Administrative Reviews and Exceptions for the Zell Miller Grant
Students who believe their eligible college or university incorrectly determined their HOPE Grant or Zell Miller Grant eligibility may submit a request to GSFC for an Administrative Review. Upon request of an Administrative Review, the Program Administration Office will review a student's eligibility determination and decide if the program laws, regulations, policies and rules were applied correctly to a student's specific case.
Students must submit a written letter requesting an Administrative Review and any pertinent and supporting documentation within 45 days of receiving notice of denial of HOPE Grant or Zell Miller Grant eligibility. GSFC will review and decide a case based solely upon the documentation provided by the student, rather than a personal presentation.
To submit a written request for an Administrative Review or for additional assistance/any questions email: programAdmin@gsfc.org. After a review of the student’s record and request, the Program Administration Office will respond to the student by email within 2 weeks.
In very limited extenuating circumstances, HOPE or Zell Miller Grant recipients who meet specific criteria and had to withdraw from college for a term may be eligible for an Exception in which the withdrawn hours are forgiven.
Eligible Extenuating Circumstances
The student may be eligible for an Exception if the withdrawal was due to one of the following extenuating circumstances:
- Serious illness, serious psychiatric disorder, serious injury experienced by the student during the term of withdrawal;
- Student had to provide temporary care for an immediate family member who experienced a serious illness or serious injury;
- Death of an Immediate family member and the withdrawal was within six months of the death;
- Requirement to report for active duty United States military service during the term of withdrawal.
Note: Students are limited to one Exception. Only one term of hours may be considered for an Exception. Note: Refer to the Exception request form for the Exception process and required documentation.
Exception requests of the following situations cannot be considered for approval:
- If the student does not submit the Exception Application in writing no later than the last day of the term of re-enrollment.
- If the request is based upon the diagnosis or presence of a learning disability.
- If the request is based upon a situation in which the student was convicted or plead guilty or nolo contendere to a criminal act or charge.
- If the student is requesting that postsecondary grades be forgiven or altered.
- If the request is based upon a Serious Illness, Serious Injury or Psychiatric Disorder that was not sustained, diagnosed, or treated within six months of the student's withdrawal date.
- If the request is based upon the death of an Immediate Family Member, and/or step-parent, step-child or step-sibling, and the death did not occur within the six months immediately preceding the student's withdrawal date.
- If the request is seeking an Exception from the laws governing the HOPE Programs.
- If the student was not eligible to receive and did not receive Grant funds during the term of withdrawal.
- If the request is based upon any reason other than those specifically listed in the Guidelines for Approval of an Exception Request section of the program regulations.
- If the student is still beyond the Paid-Hours limit even if the withdrawn hours are forgiven.
Exception Request Procedure
Students must submit the Program Exception Request Form and documentation to the Program Administration Office through the Student Document Upload.
If you are the parent of a student that is submitting a request for an administrative review and/or exception, and wish to communicate with GSFC about your student’s request, GSFC will need to receive a signed Third-Party Authorization to Release Information form from the student.
Upon receipt of the completed Exception Request Form and the proper supporting documentation, the request will be reviewed by the Program Administration Office and if it meets the regulatory requirements, the Exception will be prepared to be presented in writing to the GSFC Board of Commissioners.
Below are the submission deadline dates to be presented for consideration at the corresponding Board of Commissioners Meeting.
First Friday in July
First Friday in October
First Friday in January
First Friday in April
*Note: If the Friday submission deadline falls on a holiday or weekend, the submission deadline is automatically the following Monday, by close of business.
Incomplete submissions cannot be considered.
The exception requests are presented in writing for a decision to the Board of Commissioners based on the board meeting schedule. The Board of Commissioners has the sole discretion to grant an Exception which cannot be appealed. The Board of Commissioners’ decision is final.
Following the Board’s decision, the student is emailed by the Program Administration Office within 5 business days.
Exceptions approved and granted by the Board of Commissioners shall only provide for the forgiveness of postsecondary Paid-Hours, thereby increasing the total number of remaining Paid-Hours of eligibility.
In no case or circumstance shall a student's grade(s), as determined by the student's college, be forgiven or altered.
If you need additional assistance, email the Program Administration Office at: ProgramAdmin@gsfc.org.
*Students must meet all eligibility requirements to qualify for the Grant.