The HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships
The HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships are available to qualifying Georgia residents who demonstrate academic achievement. The information provided here is only highlights of the Program Regulations, so please visit www.gafutures.org for complete information.
You can apply for HOPE and the Zell Miller Scholarship in two ways:
- Complete the Georgia Scholarship/Grant Application (GSFAPPS) at gafutures.org. This application only has to be completed once and it remains active for seven years; or
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year.
We recommend that all students complete the GSFAPPS even if they are completing the FAFSA so there is always an application on file.
You must have an application on file by the last day of the semester to receive the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship for that semester.
If you are attending another HOPE eligible institution as a transient student, please see the OSFA web page at https://osfa.uga.edu/forms/ for more information on how to receive HOPE or the Zell Miller Scholarship at the other school.
The Zell Miller Scholarship pays the standard undergraduate tuition rate. The initial HOPE Scholarship award amount assumes the maximum amount for which you are eligible each semester. The HOPE award amount will be reduced if you enroll in fewer than 15 hours. HOPE award amounts cannot be increased if you enroll in more than 15 hours. The HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship award amounts cannot exceed your total tuition charges for the semester.
UGA charges a flat rate tuition to undergraduate students. This means that regardless of the number of hours you take each semester, you are charged the same amount if you are enrolled in 1-6 hours and the same amount if you are enrolled in 7 hours or more. That amount does not change if you add or drop courses unless you cross the 6-7 hour threshold. However because the HOPE Scholarship pays per credit hour, the amount of HOPE you can receive does change if you change your schedule. While going through drop/add, if you drop classes you may owe money for tuition after your HOPE amount is changed.
Example: Malik is awarded the HOPE Scholarship. He is enrolled in 15 hours and is assessed $4,895 in tuition. HOPE Scholarship pays the 15 hour rate of $3,840, leaving him with a balance of $1,055 which he pays by the tuition and fee deadline. During the drop/add period, he drops a class and is now enrolled in 12 hours. His flat rate tuition charge remains at $4,895 but he is now only eligible for $3,072 which is the 12 hour amount of the HOPE Scholarship. He will now be assessed $768 to cover the amount of tuition that is not being covered by HOPE.
|Hours Enrolled||2021 HOPE Award Amount|
Basic HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship Eligibility Requirements:
- You must be a resident of Georgia.
- You must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen to receive funding.
- You must be in a degree seeking program.
- You must be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.
- You must not be in default or owe repayment on any federal or state aid.
- Male students must be registered for Selective Service if required.
- You must be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990.
- Once you earn your first Bachelor’s degree you are no longer eligible for the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarships. Click here for more information.
- Initial eligibility for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships is determined by the Georgia Student Finance Commission.
Residency for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships
To meet residency requirements for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships, you must be a resident of Georgia at the time of high school graduation. Students who are not Georgia residents when they graduate high school will not meet residency requirements for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships until 24 months after they establish domicile in Georgia. If that date falls after the start of a semester, the student will not meet residency requirements for the scholarships until the following semester.
Example: Frank graduated from a high school in Texas. His father’s company transferred him to Georgia so the entire family moves to Georgia and establishes domicile on September 2, 2018. Frank is granted in-state residency for tuition purposes by UGA, but he will not meet residency requirements for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships until September 2, 2020 which is 24 months after the date he established domicile. Since that date is after the start of Fall semester, we would not be able to determine his eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship until the following semester, Spring 2021.
HOPE Scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.00 HOPE GPA. Zell Miller Scholarship Recipients must maintain a 3.30 Zell Miller Scholarship GPA.
If you are otherwise eligible, you can continue to receive the scholarship through 127 HOPE Attempted or Paid hours, whichever comes first.
OSFA checks a student’s HOPE GPA at 30, 60, and 90 attempted hours, as well as every Spring semester. While you can lose HOPE at the Spring semester checkpoint, you can only regain eligibility at the 30, 60, and 90 attempted hours benchmarks.
A HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship recipient who has lost their Scholarship eligibility at two checkpoints cannot regain eligibility.
