April Maguire 3 min read Financial Aid, Scholarships

Complete Guide to the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships

Do you know how to improve your profile for college applications?

See how your profile ranks among thousands of other students using CollegeVine. Calculate your chances at your dream schools and learn what areas you need to improve right now — it only takes 3 minutes and it's 100% free.

Georgia residents have an opportunity to earn merit-based college funding through the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship Programs. Created in 1993, these programs were designed to assist with tuition costs at eligible post-secondary schools across the state. The amount a student receives depends on the institution in question.

 

To qualify for both of these prestigious awards, students need to show a certain level of academic achievement. Currently, HOPE recipients receive $5,000 for their first year of school and $2,500 for their second year. Zell Miller awards generally cover the standard undergraduate tuition cost, but may vary based on the school type and specific enrollment hours.

 

Who is Eligible for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships?

 

To be eligible for these programs, students must meet certain requirements. If you want to apply for the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship, you must be:

 

  • A U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • A legal resident of Georgia who meets enrollment requirements
  • Compliant with the Selective Service registration requirements and Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990
  • In good standing with financial aid organizations and within the award limits of the HOPE program

 

The requirements for the HOPE Scholarship differ from those of the Zell Miller fund. For the HOPE scholarship, students need to earn a degree from a HOPE-eligible high school or receive a degree through petition of the school board with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. If you graduated from an ineligible school, you can still qualify for the scholarship, provided that you complete a home study program in Georgia or take the GED and score in the 75th percentile on standardized testing. Other options for graduates from ineligible schools include earning a 3.0 postsecondary grade point average after attempting 30 semester hours.

 

Additionally, eligible students must complete a certain number of academically rigorous courses during high school and be enrolled at a HOPE-eligible college or university. For students graduating after 2017, you will need four academic credits from the classes in the link.

 

The Zell Miller Scholarship requires students to meet all of the above HOPE Scholarship requirements. However, recipients must also meet one of the following additional conditions: 

 

  • Graduate as a valedictorian or salutatorian from an eligible high school
  • Graduate high school or receive a diploma with a minimum GPA of 3.7 and a combined SAT score of 1200
  • Complete a home study program and score in the 93rd percentile of higher on the SAT
  • Graduate from an ineligible school with a minimum SAT score of 1200 and complete 30 semester hours of college degree-level classes

 

Note that HOPE Scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to keep receiving the award. Zell Miller Scholarship recipients need to maintain a 3.3 GPA.

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

How to Apply for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships 

 

Below is information on how to apply for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships. Note that the deadline for both awards is the last day of the school term, or the student’s individual withdrawal date, whichever occurs sooner. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible; the earlier students apply for the HOPE awards, the faster funds will be disbursed to your school.

 

If you want to apply for the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship, you will need to complete the following steps:

 

  • Fill out and submit the FAFSA or Georgia Student Finance Application (GSFAPPS) each year 
  • Meet your college’s specific application requirements on time.

 

Want to improve your college admissions profile? At CollegeVine, we let students calculate their chances of getting into hundreds of schools across the U.S. Use our free, data-driven chancing engine to assess your odds and then take the steps needed to become a more competitive applicant. To learn more, sign up for your free CollegeVine account.

Want more college admissions tips?

We'll send you information to help you throughout the college admissions process.


April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.