Paying For College
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Everyone knows that nowadays, college is outrageously expensive, especially if you are looking out-of-state. That’s why many choose to stay in-state for college. In choosing to stay in-state for college, you may be able to graduate with little or no student loans, courtesy of the different financial aid options offered to in-state students, specifically Georgia residents.
The HOPE Scholarship is available to students who will be enrolling in a degree program. This is awarded to students who have exhibited outstanding academic achievements throughout high school. To qualify, the scholarship requires that you graduate from high school with at least a 3.0 GPA in your core/academic classes and maintain a 3.0 GPA in college. If your college GPA falls below a 3.0, you will lose your scholarship and may only reapply once. While HOPE does provide much financial aid, it only covers a portion of standard college tuition up to 15 credit hours.
The HOPE Grant is available to students who plan to pursue either a certificate or a diploma at a public college in Georgia. Differing from the HOPE Scholarship, students who receive the HOPE Grant are not required to graduate with a certain GPA, but are, however, expected to maintain a 2.0 while in college. The HOPE Grant will cover a portion of standard college tuition up to 25 credit hours. This grant was designed to encourage Georgians to receive technical training to better succeed in the workforce. If you plan on applying to a trade school after high school, then it is strongly encouraged that you apply for the HOPE Grant.
The Zell Miller Scholarship is available to students who are enrolling in a degree program. To meet the requirements, students must graduate with a minimum core GPA of 3.7 and then maintain a 3.3 GPA in college. If their GPA falls below a 3.3 but not a 3.0, they will become eligible for the HOPE Scholarship until they reapply for the Zell Miller Scholarship, but you may only reapply once. In addition to GPA, students are also required to have a combined score of 1200 on the SAT or a composite score of 26 on the ACT. Since the requirements are so drastically different than the HOPE Scholarship, the Zell Miller covers 100% of standard college tuition up to 15 credit hours.
The Zell Miller Grant is available to students who will be earning either a certificate or a diploma at a Georgia college. Similar to the HOPE Grant, students have no minimum GPA requirement when they graduate high school, but are responsible for keeping a 3.5 cumulative GPA each term in college; the financial aid if given after each term. The Zell Grant will cover full standard college tuition up to 15 credit hours.
With these multiple financial aid opportunities available, hopefully all dedicated students will be able to attend college with little to no financial conflicts.