Former governor of Georgia Zell Miller established the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) scholarship in 1993. This program was developed to help outstanding students afford college who otherwise might not be able to financially attend college. The scholarship is funded through the Georgia Lottery for Education. A number of different HOPE programs exist, wit varying requirements and aid.
HOPE Scholarship: This award is open to GA residents who have excelled academically Students must hold at least a 3.0 grade point average and maintain at least a B average throughout college in order to qualify for the scholarship. For students calculating their grade through the GA State system, only grades A-F will be counted, not any plus or minus grades. Only students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree at an institution in state are eligible for the scholarship. Students must be enrolled for a program that will lead to a degree. Men who are recipients of the award must agree to register for the Selective Service. All applicants must agree to the Georgia Drug-Free Post Secondary Education Act and applicants who have previous drug convictions may not be eligible for the award. Only students who do not have a bachelor’s or advanced degree may apply. Additionally, students who have defaulted on federal or state financial aid programs will be ineligible. The amount of the award varies and the actual amount of the award is given out based on a “per credit hour” basis. Students are eligible until they reach 127 college credits, until they reach the seven-year limit, or until their grade point average falls below a 3.0.
Three deadlines exist throughout the year, for summer, fall, and spring semesters. The current deadline for summer is July 17, the deadline for fall is November 17, and the deadline for spring is April 15.
HOPE Grant: Is an award that is open to GA residents who are studying for a diploma or certificate. The recipient must have at least a 2.0 grade point average.
Zell Miller Grant: This award is given to GA residents who are in a program for a certificate or diploma at an in state school. Recipients must hold at least a 3.5 grade point average for be eligible for this award. This grant covers the full amount of tuition at an in state university or college.
Zell Miller Scholarship: This award is given out based on academic merit to GA residents. While it bears some similarities to the HOPE Scholarship, the Zell Miller award required that students have at least a 3.7 grade point average from high school and maintain at least a 3.3 GPA in college, thus making it more difficult to qualify for than other HOPE programs. Additional criteria require that students graduate from high school, and achieve minimum scores on the ACT or SAT tests. This award provides full tuition coverage for an accredited institution in Georgia.
Additional information about all the HOPE programs can be found at the following website: http://www.gacollege411.org/.