HOPE stands for ‘helping outstanding pupils educationally’. It is a merit based University scholarship created in 1993 by the Georgia legislature. It is administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) and is funded entirely by the revenue from the state lottery. The scholarship is available after graduation from high school and can be used at public technical colleges and eligible public private colleges and Universities in Georgia. The objective of this article is to highlight the HOPE scholarship application process and to provide information about some tips and tricks.
The very first thing that the applicant must do is to fill out the FAFSA form or the HOPE scholarship and grant application. This must be done each year. Students who are planning to attend a private college or university must also fill out the HOPE/TEG application. An online application form is also available. The high school senior students send their admission application to the colleges as early as September and the HOPE application form must be submitted as early as January of the senior year. Eligibility checks for GSFC and FAFSA must also be completed by the same time. The students must submit their final transcripts by June. The colleges then verify and final the eligibility of the candidates by July or later. Funds are released to GSFC as early as 15 days prior to first day of classes. HOPE funds are transferred to colleges and universities by the GSFC two days after.
Eligibility criteria include:
- Residence in the state of Georgia.
- Graduation from school with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
- Maintaining a 3.0 GPA throughout college.
The students must also be aware of a few other things about the scholarship. This is a merit based scholarship which means that the students will be eligible regardless of financial need. The scholarship provides a $150 book allowance per semester and pays the full tuition fee. As stated earlier, all HOPE scholarship recipients must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 at the end of every spring term to continue their eligibility. An exception to this are the freshmen enrolled for fewer than 12 credit hours. The candidate must not hold a default status or owe a refund to any scholarship, grant or loan to the state of Georgia or elsewhere. Further information can be acquired from the HOPE scholarship website https://secure.gacollege411.org. Furthermore, the website of the Georgia Student Finance Commission www.gsfc.org can also be visited.