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.

Georgia Second Highest Tuition Increase in Country

Georgia gets the dubious distinction of coming in second place…second place in the country for net tuition and fee increases in the 5 year period from 2008-2013.  Although many city, county, and state government spending held to near flat in the same period, Georgia’s net tuition revenue per student nearly doubled with an increase of 93 percent.  So what state achieved the first place distinction in this dubious contest?  That goes to New Mexico, where the net tuition and fee increase in the 5 year period almost tripled; it increased by 188 percent.

The data is reported by the “State Higher Education Finance” report which was released by the nonprofit association of higher education chief executive officers.

The  calculations are based on “net” tuition which takes into account both the tuition and fees that students pay and also how much state aid adjusts those costs through programs such as Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship program. The amounts were adjusted for inflation, with all dollars expressed in constant 2013 values.

However, although Georgia students pay a lot more in tuition than they did five years ago, the average tuition paid by a full-time Georgia student, is just under $1000 less than the national average with Georgia at $4,484 with the U.S. average at $5,445, the report notes.

During this time period of increased tuition and fees, Georgia was also reducing the award amounts funded through the Hope Scholarship Program.  Based on GSFC (Georgia Student Finance Commission) numbers,  the HOPE Scholarship and HOPE Grant declined from a peak of $748 million in the 2010-11 school year to about $526 million for the current year.

With new rigor requirements, GPA levels (Zell Miller Scholarship), and other changes, Georgia State lawmakers also cut the number of students getting the awards as well as the value of the scholarships. For example, approximately 256,000 students received HOPE aid in 2010-11, but only approximately 198,000 received it this year.

There is some speculation that the HOPE Scholarship may have actually helped catalyze the steep rise in tuition costs, said state Rep. Spencer Frye.

Initially, HOPE covered the full costs of tuition and fees, so when the state Board of Regents hiked tuition, the dollar amount of HOPE scholarships increased in consort to compensate.  With the cost reductions in the Hope program, that is no longer the case.

Looking more closely at Georgia’s state research universities, the increase is more dramatic: in 2002-2003, University of Georgia undergrad tuition and fees were $3,616 per year. This year, it was $10,262 — not adjusted for inflation — according to state Board of Regents statistics; next year the tuition rate increases $560.

The State Board of Regents approved a 7 percent tuition increase for UGA. Georgia Tech students will see an increase of  9 percent more next year, but at most state schools the increase is a more modest 2.5 percent.

Now that the Hope Scholarship has gone through the cost reduction process, perhaps Georgia’s state universities should as well.  Perhaps, in the next five years, Georgia can come strive for best in class for lowest tuition and fees increases.


Georgia Tech 2014-2015 Hope Scholarship Award Amounts

Georgia Tech has published payment award amounts for the Hope Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship.  Here they are:

2014-2015 HOPE Scholarship Award Hourly Rate

Number of Hours
Regular – Non Guaranteed Tuition Payment
1 $226.00
2 $452.00
3 $678.00
4 $904.00
5 $1,130.00
6 $1,356.00
7 $1,582.00
8 $1,808.00
9 $2,034.00
10 $2,260.00
11 $2,486.00
12 $2,712.00
13 $2,938.00
14 $3,164.00
15 $3,390.00


2014-2015 Zell Miller Scholarship Award Hourly Rate

Number of Hours
Regular – Non Guaranteed Tuition Payment
5th Year CO-OP and Study Abroad Tuition Payment
1 $2,675.00 $300.00
2 $2,675.00 $600.00
3 $2,675.00 $900.00
4 $2,675.00 $1,200.00
5 $2,675.00 $1,500.00
6 $2,675.00 $1,800.00
7 $4,501.00 $2,100.00
8 $4,501.00 $2,400.00
9 $4,501.00 $2,700.00
10 $4,501.00 $3,000.00
11 $4,501.00 $3,300.00
12 $4,501.00 $3,600.00
13 $4,501.00 $3,900.00
14 $4,501.00 $4,200.00
15 $4,501.00 $4,501.00

University of Georgia Hope Scholarship Award Amounts 2014-2015

The University of Georgia has posted hope scholarship award amounts for the 2014-2015 school year. As a reminder, the University of Georgia implemented a Plus/Minus grading system in the summer of 2006; however, for the purpose of calculating the cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) for HOPE Scholarship eligibility, regulations recognize only letter grades of A through F so any Plus or Minus will be disregarded.  Therefore a B-, B, or B+ are all considered a 3.0, An A- or A is a 4.0, while C-, C, or C+ is a 2.0, for example.

