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HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally)

HOPE Changes for Fall Semester 2013
*For information on changes to the HOPE programs effective Fall Semester 2013 for all colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia, please click on the link above.

The HOPE Programs, funded by the Georgia Lottery for Education, are unique programs that reward students with financial assistance in degree, diploma, and certificate programs. If eligible, students may receive financial assistance for a percentage of their tuition charges. 

The Financial Aid Office will manage the HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, and HOPE GED Grant programs in accordance with regulations issued by Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC).  GSFC regulations and guidance will supersede this information.

How to Apply

Submitting a FAFSA each year will apply you for the HOPE Grant and Scholarship programs.
In order to receive HOPE Scholarship, the student is responsible for requesting a HOPE Scholarship Evaluation. The HOPE Scholarship Evaluation Request Form should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Students should request this evaluation several weeks before the start of the term they plan to enroll in order to have HOPE available by the tuition and fees payment deadline.

HOPE Residency Requirements

Students who were legal residents of Georgia at the time of graduation from high school or a home study program or on their GED test date must meet the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) residency requirements for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes of the term for which the HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship or Zell Miller Scholarship is sought.

Students who were not legal residents of Georgia at the time of graduation from high school or a home study program or on their GED test date must meet the TCSG residency requirements for at least 24 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes of the term for which the HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship or Zell Miller Scholarship is sought.

If the student is an active duty military service member or the spouse or dependent child of an active duty military service member and the active duty military service member is stationed in Georgia or lists Georgia as their home of record, then the student meets the residency requirements for HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship and the Zell Miller Scholarship. 
Dual and Joint enrolled students must meet TCSG Georgia residency requirements for 12 months immediately preceding the first day of the term for which the award is sought.

Bachelor’s Degree Recipients

Students who have received a Bachelor’s Degree, its equivalent or higher, from any institution are ineligible for the HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship.

HOPE Grant for Diploma and Certificate Programs

Credit Hour Checkpoints (Effective Fall Semester 2013)
A student enrolled in a diploma or certificate program and receiving or seeking HOPE Grant must have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of the term in which he or she has attended 30 and 60 semester or 45 and 90 quarter credit hours towards a diploma or certificate for which he or she received HOPE Grant funds. Students who received HOPE Grant prior to Fall Semester 2011 must meet the GPA requirement at the end of the term in which they reach their next credit hour checkpoint.    

Regaining HOPE Grant
Students who have lost their HOPE Grant eligibility at the 30/45 (semester/quarter)credit hour checkpoint may regain it if their cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher at the 60/90 credit hour checkpoint.  Students may only regain HOPE Grant eligibility one time after losing it. 

Effective Fall Semester 2013
Students who lost their HOPE Grant eligibility at a credit hour checkpoint due to not having a 3.0 GPA when that requirement was in place, but who had at least a 2.0 HOPE Grant GPA at that time, will regain their HOPE Grant eligibility starting Fall semester 2013 or their next term of enrollment.

HOPE Grant GPA Calculation
The Registrar is responsible for calculating students’ GPA for HOPE Grant purposes.  Students must submit official transcripts from all institutions at which they have received HOPE Grant payment in order to be evaluated for continued eligibility at the 30 credit hour checkpoint.  Failure to provide all official transcripts will result in the student not being evaluated for HOPE Grant eligibility beyond 30 credit hours.  The 30/45 credit hour checkpoint GPA will include all diploma or certificate credit courses for which the student received HOPE Grant payment.  Learning Support and dual enrollment coursework while in high school are excluded from the HOPE Grant GPA and checkpoints.  For students who lost HOPE Grant at the 30/45 credit hour checkpoint, the 60/90 credit hour checkpoint GPA will also include all diploma or certificate credit courses for which the student would have received HOPE Grant payment. 

Paid-Hours Limit for HOPE Grant
An eligible student may receive HOPE Grant payment for the equivalent of 63 semester credit hours at all institutions.

HOPE Scholarship for Degree Programs


Time Limit for HOPE Scholarship Eligibility
Students who have received HOPE Scholarship prior to summer term 2011 will continue to be eligible for HOPE Scholarship until June 30, 2015, regardless of their high school graduation date, provided they meet all other eligibility requirements. 

Students who have not received HOPE Scholarship prior to summer term 2011, will be eligible for HOPE Scholarship until June 30 of the seventh academic year following their high school graduation or the equivalent. 

Students who graduated high school more than seven (7) years prior to the term in which they are seeking HOPE Scholarship funds and who have not received HOPE Scholarship prior to summer term 2011 will not be eligible for HOPE Scholarship at any time.

Credit Hour Checkpoints
Students enrolled in a degree program and receiving or seeking HOPE Scholarship must have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of the terms in which they have attempted 30, 60, and 90 college-level semester credit hours in order to receive further HOPE Scholarship funds.

First-Tier Recipient and Three Term Checkpoint
To be considered a First-Tier HOPE Scholar and receive HOPE Scholarship funds with zero credit hours attempted, a student must be a 1993 or later graduate of an eligible high school with a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 for college preparatory curriculum or a cumulative 3.2 GPA for other curricula.

A first-tier recipient of HOPE Scholarship who is enrolled for less than 12 hours for each of his or her first three school terms must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of his or her third term in order to continue eligibility for HOPE Scholarship beyond the third term.

End of Spring Checkpoint
Students enrolled in a degree program seeking HOPE Scholarship must have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of each spring term, regardless of enrollment during spring term.

