The Hope Scholarship program is made up of three primary aid programs. These are the HOPE Scholarship, the Zell Miller Scholarship, and the HOPE Grant. Each one targets a different set of students based on academic eligibility.
Both the HOPE Scholarship and the HOPE Grant are funded by the state of Georgia through lottery proceeds, but the HOPE Scholarship has certain requirements, and the HOPE Grant is available to any Georgia resident. For length of the HOPE eligibility, see the text below.
To receive the HOPE Scholarship, high school students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in a high school college prep track or a 3.2 average in other track. Students who are initially ineligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship when they matriculate at a qualified College or University and who are Georgia residents may begin with the HOPE Grant. After 30 attempted credit hours (which include all hours, support classes and certificate classes that are in a degree program), they can receive the HOPE Scholarship if they meet the requirements.
Therefore, many degree students start out with the HOPE Grant. Both the HOPE Grant and the HOPE Scholarship cover tuition but no fees and no book allowance. Students can’t get federal funds for more than 30 attempted hours of Learning Support, and HOPE has caps for hours. In addition, all grades are counted toward the cap of HOPE.
HOPE Grant Overview
A student may receive HOPE Grant payments for all course work required by an eligible post secondary institution for a program of study leading to a technical certificate or diploma, including Learning Support course work. The HOPE Grant Paid-Hours limit is 95 quarter or 63 semester hours of HOPE Grant payments for technical Certificate or Diploma credit hours that meet the definition of Paid-Hours*. This includes all coursework paid for by HOPE at any institution.
Hope Scholarship Overview
A student is ineligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship payment once he or she reaches the Attempted Hours limit of 190 quarter or 127 semester hours. A student is ineligible to receive HOPE Scholarship payment once he or she reaches the Combined Paid Hours limit of 190 quarter or 127 semester hours from any combination of HOPE Scholarship Paid-Hours, plus HOPE Grant Paid-Hours, plus Accel Program Paid-Hours*. This includes all coursework paid (as well as all hours attempted) by HOPE at any other institution.
*“Paid-Hours” means the post secondary quarter or semester credit hours attempted by a student, for which he or she received payment from the HOPE Scholarship Program, HOPE Grant Program, and/or Accel Program.
Zell Miller Scholarship Overview
Under HB 326, the state’s top students may qualify for the new full-tuition Zell Miller Scholarship, reserved for high school valedictorians, salutatorians, and graduates with strong GPAs and test scores who plan to attend an eligible public college or university. Zell Miller Scholars attending a private Georgia college would receive an award of $4,000 per year. Zell Miller Scholars must be their high school’s valedictorian or salutatorian, or earn a 3.7 high school GPA or higher and post, in one sitting, an SAT combined score of 1200 or higher in math and reading or an ACT score of 26 or higher.