How Do I Apply for the Hope Scholarship?

Apply for Hope Scholarship

First, you must be eligible for the Hope Scholarship;  the gpa calculation for Hope will help. Once you determine that you meet the requirements, actually applying for the HOPE Scholarship is not difficult to do but you should always communicate with the college admissions and financial aid office that  you are planning to attend in order to ensure you are completing the application steps which they require.

Step One:

Check with your High School Counselor and request a transcript to determine Hope Scholarship GPA eligibility.

Step Two:

Create a GAcollege411 account.  You may need some information from your parents to complete the application.

Step Three:

Complete the online application process as follows:

Students have three options when applying for the HOPE Scholarship:

1) If you want to be eligible for other aid along with Hope, then complete the free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By using your GAcollege411 account and accessing the FAFSA application from GAcollege411, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete this form. Proceed to the FAFSA.  You will need your parents to help complete the FAFSA due to questions concerning financial matters.

If you do not want to be considered for other financial (income based) aid, you do need to complete the FAFSA and can complete the GSFAPPS application.

2) GSFAPPS (electronic application).

3) GSFAPPS (paper application).

Application Deadline

You actually have until the last day of classes or exams to submit your application in order to receive HOPE funds for that semester or quarter, we highly recommend submitting your HOPE application as early as possible.  Even if you are eligible for Hope funds, you will still be required to meet the financial deadlines for payment at the college you are attending; therefore, if you delay application, you may have to pay out of pocket.  In short, the earlier you apply, the earlier the funds are disbursed to your school and credited to your account.

If You Need Help

If you need assistance completing the application, or have other questions or concerns relating to the HOPE Scholarship, the best course of action we recommend is contacting the financial aid office at the college/university you plan to attend, meeting and discussing your questions with your high school counselor, or communicating with the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC).

To find contact information related to the financial aid office at the college/university which you plan to attend, find your college/university information using an online search engine.

You can contact GSFC(Georgia Student Finance Commision) by: E-mail [email protected]

The GSFC Telephone contact number is:
Toll-Free at 1-800-505-GSFC (4732)
In metro Atlanta (770) 724-9000
A representative is available Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Can Hope Scholarship be Used for Graduate Degree or Graduate School?

The quick answer is: “NO”, it cannot be used for a graduate degree or graduate school.  Upon first reading of the regulations, you may not see this important bit of information.  I’ve taken the key points from the Hope Scholarship Regulations to show what the law says with respect to graduate school:

Attempted-Hours Limit.
A student is ineligible to receive HOPE Scholarship payment once he or she reaches the Attempted-Hours limit of 127 semester or 190 quarter hours.
Students Enrolled in specific Undergraduate Degree programs of study designed to require more than 127 semester or 190 quarter hours of coursework for graduation or First Professional Degree Programs are eligible for HOPE Scholarship payment for a maximum of 127 semester or 190 quarter Attempted-Hours.

First Professional Degree Program.
A student enrolled in a First Professional Degree program may receive HOPE
Scholarship payment until such student has attempted 127 semester or 190
quarter hours.

You’ll notice that the term “first professional degree program” is used in the regulation wording.  It is important to understand the definition of this term:
“First Professional Degree Program” means a non-undergraduate program of
study that: (1) Accepts students after the completion of two or three years of
postsecondary study; (2) Results in the award of a non-undergraduate degree;
and (3) Has been specifically approved by the Commission for inclusion as a
First Professional Degree Program. For the 2012-2013 Award Year, Doctor of
Pharmacy Degree Programs, Masters of Health Science with a major in
Occupational Therapy Programs, Doctor of Chiropractic Degree Programs, and
Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs offered by Eligible Postsecondary
Institutions are approved by the Commission, and therefore considered First
Professional Degree Programs. Regardless of approval by the Commission as a
First Professional Degree Program, no student is eligible to receive HOPE
Scholarship payment once he or she has earned a Baccalaureate Degree of any
type, from any postsecondary institution, at any time.

