HOPE Scholarship FAQs: What You Need to Know about the Program

Mention scholarship for any high school student and you are almost certainly talking about college. But do you know there’s quite a variety of scholarships for certain academic purposes out there? Like mastering a language, and even advancing in arts? If you’re a high school student who wishes to pursue a higher education but is concerned about finances (then again, you still have four years of college to come!) consider applying for a HOPE Scholarship before you let “I can’t afford it” become just another justification.

HOPE Scholarship FAQs
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The HOPE Program (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally), established in 1993 under the patronage of Georgia Governor Zell Miller, is Georgia’s scholarship and grant program that honors students in degree, diploma and credential programs at qualifying Georgia public and private colleges and universities, as well as public technical colleges, with financial aid. HOPE is funded solely by Georgia Lottery profits and is operated by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC).

As of 2006, over $3 billion in scholarships had been provided to over 900,000 students in Georgia. HOPE has now enabled about 1.8 million Georgia students enroll in college as of 2018.

The program is entirely based on merit, implying a person’s fitness for the scholarship is dependent on their high school or college academic achievements. Previously, the program excluded the traditional-college-age students whose family income surpassed $100,000 a year.

The scholarship now relies on earnings from the lottery. It also removed books and mandatory fees. The scholarship now has a limit of 127 credit hours. An applicant has just 7 years to get the scholarship payments. The scholarship will account for 90 per cent of the 2010-2011 academic year’s tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year. An equivalent amount is applied to tuition for HOPE recipients who attend private colleges in Georgia, currently 3,600 for the year 2011-2012.

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Enough of this, let’s get on with the good things. Here are the comprehensive frequently asked questions (FAQs) about HOPE Scholarship that help high school students to continue their study into an institution of higher education.

FAQ

What are the qualifications for HOPE Scholarship?

All HOPE programs require students to meet basic requirements. An eligible student must:

  • Meet HOPE’s U.S. citizenship or the qualifying non-citizens criteria.
  • Be a lawful Georgia citizen.
  • Meet standards for enrollment.
  • Comply with the requirements of the Selective Service.
  • Meet the standards of academic achievement.
  • Be in perfect state on all student loans or other financial aid services.
  • Not have any HOPE program reached the permissible award cap.
  • Comply with Georgia Drug-Free Post-Secondary Education Act of 1990.

To obtain funding for a HOPE Scholarship, students must:

  1. Meets one of the following criteria:
  • Graduate of a HOPE-eligible high school with a grade point average of at least 3.0 (as determined by GSFC).
  • Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-281.1, earn a high school diploma from a HOPE-eligible high school with a minimum 3.0 grade point average (as determined by GSFC) by petition of the local school board.
  • Graduate from an ineligible high school, complete a home study program in Georgia, or earn a GED and score in the 75th percentile or higher national composite on the SAT or ACT before graduating from high school, completing a home study, or receiving a GED.
  • Achieve a minimum point average of 3.0 cumulative post-secondary grade after attempting 30, 60, or 90 semester hours or 45, 90, or 135 quarter hours after graduating from high school, completing the home study, or earning GED.
  • Graduate from an ineligible high school or complete a home study program in Georgia and then receive a minimum 3.0 cumulative post-secondary grade point average after attempting retroactive HOPE Scholarship payment at 30 semesters or 45 quarter hours of college degree coursework.
  1. Be enrolled to a public or private HOPE-eligible college or university in Georgia as a degree-seeking student.
  2. Meets the expectations of academic rigor. Starting with students graduating from or after an qualifying high school on or after May 1, 2015, in addition to meeting the GPA criteria, students must complete a certain number of academically rigorous courses as defined in the Academic Rigor Course List. This does not include students who have earned a high school diploma in compliance with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-281.1 by appeal of their local school board, nor does it refer to students who are graduating from home study programs.
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What GPA is required for HOPE Scholarship?

A recipient of a HOPE Scholarship must graduate from high school with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (as determined by the Georgia Student Finance Commission) and maintain a minimum point average of 3.00 cumulative post-secondary grades to guarantee a spot.

What are the HOPE Scholarship requirements?

Students must meet one of the following academic criteria to obtain HOPE Scholarship funding:

  • HOPE-eligible high school graduate with a 3.0 grade point average for a college preparatory diploma or a 3.2 grade point average for certain types of diplomas.
  • Achieve a home study program qualifying for HOPE with a grade point average of 3.0.
  • Graduate of an eligible high school, complete an eligible home study program or receive a GED, and score 85th percentile or higher on the SAT or ACT exams in the national composite.
  • All Georgia high school students who continue their high school studies during or after the school year 2008-2009 should graduate with a grade point average of 3.0.
  • Graduate from an ineligible high school or complete an ineligible home study program, then receive a 3.0 grade point average on 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of college-level coursework. This alternative requires the first 30 semester hours to be charged, or 45 quarter hours after they have been taken.
  • Earn a 3.0 grade point average at the college level on degree coursework after attempting 30, 60, or 90 semesters hours or 45, 90, or 135 quarter hours, regardless of high school graduation status.

And all of the following other requirements.

  • Be admitted to an accredited public or private college or university or technical college in Georgia as a degree-seeking student.
  • Meet HOPE’s Georgia residency requirements.
  • Comply with the registration criteria of the Selective Service.
  • Meet HOPE’s U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen requirements.
  • Comply with Georgia Drug-Free Post-Secondary Education Act of 1990. A student can not qualify for HOPE reward if suspected of committing such criminal offences involving alcohol, controlled substances or dangerous drugs.
  • Not being in default or owed a refund on a student financial aid plan.
  • Maintain satisfactory progress at school as described by the college.
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How do I apply for the HOPE Scholarship?

Students must meet the enrollment standards of the school they choose to apply for the HOPE Scholarship.

Students who want to attend a public college, university or technical college will have two choices to apply for the HOPE Scholarship.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or,
  2. Complete the online Georgia Student Finance Application (GSFAPPS) or printable paper GSFAPPS application.

At the other hand , students who wish to attend an qualifying private college or university must complete the HOPE / TEG application for the HOPE Scholarship to be accepted.

How does the scholarship work?

The scholarship offers tuition aid to students seeking an undergraduate degree in a university or college in Georgia qualifying for HOPE Scholarships.

What is the deadline for HOPE Scholarship?

The application deadline is the last day of the term of school, or the graduation date of a student, whichever comes first. It is important that you submit your application for a HOPE Scholarship as early as possible; the sooner you apply, the sooner the funds are paid out to your school and transferred to your account.

Additional application and deadline requirements specific to the college may be required. Check with your chosen higher education institution.

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