Ever since it started the Georgia Lottery for Education in 1993, Georgia has used funding from the lottery to offer a grant and scholarship program for kids attending in-state colleges. This is called the Georgia Hope Program and stands for Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally. To date, over $6.4 billion in funding has helped send over a million and a half Georgia high school graduates to colleges, universities and technical schools.
This is a special opportunity for residents of Georgia if they are planning to stay in state to attend school on top of all other financial aid opportunity available nationally. And the money is available through a variety of grant and scholarship programs, not just helping the state’s best and brightest but also giving opportunity to every Georgian looking to earn an education. It offers both need-based grants and merit-based scholarships under the Hope Program.
To apply for any of these grants or scholarships, contact the financial aid office of the school you plan to attend. You can apply for Hope funding through the normal financial aid process by filling out a FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you are only interested in applying for Hope funding, you can do so by filling out the GSFAPPS state financial aid form instead.
Georgia Hope Grant
To receive a Hope grant, you do not have to have finished high school with any specific GPA, but you must maintain a 3.0 GPA while in college to continue to receive annual funding. The amount received under the program depends on which school you attend and whether you pursue school as a full-time or part-time student.
Georgia Hope GED Grant
This grant is a one time $500 award for students who only received a GED but plan to attend a school in the Technical College System of Georgia. You must use your Hope GED Grant within 2 years of earning your GED. Funding can be used to pay for tuition, books or any other educational cost.
Georgia Hope Scholarship
Hope Scholarships are available to students who finish high school with a 3.0 GPA or higher. They must maintain a 3.0 GPA while in college to receive annual funding. The scholarship will pay 90% of the cost of tuition at the school you choose to attend and is open to full and part-time students.
Zell Miller Scholarship
Zell Miller Scholars must finish high school with a 3.7 GPA or higher and score 1200 on the SAT or 26 on the ACT to receive this scholarship. To continue to receive funding throughout college, they must maintain a 3.3 GPA. The scholarship will pay 100% of the cost of tuition at the school you choose to attend.
All four programs share the same basic eligibility requirements. To receive any Hope grant or scholarship, you must:
- Meet U.S. citizenship or non-citizen requirements
- Be a legal resident of Georgia
- Meet enrollment requirements
- Register with Selective Service
- Meet academic standards
- Be in good standing with student loan and financial aid
- Be drug free
- Not exceed the maximum award limit
If you are planning to attend school, remember to look into all student grant and loan programs offered by the federal government. Take a minute to check out our article on federal student grants to find out about the Pell Grant and other financial aid offered to students by the U.S. Department of Education.