This is very clear wording with respect to the eligibility of the Hope Scholarship for graduate degree study.  The last sentence clearly states that no student is eligible to receive HOPE Scholarship payment once he or she as earned a bachelors degree of any type, from any institution, at any time.

So, not only is a graduate degree not eligible, but a second bachelors degree is also not eligible, and any coursework beyond the bachelors degree is not eligible.


How Can I Regain Hope Scholarship

How To Regain the Hope Scholarship

The HOPE Scholarship is a reward for scholastic achievement and an incentive to continue working hard in school. If your cumulative grade point average is below a 3.0 at the end of Spring term, or after your first three terms of enrollment for less than 12 hours per term, or after attempting 30 semester or 45 quarter hours, you may regain HOPE at a future time. Re-entry checkpoints are after attempting 30 semester or 45 quarter hours, 60 semester or 90 quarter hours, and 90 semester or 135 quarter hours of study. To regain HOPE, you must have a 3.0 cumulative grade average at the re-entry checkpoint. You cannot regain HOPE eligibility at the end of Spring term, unless that term is also when you have attempted 30 semester or 45 quarter hours, 60 semester or 90 quarter hour, or 90 semester or 135 quarter hours with a 3.0 cumulative grade average.

How To Reapply for HOPE Scholarship

Depending on your personal circumstances or the institution you attend, one of several different forms can be used to reapply for the HOPE Scholarship each year. Contact the Financial Aid Office at the institution you will attend for specific application instructions that best suit your situation. You must complete the application process through the institution’s Financial Aid Office on or before the last day of the academic term (semester or quarter) or your withdrawal date, whichever comes first, in order to be paid for that
academic term.
The postsecondary institution you are attending may also require that you complete the institution’s application for financial aid or Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Filing Appeals and Exceptions

In order for an appeal or exception to be considered, the student must file a written appeal or request an exception, with supporting documentation, within 45 days of receiving notice of denial. Please address correspondence to:

Compliance, Georgia Student Finance Commission, 2082 East Exchange Place, Tucker, GA 30084.

This information sheet highlights Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program. For the complete HOPE Scholarship Program Regulations, visit there Web site at or call for more information in metro Atlanta at (770) 724-9000 or toll-free in
Georgia at 1-800-505-GSFC (4732).

Merit based scholarships and student migration

A 2011 study entitled, “State Merit Based Scholarship Programs Influence on Outmigration” by Joseph A. Williams and John Burczek Dreier looked at state based merit scholarship programs and the influence of these programs on migration on students.

Included are key points as relating to Georgia’ Hope Scholarship program and findings…

