Are Homeschoolers Eligible for Merit Based Awards in Georgia?

The first legislation passed by the State of Georgia did not allow for home-schooled college bound students to receive lottery funded awards expect retroactively.

However, In July, 2008, House Bill 152 in Georgia passed 43-2 allowing home school graduating seniors to be eligible for the Hope Scholarship as long as they score in the 85th percentile on the SAT or ACT standardized test.  The bill was signed into law by Governor Sonny Perdue.

As a reminder, The Hope Scholarship (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) is a program in the state of Georgia that gives Georgia students financial assistance in achieving college degrees and post high school certificate programs. To receive the scholarship, students must go to an eligible Georgia public or private college, university, or technical college. The Hope program was started in 1993 and has given more than 3 billion dollars to more than 900,000 students.

Prior to HB 152, in order for homeschoolers to receive the Hope Scholarship they would need to earn a B average in their first year of college.  They would then retroactively qualify for the award. The change in the law ensures that one student population is not penalized for a home school education versus a student attending public or private school.  The standardized test scores are a good way to set a standard for home school students.

If you live in Georgia and have (or are) a college bound high school student, you can apply for the Home Scholarship by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the Hope Application. You can get these forms at Colleges, Universities, Technical Colleges, and online at

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