Students in Georgia who have not received a HOPE scholarship, are eligible to receive the Zell Miller scholarship. This award is a merit based scholarship for undergraduate students who plan to study at a school in Georgia. The Zell Miller scholarship is more competitive than the HOPE scholarship, and as such, has more stringent GPA and eligibility criteria. However, the award also provides more funding than the HOPE scholarships, affording eligible students nearly $10,000 in free scholarship money, covering up to 100% of the tuition for one year of college.
In order to be eligible for the award, students must be residents of the state of GA. Additionally, they must be enrolled in a program that grants diplomas or certificates. Only students who attend a school within the University System of Georgia or the Technical College System of Georgia are eligible for the award. These awards go to students from GA who have a longstanding history of academic greatness. As such, students must hold at least a 3.7 grade point average from high school. In order to retain the scholarship in college, a minimum of a 3.3 grade point average is required for renewal. Most students must meet minimum test scores on standardized tests (currently a 26 or above on the ACT or a 1200 combined score on the reading and math sections of the SAT), however, this requirement and GPA requirements are waived for high school salutorians and valedictorians. Recently, an additional criterion was added indicating that students must have a well-balanced (as indicated by a minimum number of credits) high school curriculum, which includes: foreign language courses, science, and math.
Additional eligibility criteria indicate that the student must be a citizen of the United States and must have been living in GA for at lease a year prior to the start of their college career. Men are required to register with the selective service and all students must not use drugs in order to be considered for the award. Only first-time college students who have never defaulted or owe money to the state or federal government are eligible to receive the Zell Mille Scholarship.
If a student fails to maintain the 3.3 grade point average required for renewal, they can still receive a HOPE award provided that their GPA is at least a 3.0. Students will have one opportunity to bring their GPA up in an effort to regain the scholarship. It is also important to note that the scholarship will not cover remedial coursework. The actual amount of the award depends of whether students are attending on a full-time or part-time basis, as well as whether the institution they attend adheres to a quarter or semester system. The scholarship is capped at 127 credits or when the student receives the B.A. The award expires if it has not been completely used within seven years of the start date.
In order to apply, students have several options. They can complete a paper application, an online application, or they can complete the FAFSA. There are three different deadlines for summer, fall, and spring semesters. Check out the following website for updated deadline and application instructions: http://zellmillerscholarship.com/Zell_Miller_Scholarship_Application.html.