Unlike many merit based scholarship applications, the process to apply for hope scholarship consideration is rather easy. Most of the hard work is not in the application process rather it is in achieving eligibility by meeting the required academic and other requirements, which are:
- You must meet the U.S. Citizenship requirement
- You must meet Georgia residency requirement
- You must meet the Selective Service Compliance requirement
- You must graduate from an approved Hope eligible High School
- You must have a Hope Scholarship GPA calculation of 3.0 or better on core classes
- A complete list for Hope Scholarship eligibility can be found here
The Application Procedure
The application procedure is a three step process:
1) Check with your High School guidance counselor or academic coordinator to determine your Hope GPA calculation. Verify that it meets the minimum GPA of 3.0. The GPA only includes core academic classes so when calculating the GPA, electives are not included. Make sure that your records are up to date and ready to be submitted by the school to validate your enrollment and GPA standing. Note, it is also important that your school note if you are a valedictorian or salutatorian since this is one way to become eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship.
2) Complete one of the following late winter of your senior year in high school
a) FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is only needed if you also want to be considered for financial need based assistance.
b) GSFAPPS (Georgia Student Financial Aid Application System) electronic application
c) GSFAPPS paper application
Note: You only have to complete the FAFSA if you want to be considered for all financial aid based awards. Since the hope scholarship is a merit based scholarship, FAFSA is not needed. The minimum application requirement is the GSFAPPS application.
3) Many colleges and universities have their own financial and academic based award applications, so make sure that you check with the college/university that you plan to attend and complete any applications that they may also require. You should also confirm with them that they have you on record as a Hope Scholarship recipient.
You have until the last day of classes or exams to submit your application for the semester or quarter that you will receive Hope Scholarship funds. It is highly recommended that you submit your application as early as possible since the funds are only disbursed after you apply and are confirmed into the program.
Once you are in the program, your eligibility for continued approval for award money is determined at certain checkpoints during your college career. More information on the checkpoints and other questions can be found on the Georgia Hope Scholarship FAQ.
So, as you can see the process to apply for hope scholarship funds is not difficult; just one form to fill out and confirming with your high school and college that all is well. The real work begins the freshman year of high school to lay a strong foundation for the high school GPA required to win the merit based award. For more help, contact the financial aid office for the college or university that you plan to attend or contact the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC).