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What should I know about scholarships and grants in Georgia?

Authored By: GeorgiaLegalAid.org

Scholarships and grants for Georgia students

What should I know? +

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What are scholarships and grants?

Scholarships and grants are money given to you by an organization or person to help you pay for college or career school. In most cases, this money does not have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, or based on your financial need. Scholarships are merit-based, or based on things you have done.

 

There are thousands of scholarships and grants available.They can come from:

  • The federal or state government,

  • Your college or career school,

  • A private organization,

  • An individual or foundation. 

 

This article only includes information on federal and Georgia state grants and scholarships. There are so many more out there for every type of student. Ask your school for resources to help you with your search.

 

Scholarship and grant applications are free

A real scholarship program will not ask you to pay a fee to apply.

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What grants are offered by the Federal government?

The U.S. Department of Education offers four types of grants to students attending colleges or career schools.

  • Federal Pell Grants. Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need.

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG). These grants are awarded by participating schools. They are given to students who have the most financial need.

  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grants (TEACH). This is for students enrolled in teaching programs for elementary and secondary schools. To get the grant you must:

    • Agree to teach in a high-need field in a low-income school,

    • Meet certain academic requirements,

    • Complete TEACH counseling each year you get the grant.

  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants. You might be eligible for this grant if:

    • Your family income is too high for a Pell Grant,

    • Your parent or guardian was:

      • a member of the U.S. armed forces and 

      • died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, and

    • You were under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death.

 

Do I have to repay a federal grant?

You do not have to repay your federal grant unless:

  • You withdraw early from a program that the grant is paying for,

  • You switch from full to part-time and your grant amount is reduced,

  • You get outside scholarships or grants that change your financial need,

  • For a TEACH Grant, you do not meet the requirements

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What scholarships and grants are offered by the State of Georgia?

The state of Georgia offers various grants and scholarships for students who want to attend a college or university in Georgia. These include: 

  • Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) is the biggest financial assistance program in Georgia. Check the GAFutures website for: 

    • eligibility requirements, 

    • program applications, 

    • award amounts, 

    • participating institutions and 

    • other program-specific information. 

 

    • HOPE includes six different aid programs:

      • HOPE Scholarship is a merit based scholarship. HOPE gives money towards the cost of tuition at some public and private Georgia postsecondary institutions.

      • Zell Miller Scholarship is a merit based scholarship that gives:

        • full tuition at a public postsecondary institution and

        • tuition help at an eligible private postsecondary institution.

      • HOPE Grant: grant for Georgia students. It helps with tuition for students enrolled in some Georgia colleges or universities.

      • Zell Miller Grant: merit-based grant for student in a certificate or diploma program.

      • HOPE Career Grant:grant for Georgia residents who are:

        • receiving the HOPE or Zell Miller Grant and

        • are enrolled in specific career fields, including automotive, aviation, computer technology and construction.

      • HOPE GED Grant: grant for students who earned a GED. It can be used for tuition, books or other educational costs at an eligible postsecondary institution.

  • Dual Enrollment: funding for eligible high school and home study students who want to take college courses to earn high school and college credit.

  • Helping Educate Reservists and their Offspring (HERO) Scholarship: Financial assistance for college for: 

    • Georgia National Guard, and

    • United States Military Reservists who were deployed to a combat zone, and

    • Their spouses and dependent children.

  • Public Safety Memorial Grant: grants for children of Georgia Public Safety Officers who were disabled or killed in the line of duty. Funds may be used towards the cost of attendance at eligible colleges, universities, or technical colleges in Georgia.

  • Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Scholarship: needs-based mentoring and scholarship program. Low-income, academically promising 7th graders get mentoring through high-school. If they complete the program, they receive a scholarship for an eligible Georgia college, university, or technical college.

 

Visit the Georgia Futures website for a full list of state aid programs.

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What are my rights and responsibilities with college scholarships?

For federal and state grants, you have a right to receive the grant as long as:

  • You meet the eligibility requirements,

  • You follow the application instructions and deadlines. 

    • To be eligible for many scholarships, you must fill out the FAFSA by a certain date. 

    • To be eligible for FAFSA aid, males over the age of 18 must register for the draft.

    • Some private schools require an additional form called the CSS.,

  • Funds are available to distribute.

 

The government cannot distribute these scholarships or grants in a discriminatory manner.

 

You are responsible for: 

  • Applying for any scholarship or grant you wish to receive. 

  • Understanding the requirements for any particular grant or scholarship and what you need to do to remain eligible. 

    • For some grants, if you drop out of school or cut your hours, you may be responsible for repaying the money you received.

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What can I do? +

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How can I apply for federal grants?

You can apply for federal grants by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your school will determine whether you are eligible for any of the grants. You must fill out a FAFSA form every year to remain eligible for federal student aid. 

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 How can I apply for Georgia state scholarships and grants?

The application procedure for Georgia state scholarships and grants varies depending on the type of aid you are applying for. Check the Georgia Futures website to learn more about the application process.

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Resources

Last Review and Update: Jan 14, 2020