So what counts in your HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship Attempted Hours and GPA?
|Counts in Attempted Hours and GPA||Does NOT count in Attempted Hours and GPA|
All hours attempted after high school graduation while in a degree program at a postsecondary institution, including hours taken at out-of-state and foreign schools
|Hours taken while in high school such as AP, Joint Enrollment, IB, and Dual Enrollment|
|Hours taken at prior institutions, even if UGA does not accept the credit and even if HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship did not pay for the courses||Continuing education courses|
|Courses taken while enrolled in a certificate program if they were ever accepted by any postsecondary institution||Courses taken while enrolled in a certificate program if they were never accepted by any postsecondary institution|
|Hours from which you withdraw||Hours that you drop during the drop/add period|
|Courses you repeat, no matter how many times you attempt them.||Learning support classes taken after Fall 2011|
|Credits earned through military service if they were ever accepted by any postsecondary institution||Credits earned through military service if they were never accepted by any postsecondary institution|
|Hours that you attempted that were not paid for by HOPE or the Zell Miller Scholarship||Grades earned through tests, examinations, and course challenges|
|Credits from internships||Credits from Co-Op Programs|
Some things to remember about your HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship GPA:
- UGA grades on a +/- grading scale but the plusses and minuses do not count in your HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship GPA.
- Effective Fall 2017, when calculating the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship postsecondary
GPA, an additional weight of 0.5 will be added to grades of B, C, and D for approved
degree level science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses taken at an
eligible postsecondary institution Fall 2017 or later. You can find a link to the
list of approved courses on the STEM Weighted Course Directory. This list changes annually, so be sure to look at the information for the correct
Grade Changes and Transfer Credit
The UGA Office of Student Financial Aid will award your HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship based on the information on file at the time of awarding. If OSFA receives additional information such as new transcripts from other schools or grade changes at UGA that change your eligibility at any time you will be required to repay any HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship funds you were awarded that you are no longer eligible for.
It is your responsibility to ensure UGA has all of your transcripts in a timely manner.
Example: Lacy attends UGA for two years and has the following attempted hours and GPA:
|Fall 2018||15 hours attempted||3.00 HOPE GPA|
|Spring 2019||12 hours attempted||3.00 HOPE GPA|
|Fall 2019||15 hours attempted||3.00 HOPE GPA* 30 hour benchmark|
|Spring 2020||13 hours attempted||3.00 HOPE GPA|
Lacy forgets to send her Summer 2019 transcripts from another school to UGA and she finally does so after Spring 2020. OSFA is required to recalculate her GPA and adjust her HOPE award to what it should have been if her transcripts were received in a timely manner
|Fall 2018||15 hours attempted||3.00 HOPE GPA|
|Spring 2019||12 hours attempted||3.00 HOPE GPA|
|Summer 2019||4 hours attempted||2.97 HOPE GPA *30 hour benchmark|
|Fall 2019||15 hours attempted||2.97 HOPE GPA|
|Spring 2020||13 hours attempted||2.97 HOPE GPA|
Because of the additional transcripts received, Lacy’s 30 hour benchmark moved and she no longer has the required 3.00 HOPE Scholarship GPA. She must now repay the HOPE Scholarship funds she received for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 because she is not eligible.
STEM Courses and the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships
Effective Fall 2017, when calculating the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship postsecondary GPA, an additional weight of 0.5 will be added to grades of B, C, and D for approved degree level science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses taken at an eligible postsecondary institution Fall 2017 or later. Please visit STEM Courses and the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships for more information and for a link to the list of courses approved to receive the additional weight.
Second Degrees, Double Majors, and Dual Degrees – Double Dawgs
Eligibility for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships ends once the student meets the requirements to graduate from the first undergraduate degree program. More information on Second Degrees, Double Majors, and Dual Degrees – Double Dawgs can be found here.
Expiration Date for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships
Eligibility for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships expires 10 years after the student’s high school graduation date for students who receive their first disbursement of the scholarship Summer semester 2019 or later.
Eligibility for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships expires 7 years after the student’s high school graduation date for students who received their first disbursement of the scholarship Summer semester 2011 through Spring semester 2019.
Eligibility for students who received their first disbursement of the HOPE Scholarship Spring semester 2011 or earlier does not expire.