As a result of UGA’s +/- system and Hope Scholarship method of GPA calculation, the GPA and HOPE Attempted Hours used in HOPE eligibility calculations often do not match the cumulative GPA and attempted hours on official UGA transcripts.

14-15 HOPE Amounts (Maximum $226 per Credit Hour)


Flat Tuition Rate Students
Hours 14-15 Tuition Covered by HOPE
15 or higher $3,390
14 $3,164
13 $2,938
12 $2,712
11 $2,486
10 $2,260
9 $2,034
8 $1,808
7 $1,582
6 $1,356
5 $1,130
4 $904
3 $678
2 $452
1 $226

To qualify for the Zell Miller Scholarship, students must graduate from an eligible high school 2007 or later with at least a 3.7 grade point average (GPA) as calculated by HOPE Scholarship regulations and must have scored at least a 1200 on the SAT or a 26 on the ACT, in a single test administration prior to high school graduation or be their high school Valedictorian or Salutatorian.

Initial eligibility for the Zell Miller Scholarship is determined by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). Students determined eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship are subject to all the HOPE Scholarship eligibility requirements except they must maintain a minimum 3.3 grade point average (GPA) on all coursework attempted since high school graduation instead of the minimum 3.0 gpa required for HOPE Scholarship recipients.

Zell Miller Scholarship Award Amounts

The Zell Miller Scholarship award cannot exceed the student’s current UGA standard Undergraduate tuition amount on a per hour basis. The Zell Miller Scholarship amount initially reflected on UGA 2014-15 financial aid Awards assumes the maximum amount for which students are eligible for the semester. UGA Students Charged a Flat Tuition Rate

For 2014-15 the Zell Miller Scholarship provides a maximum Award Amount of:

  • $4,295 to students enrolled in 7 or more hours, and
  • $2,552 to students enrolled in 6 or fewer hours.

14-15 Zell Miller Scholarship Amounts


Flat Tuition Rate Students
Hours 14-15 Tuition Covered by Zell
15 or higher $4,295.00
14 $4,295.00
13 $4,295.00
12 $4,295.00
11 $4,295.00
10 $4,295.00
9 $4,295.00
8 $4,295.00
7 $4,295.00
6 $2,552.00
5 $2,552.00
4 $2,552.00
3 $2,552.00
2 $2,552.00
1 $2,552.00

Georgia’s Hope Scholarship is the standard for other states merit scholarship programs

There are currently more than 25 states which provide a reward in the form of financial aid for college students with eligibility solely due to excelling in academic achievement, as opposed to some form of financial demonstrated need. Approximately, thirteen states, most located in the South, award an excessive of more than half of their financial aid awards based on academic achievement.

Today, that movement may be picking up increased momentum.

During the years 2010-2011 with Georgia’s Hope scholarship merit based program facing financial difficulty, lawmakers agreed to increase the academic requirements for the Hope and Zell Miller scholarships instead of defunding the program or adding a financial need component for eligibility.

College administrators appear to agree that the change will help keep the program funded and remain solvent.

There are some who argue that the increased academic rigor tends to favor students from higher income families; however, the changes have leveled the playing field with respect to grade inflation and lack of grade standardization among schools. The Georgia legislature added an SAT/Act minimum score target along with a minimum GPA for the largest of the
hope scholarship awards, the Zell Miller Scholarship. Having an SAT/ACT minimum level provide a standardized measure of achievement to balance the student GPA scores which can have different weighting and difficulty levels based on the curriculum and grading standards of each particular school.

Georgia—whose Hope scholarship program is one of the largest merit-based programs
in the country and is seen as a standard by which other programs are measured—is at the forefront of an increasing national debate over state-backed financial aid for college students. The discussion centers around whether states should provide aid to the highest-achieving students, regardless of income, or should state funding go to students based on financial need?

Advocates of merit scholarships, or a combination of merit and financial need, say focusing
on achievement attempts to reduce a “brain drain” of talented residents going elsewhere to college in other states, and rewards those who study hard and apply themselves. There is also the thought that if a sports athlete can receive scholarships based on physical ability then why can’t an “academic athlete” receive a similar award for intellectual ability.

Georgia has not rested on the changes made in 2010-2011. Recently, the Georgia Legislature defined an increased set of academic requirements, or academic rigor, that high school students must attain to be considered for Hope scholarship or the Zell Miller Scholarship. This combined with the minimum GPA and minimum SAT/ACT (for Zell Miller) helps to ensure a level playing field for determining what actually defines the academic excellence level required for merit eligibility. With these continue improvements,
Georgia will continue to be at the forefront, and therefore, the standard, by which other states measure their own merit based programs.