receive the HOPE Scholarship until June 30, 2015, as long as such student continues to meet all other eligibility requirements.

    For more information on this limitation, please visit GaCollege411. The deadline to apply for HOPE is ten business days prior to the last published date of the term for which the student is seeking payment.

Regaining HOPE

  • HOPE is a reward for scholastic achievement and an incentive to continue working hard in school. If, after reaching a checkpoint in a state college or university, students fall below a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, they may continue their following year at their own expense. A student who has lost the HOPE Scholarship may regain it at 30, 60 or 90 attempted hours if they have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. HOPE may not be regained at the spring semester checkpoint, unless that coincides with a 30, 60 or 90 hour checkpoint. A student that loses eligibility as a HOPE Scholar may regain eligibility only one time if the student re-qualifies at one of the checkpoints.

What is Zell Miller Scholarship?

  • Georgia's Zell Miller Scholarship is available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement. The scholarship provides money to assist students with their educational costs of attending a HOPE eligible college in Georgia.  Zell Miller is funded entirely by the Georgia Lottery for Education, which also funds Georgia's statewide pre-kindergarten program. For more information, please review the Zell Miller Scholarship Regulations.

Eligibility

Zell Miller eligibility is determined by GSFC. To receive Zell Miller Scholarship funding, students must meet all HOPE Scholarship eligibility requirements and:

  1. Meet one of the following academic requirements:
    • Graduate from a HOPE-eligible high school as the Valedictorian or the Salutatorian.
    • Graduate from an eligible high school with a minimum 3.7 grade point average combined with a minimum score of 1200 on the math and reading portions of the SAT test or a 26 composite score on the ACT test in a single test administration.
    • Complete a HOPE eligible home study program with a 3.7 grade point average combined with a minimum score of 1200 on the math and reading portions of the SAT test or a 26 composite score on the ACT test in a single test administration.
    • Complete an ineligible home study program with a minimum score of 1200 on the math and reading portions of the SAT test or a 26 composite score on the ACT test in a single test administration., and then earn a 3.3 grade point average on 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of college degree-level coursework taken after home study completion. This option allows for payment of the first 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours after they are taken.
    • Have first enrolled in an eligible post-secondary institution in 2007 or later, as a freshman, meeting one of the academic qualifications listed above and having earned a 3.3 cumulative grade point average at the most recent HOPE Scholarship checkpoint.
  2. Meet HOPE's U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen requirements.
  3. Meet HOPE's Georgia residency requirements.
  4. Be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at an eligible public or private college or university or technical college in Georgia.
  5. Be in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements.
  6. Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college.
  7. Not be in default or owe a refund on a student financial aid program.
  8. Be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990. A student may be ineligible for Zell Miller Scholarship payment if he or she has been convicted for committing certain felony offenses involving marijuana, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs.
  9. Meet additional rigor requirements, beginning with students graduating from high school on or after May 1, 2015.
Students may renew their scholarships for the sophomore, junior, and senior years. To do so, students must:
  • maintain a 3.3 cumulative grade point average for all course work attempted (not just course work completed);
  • reapply for the scholarship by completing the FAFSA or, if applicable, the GSFAPP application by the appropriate deadline;
  • make satisfactory academic progress.

Award Amounts

  • Zell Miller Scholarship will be applied towards tuition charges using the Georgia Student Finance Commission’s award rates. To review the Zell Miller Award Amounts, review GSFC's Award Amount Chart . See GACollege411 for triggers that could affect the award provided. The Zell Miller Scholarship will not cover any student fees, book allowances, nor pay for any institutional charges such as lab fees. Zell Miller funds may be applied only to tuition. Zell Miller scholars paying tuition outside of the standard rate will be responsible for payment. This applies to tuition rates such as Online Learning.

Maintaining Zell Miller Scholarship

  • Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility is reviewed at the end of every spring semester (unless you are a part time freshman) and at the end of the semester in which 30, 60, or 90 semester hours have been attempted. “Attempted hours” refers to all hours attempted in a degree program at a postsecondary institution after high school graduation, including classes which you may have dropped or failed as well as degree-seeking transfer hours. Zell Miller eligibility is limited by students' attempted and/or paid hours. For more information on this limitation, please visit GaCollege411. The deadline to apply for Zell Miller Scholarship is ten business days prior to the last published date of the term for which the student is seeking payment.

    A college degree-seeking student is ineligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship if the student has:

    • Received payment from any combination of HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, HOPE Grant, and Accel Program funds (through Spring term 2011) totaling 127 semester hours of credit; or
    • Attempted 127 semester hours of college degree credit, regardless of whether or not Zell Miller funds were received while attempting the hours; or
    • Has earned a baccalaureate (four-year) college degree, regardless of whether or not Zell Miller funds were received while earning the degree.
    • Graduated from high school more than seven years ago and did not receive a HOPE Scholarship payment prior to Summer term 2011.

    For more information on this limitation, please visit www.gacollege411.org. The deadline for Zell Miller Scholarship application is ten business days prior to the last published date of the term for which the student is seeking payment.

     

Regaining Zell Miller Scholarship

  • The Zell Miller Scholarship is a reward for scholastic achievement and an incentive to continue working hard in school. If, after reaching a checkpoint in a state college or university, students fall below a 3.3 cumulative grade point average, but maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average then they may continue as a HOPE Scholar and must meet all HOPE Scholarship requirements. If they fall below a 3.0 then they may continue their following year at their own expense. A Zell Miller Scholar who has lost the Zell Miller Scholarship may regain it at 30, 60 or 90 attempted hours if they have a 3.3 cumulative grade point average. Zell Miller may not be regained at the spring semester checkpoint, unless that coincides with a 30, 60 or 90 hour checkpoint. A student that loses eligibility as a Zell Miller Scholar may regain eligibility only one time if the student re-qualifies at one of the checkpoints.

  • HOPE GED Grant

    Legal residents of Georgia who earned a General Education Development (GED/high school equivalency) diploma awarded by the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education after June 30, 1993 may receive a one-time $500 HOPE award. This award can be used toward tuition, books, and other educational costs at an eligible public or private college, university, or technical college in a degree, diploma, or certificate program. Visit the HOPE website for more information on the GED grant.

SEE ALSO

HOPE/Zell Miller Evaluation Request Form
University System of Georgia HOPE Announcement
GSFC's Changes to HOPE Scholarship
GaCollege411