Hope Scholarships and Grants
In 1993, a new type of aid program was designed for Georgia residents who planned to attend school within the state. This program was named Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally, or HOPE, and since then, an estimated $7.2 billion dollars have been handed out in scholarship money. Students in Georgia would do well to learn more about how this program works, so they can apply for the aid they’ll need in order to pay for school.
The HOPE program is designed to assist students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education. These students must prove that they’ve graduated from a eligible high school or home study program with a grade point average that meets or exceeds 3.0, or if the students didn’t complete these programs, they must prove that they earned a grade in the 85th percentile or higher on their SAT or ACT tests.
- Be enrolled in an eligible institution of higher learning
- Meet residency requirements and citizen requirements
- Register with Selective Service (if male)
- Be in good standing with banks and lenders, if student loans are in progress
- Prove that they have not been arrested for specific felony offenses
Students who can meet all of these requirements can tap into HOPE scholarships and HOPE grants for up to 7 years, but they face caps on the number of credit hours they can take under the program, and they must prove that they are making progress toward their degrees, or else they may lose funding.
Applying for HOPE
The HOPE program is merit-based, meaning that a student’s ability to pay for college isn’t taken into account during the award process. But students are still encouraged to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as the first step in the application process. Then, they can fill out a formal application form provided by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. There are fewer than 50 questions on this form, so it shouldn’t be tedious for students to take advantage of this program. In just a few moments, they might provide all of the information administrators need in order to make a good decision.
Students who do get a HOPE scholarship or a HOPE grant will maintain close ties with the
financial aid office of the school they attend. This office will disburse the funds, as needed, and work with the student to ensure that eligibility problems don’t crop up. It’s vital that students stay in touch with the office so that all goes as it should.
If you’ve applied for the HOPE program and you still need a little more help with the tuition bills and other expenses you’ll face as you work toward your degree, we’d like to help. At SimpleTuition, we’ve developed a sophisticated scholarship tool that will help you to find all of the scholarships available to you in the Georgia schools you’re considering, and you can apply for those scholarships from the results page. The tool is free, and it’s really easy to use. We hope you’ll try it.