Georgia Student Finance Commission


Frequently Asked Questions

HOPE & Zell Miller Scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship page for more information about the programs.

What is the HOPE Scholarship and what are the academic eligibility requirements?
The HOPE Scholarship is a merit based scholarship that provides assistance towards the cost of tuition at eligible public and private Georgia postsecondary institutions. A student must graduate from an eligible high school with a minimum 3.0 HOPE GPA (as calculated by GSFC) and meet specific rigor course requirements.

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What is the Zell Miller Scholarship and what are the academic eligibility requirements?
The Zell Miller Scholarship is a merit based scholarship that provides full tuition at a public postsecondary institution and tuition assistance at an eligible private postsecondary institution. A student must graduate from an eligible high school as valedictorian or salutatorian (meeting the requirements of the HOPE Scholarship) or graduate with a minimum 3.7 Zell Miller GPA (as calculated by GSFC) along with a minimum combined score of 1200 on the math and reading portions of a national administration of the SAT or a minimum composite score of 26 on a single national or state/district administration of the ACT and meet specific rigor course requirements.

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What are rigor course requirements?
Students graduating from an eligible high school must meet rigorous course requirements (in addition to other requirements) in order to be eligible for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships. Discuss course options with your high school counselor if you are not sure whether a course meets the rigor requirement.
• Graduate on or after May 1, 2016 – must earn three rigor course credits
• Graduate on or after May 1, 2017 and beyond – must earn four rigor course credits

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Is the HOPE Scholarship available to high school and home study students?
High school and home study students are not eligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship.

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How do I apply for the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship?
A student may apply for the scholarships by completing the GSFAPP (one time completion) or FAFSA (completed each academic year). Check with the postsecondary institution’s financial aid office for scholarship eligibility after submitting an application. Additional documentation may be required by the postsecondary
institution.

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How much does HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship pay?
The HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships assists with the cost of tuition at eligible postsecondary institutions and the award amount is dependent upon the specific institution.

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How is my GPA calculated for scholarship purposes?
GSFC calculates the GPA based solely on core course data (English, math, social studies, science, and foreign language only) transmitted from the high school, by June 30, for graduating seniors. GSFC cannot change or alter that data in any way. Any grade discrepancies or errors must be corrected by the high school and then resubmitted to GSFC. Contact your high school counselor if you have questions regarding courses and/or grades.

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How do I view my HOPE/Zell Miller GPA?
You may view your HOPE/Zell Miller GPA calculation by logging into your account at www.GAfutures.org.

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How can I be evaluated for HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship if I graduated from a high school outside Georgia?
Students that graduate from a high school outside Georgia must be manually evaluated by GSFC. To be evaluated:
1. Complete the GSFAPP at www.GAfutures.org and,
2. Complete the “Student Information” section on the Request for Out-of-State High School Transcript Evaluation form. Submit the form to your high school to complete the back of the form and,
3. Provide your official final high school transcript.

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How does a home study student qualify for the HOPE Scholarship?
Home study students may qualify for the HOPE Scholarship in one of two ways:
• Score in the 75th percentile on a national or state/district administration of the ACT or national administration of the SAT college admissions test
• Attempt 30 semester/45 quarter postsecondary semester hours, excluding Dual Enrollment hours taken prior to home study completion, with a minimum 3.0 cumulative postsecondary GPA and then retroactively receive HOPE Scholarship funds

More information regarding eligibility requirements for home study students may be found on the HOPE Scholarship Program page.

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How does a home study student qualify for the Zell Miller Scholarship?
A home study student may qualify for the Zell Miller Scholarship in one of two ways:
• Score in the 93rd percentile on a national or state/district administration of the ACT or national administration of the SAT; test must be taken prior to home study completion
• Attempt 30 semester/45 quarter postsecondary hours, excluding Dual Enrollment hours taken prior to home study completion, with a minimum 3.3 cumulative postsecondary GPA, along with the required test scores, and then retroactively receive Zell Miller Scholarship funds. ACT/SAT must have been taken
prior to home study completion.

More information regarding eligibility requirements for home study students may be found on the Zell Miller Scholarship Program page.

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Are Dual Enrollment credit hours included in the eligibility determination for the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship?
High school credit will be given for degree-level core courses taken as a Dual Enrollment student and is included in determining a student’s high school HOPE GPA. The Dual Enrollment coursework cannot be used to gain HOPE Scholarship eligibility while in high school or to determine HOPE Scholarship eligibility for non-HOPE scholars.

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Can Dual Enrollment credit hours be used to determine postsecondary HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility?
No, according to the program regulations, college credit hours taken as dual credit enrollment are not counted as attempted hours nor are they included in the combined paid hours limit for purposes of HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility. The hours are not included in a student’s postsecondary HOPE GPA.

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What do I need to do to continue to qualify for the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship?
In order to continue receiving the HOPE Scholarship, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 postsecondary GPA at designated checkpoints. The cumulative 3.0 postsecondary GPA does not include Dual Enrollment coursework taken prior to high school graduation or home study completion. Those checkpoints are: end-of-spring and 30/60/90 attempted semester hours or 45/90/135 quarter hours. A student will lose the HOPE Scholarship if their GPA is below the minimum requirement at one of the checkpoints and may only regain the scholarship one time. A student is ineligible to receive HOPE Scholarship funds once the student has reached the 127 hour limit.

In order to continue receiving the Zell Miller Scholarship, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.3 postsecondary GPA at designated checkpoints. The cumulative 3.3 postsecondary GPA does not include Dual Enrollment coursework taken prior to high school graduation or home study completion. Those checkpoints are: end-of-spring and 30/60/90 attempted semester hours or 45/90/135 quarter hours. A student will lose the Zell Miller Scholarship if their GPA is below the minimum requirement at one of the checkpoints and may only regain the scholarship one time. A student is ineligible to receive Zell Miller Scholarship funds once the student has reached the 127 hour limit.

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Are there any limitations to receiving the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship?
A student may receive the scholarship until one of the following occurs:
• Seven full years have elapsed following high school graduation/home study completion, or
• Reach 127 semester or quarter limit, or
• Upon receiving a baccalaureate degree.

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What other eligibility requirements must I meet in order to receive the HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship?
In addition to the required minimum GPA and rigor requirement, you must also meet each of the following:
• U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen;
• Legal resident of Georgia;
• Registered with the Selective Service (if applicable);
• Maintain satisfactory academic progress;
• In compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990; and
• Do not owe a refund or be in default on a student financial aid program.

Check with your college’s financial aid office for additional information and eligibility requirements.

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