“The first such program was the Georgia Hope Scholarship Program, which initially awarded students with full tuition to Georgia public institutions if they met certain high school GPA requirements. Fourteen other states have enacted similar policies since 1993, offering tuition discounts based on academic credentials (Orsuwan & Heck, 2009).
More recent state merit based scholarship programs enacted since the Georgia Hope Scholarship Program varied in funding source, award criteria, and award amount. While most state programs were funded through lottery revenues, other states utilized one time litigation settlement agreements to fund scholarship programs (Orsuwan & Heck, 2009). Furthermore, each state had distinct criteria regarding award criteria: GPA, SAT, ACT, class rank, state tests, or any combination of these account for the measures used to allocate awards. The award amounts were just as varied as the award criteria: full tuition and fees for four years or a one-time award of $1,000 were two extremes. Regardless of the funding source, criteria, and award amount, prior research depicted the influence of state merit based scholarship programs on students’ enrollment within their home state for higher education (Orsuwan & Heck, 2009).
The objective to retain residents in their home state for college was the short-term objective of state merit based aid programs. The long-term goal of some the state merit based aid policy initiative was to keep college graduates in state. Given a state’s investment, retaining its college graduates was critical to a state’s economic development. Strathman (2004) found that college graduates leaving their state upon graduation negatively impacted state appropriations for higher education. Further, social benefits associated with college graduates—lower unemployment, higher tax revenues, and voter participation—were often cited as valuable assets for states (Baum & Ma, 2007). Recent findings indicated that students receiving state merit based scholarships were 74% more inclined to leave that state upon college graduation (Ishitani, 2011). This troubling finding suggested that state merit based scholarship programs, regardless of their influence on high school student migration, may lead to unintended consequences such as outmigration of college graduates. Although this study will focus on migration of high school graduates, understanding students’ mobility post-college is an aspect that cannot be ignored and is a subject requiring additional research.
Purpose of the Study
Previous research delved into various issues related to student migration following high school. In many instances, studies conducted extensive state level analysis aiming to address how specific policies at a single state affect student enrollment patterns. For example, Groen (2003) studied migration effects in Georgia given the goals of the Hope Scholarship Program. However, he primarily focuses on migration of Georgia Hope recipients once graduating from college. In addition, Hickman (2009) aimed to study how Florida’s Bright Futures Program related to student migration out of state. These studies were valuable at the state level, and they have indicated a need for a national study of state merit based scholarship programs. Orsuwan & Heck (2009) recently studied how state scholarship dollars and pre-paid tuition plans affected migration.”

“The findings of our research demonstrate the presence of state merit based scholarship
programs influencing residents to stay in their home state for higher education. This finding only partially affirms what policy makers intended to influence with the enactment of programs such as the Georgia Hope Scholarship (Zhang & Ness, 2010).”

“Our study also poses some interesting questions for how policy makers interpret research findings on tuition pricing and outmigration. Given the insignificant findings of tuition prices at two- and four-year public institutions, further research is needed to more acutely measure tuition net-price, which accounts for tuition less any financial aid. Our study urges future policy makers to address the notion of net-price of tuition by creating better national data collection on the net-price, which would improve research examining student migration patterns. The recent National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) initiative to collect more robust data on institutional net-price has potential to more accurately derive metrics of tuition net-price for future research.
Another consideration for policy is that our results illustrate that state appropriations have influence in decreasing outmigration. Our research shows that as state appropriations increased, out-of-state migration decreased. This result is important to consider for state legislators as they reflect on the future of state merit based scholarship programs. Additionally, assessing the effectiveness of these programs is important during turbulent budget years, as many costly programs are discontinued or phased out.”

Hope Scholarship increases GPA and attendance rates

According to the article “Staying on Target for College” by Andrew P. Kelly, KC Deane, and Taryn Hochleitner June 2014, the Hope Scholarship program can be linked to an increase in average high school gpa scores and percentage attendance of graduating high school seniors attending college.  According to the report:

“Translating Aspirations into Behavior. Long before
students apply to or enroll in college, they develop
educational aspirations and expectations and begin to
behave in ways that will support those expectations—
taking the right courses, studying hard, and preparing
for exams. While upward of 90 percent of high school
students from low-income families may aspire to attend
college, only 54 percent of these students realistically
expect they will be able to do so.  Without a concrete
sense that some kind of postsecondary education is
a possibility if they choose to apply themselves, even
qualified students will be unlikely to behave in ways
that set them up for success.
The good news is, research suggests that it is possible
to influence aspirations. Take the Georgia HOPE
scholarship program, which provides funding for Georgia
students to attend a Georgia public college or university
so long as they graduate high school with a
3.0 GPA. In their 2002 study, Gary Henry and Ross
Rubenstein found that the percentage of high school
students earning a GPA of a B or better increased by
2.9 percentage points between when the program
began in 1993 and when the class of 1998 graduated.
Moreover, as University of Michigan economist Susan
Dynarski found, “After the introduction of HOPE, the
attendance rate of 18–19-year-olds in Georgia rose 7.9
percentage points more than it did in the other southeastern