Regaining HOPE Scholarship Eligibility
Students who fail to earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA at any of the above checkpoints will lose their HOPE Scholarship.  Students may regain their HOPE Scholarship if their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher at a subsequent credit-hour checkpoint.  Students may only regain HOPE Scholarship eligibility one time after losing it.  Students who lose their HOPE Scholarship at the 90 semester credit hour checkpoint cannot regain the HOPE Scholarship.  No appeals are permitted for HOPE Scholarship GPA requirements.  There is no warning period for HOPE Scholarship GPA requirements.

HOPE Scholarship GPA Calculation
Students are responsible for requesting a HOPE Scholarship Evaluation be conducted in order to receive HOPE Scholarship.  Click on the link to print the Request for

HOPE Scholarship Evaluation form

The Registrar is responsible for calculating students’ GPA for HOPE Scholarship purposes. The HOPE Scholarship GPA is calculated to the hundredth decimal, for example 2.99.

In order for a student’s HOPE Scholarship eligibility to be initially evaluated or to be re-evaluated after re-enrollment, a student must submit to the Registrar’s Office official copies of transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions ever attended, regardless of the courses taken, grades received, or eligibility for transfer credit for any courses taken at previous institutions.

Failure to provide the Registrar with ALL official transcripts will result in the student not being evaluated for HOPE Scholarship eligibility. Once a student’s initial HOPE Scholarship eligibility is determined by the Registrar, the Financial Aid Office will track it each term, as long as the student remains enrolled.

If the student changes his/her program of study to a non-degree program, and subsequently changes back to a degree program, he/she should request that his/her HOPE Scholarship Evaluation be updated.

Credit hours attempted as part of a diploma or certificate program of study are not included in the HOPE Scholarship GPA calculation unless those hours are accepted by any institution toward a degree program.

Effective fall semester 2011, Learning Support or remedial courses are not included in the HOPE Scholarship calculation of attempted hours. Learning Support or remedial courses that were previously included in attempted hours will remain in the attempted hours calculation.

Transfer students from any other post secondary institution who wish to receive HOPE Scholarship should submit ALL official transcripts to the Registrar’s Office and request a HOPE Scholarship evaluation from the Financial Aid Office.

Zell Miller Scholarship

The Zell Miller Scholarship is a new program designed to reward the highest achieving high school graduates with financial assistance for their tuition. The Zell Miller Scholarship will pay 100% of the tuition charges at the standard tuition rate, for eligible students. Students enrolled in programs with a non-standard tuition rate will not receive additional funds. No funds will be paid for fees or books.   Georgia Student Finance Commissions (GSFC) will identify students who are eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship.  To remain eligible, Zell Miller Scholarship recipients must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 at the end of the term in which they have attempted 30, 60, and 90 college-level semester credit hours.

Three Term Checkpoint
A first-tier recipient of the Zell Miller Scholarship who is enrolled for less than 12 hours for each of his or her first three school terms must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 at the end of his or her third term in order to continue eligibility for the Zell Miller Scholarship beyond the third term.

End of Spring Checkpoint
Students enrolled in a degree program seeking the Zell Miller Scholarship must have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.3 at the end of each spring term, regardless of enrollment during spring term.

Regaining Zell Miller Scholarship Eligibility
Students who fail to earn a cumulative 3.3 GPA at any of the above checkpoints will lose their Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility.  A student whose GPA is below 3.3 but at least 3.0 will become eligible for the HOPE Scholarship.  Students may regain their Zell Miller Scholarship if their cumulative GPA is 3.3 or higher at a subsequent credit-hour checkpoint.  Students may only regain Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility one time after losing it.  Students who lose their Zell Miller Scholarship at the 90 semester credit hour checkpoint cannot regain it.  No appeals are permitted for Zell Miller Scholarship GPA requirements.  There is no warning period for Zell Miller Scholarship GPA requirements.

Zell Miller Scholarship GPA Calculation
The Registrar is responsible for calculating students’ GPA for Zell Miller Scholarship purposes once they have been identified as eligible by GSFC.  In order for a student’s Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility to be evaluated at a checkpoint, after re-enrollment, or after changing from a non-degree to a degree program, a student must submit official copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions ever attended, regardless of the courses taken, grades received, or eligibility for transfer credit for any courses taken at previous institutions.  Failure to provide all official transcripts will result in the student not being evaluated for Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility.  If the student changes his/her program of study to a non-degree program, and subsequently changes back to a degree program, he/she should request that his/her Zell Miller Scholarship Evaluation be updated. 

Combined Paid-Hours Limit for HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships


An eligible student may receive HOPE Scholarship or the Zell Miller Scholarship until he or she reaches the Combined Paid-Hours Limit of 190 quarter or 127 semester credit hours from any combination of HOPE Scholarship Paid-Hours, plus Zell Miller Scholarship Paid-Hours, plus HOPE Grant Paid-Hours, plus ACCEL Program Paid-Hours for credit hours taken at all institutions.

Once a student has reached the Combined Paid-Hours Limit, they will be ineligible for HOPE Grant payment as well.

Attempted Hours Limit for HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships


A student is ineligible to receive HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship payment once he or she reaches the Attempted Hours Limit of 127 college level semester credit hours, regardless of how payment was made for those hours.

HOPE GED Grant


The HOPE GED Grant Program provides recipients of GED’s with a one-time award of $500 toward the cost of their postsecondary education.  To be eligible, a student must be enrolled in a program of study and meet the following requirements:

Must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Must not be in default on Federal Title IV or State of Georgia educational loan or owe a refund on Federal Title IV aid or a State of Georgia financial aid program.

Must be registered with the Selective Service Board (males only).

Must meet TCSG Georgia Residency Requirements.

Must submit HOPE GED Voucher to Financial Aid Office.

The HOPE GED Voucher is a one-time award of $500 and must be used within 24 months of issuance.

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