Can I Use the Hope Scholarship for Graduate School?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is, no.  The main intent for the Hope Scholarship is to award the achievement of students with assistance toward a four year degree.

There are a number of hard and fast rules in the legislation which specifically answers the question concerning “Can I use the Hope Scholarship for Graduate School?”

According to the regulations, regardless of the number of Attempted-Hours or Combined Paid-Hours a student has accumulated, such student is ineligible for HOPE Scholarship payment if he or she has attained a Baccalaureate Degree of any kind, at any time, from any post-secondary institution, including the equivalent of a Baccalaureate Degree from a foreign institution as indicated by the foreign academic transcript and/or foreign academic transcript translation.

There is also a paid hours limit: A student is ineligible to receive HOPE Scholarship payment once he or she reaches the Combined Paid-Hours limit of 127 semester or 190 quarter hours from any combination of Zell Miller or HOPE Scholarship Paid-Hours, plus HOPE Grant Paid-Hours.  The limit can be extended if the course of study actually requires more hours than these to complete the degree requirements for the course of study.  In this case, the minimum hours are extended to meet the course of study requirements.

Finally, there is a time limit of seven years to use the hope scholarship: a student  may receive the HOPE Scholarship until seven years after his or her high school graduation date, GED test date, Home Study program completion date or date the student stopped pursuing a diploma.


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