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The HOPE Guide

  

HOPE Scholarship FAQ

• Do I have to be admitted to Georgia College before I apply for the HOPE Scholarship?

• Do I have to complete an application to receive my HOPE Scholarship every year?


• I am considered out-of-state for tuition purposes. Will I ever qualify for the HOPE Scholarship?


• What does my HOPE Scholarship pay for?


• Does my HOPE Scholarship pay for classes that I am auditing?

• Does HOPE Scholarship pay for Summer classes?

• I am a freshman, how do I qualify to receive the HOPE Scholarship?


• How many hours do I have to enroll in order to receive my HOPE Scholarship each semester?


• What are HOPE Attempted-Hours and why is it important for me to understand this?


• When will my GPA be checked in order to continue receiving the HOPE Scholarship?


• Is my HOPE GPA the same as my Georgia College Cumulative GPA?


• How long can I receive my HOPE Scholarship?


• What is HOPE Paid-Hours limit?


• I am going to take a course (s) as a transient student. Can I receive my HOPE Scholarship?


• Do my transfer or transient hours count in my HOPE Scholarship eligibility?


• If I drop a class how will it affect my HOPE Scholarship?


• I do not have HOPE Scholarship now. When can I get it?

• Can I file an appeal to receive my HOPE Scholarship if I do not qualify?

 Do I have to be admitted to Georgia College before I apply for the HOPE Scholarship?

No.  Prospective students may complete either the GSFApps or the FAFSA after January 1st each year prior to completing the application process for admission.  However, we will not actually evaluate your application or HOPE Scholarship eligibility until you are admitted to Georgia College.  (top)


 Do I have to complete an application to receive my HOPE Scholarship every year?

This depends on the application you choose to complete.  If you are ONLY interested in receiving the HOPE Scholarship you may complete the GSFApps at www.GACollege411.org .  This is a one-time application so there is no need to reapply each year.

If you are interested in other types of financial aid (i.e., PELL Grant and Stafford Loans) in addition to the HOPE Scholarship, you must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.FAFSA.gov  after January 1st each year for the upcoming academic year which begins each Fall semester.  Remember that the FAFSA application process must be completed no later than July 1st each year in order to have funds available by the Fall semester payment deadline which is typically in early August.

You may complete both applications and we actually encourage you to do this.  This will allow us to have your HOPE Scholarship available immediately after the Spring semester ends even if you have not completed your FAFSA to apply for other types of federal aid programs.  (top)


I am considered out-of-state for tuition purposes.  Will I ever qualify for the HOPE Scholarship?

Generally, you must meet the residency requirements of the Georgia College Admissions Office. You must be a Georgia resident for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes of the semester you would like to receive the HOPE Scholarship.  In addition, if you graduated from high school on or after July 1, 2008, you must have been a resident of Georgia at the time of your high school graduation.  If you did not meet this requirement, your time limit is 24 consecutive months instead of 12 month requirement.  Our office can help you to calculate the term you may be eligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship.  (top)

What does my HOPE Scholarship pay for?

Effective Fall semester 2011, HOPE Scholarship pays on a “per credit hour enrolled” basis toward tuition charges only.  This rate will change each academic year based on the decision of the Georgia General Assembly.  For the 2011-2012 academic year, Georgia College’s rate per credit hour is $188.52 per credit hour not to exceed the actual cost of tuition only.  Further, the calculation for payment will stop at 15 hours per semester.  It is worth noting that Georgia College does not charge additional tuition for hours in excess of 15 each term.  For example, if you are enrolled in 12 hours your HOPE Scholarship payment will be 12 x $188.52 = $2262.24.  A second example, if you are enrolled in 17 hours your HOPE Scholarship payment will be 15 x $188.52 = $2827.80 since 15 is the maximum calculation limit each term.  Again, there are no additional tuition charges above 15 hours so the costs not covered by HOPE are the same.  HOPE Scholarship will no longer cover any costs associated with mandatory fees or book expenses.  Please refer to the maximum 127 attempted or paid hours questions for reduced payment information.(top)

Does my HOPE Scholarship pay for classes that I am auditing?

No.  HOPE Scholarship does not pay for audit classes nor do the hours count in any of the HOPE calculations to determine your eligibility.  (top)

Does HOPE Scholarship pay for Summer classes?

Yes as long as you have maintained your HOPE eligibility.  However, you will need to complete a short Summer application in PAWS after you register for Summer classes.  Registration typically occurs in March and April.    The summer term consists of Maymester, Summer I, Summer II and Full Summer sessions.  (top)

I am a freshman, how do I qualify to receive the HOPE Scholarship?

The Georgia College Financial Aid Office does not determine your HOPE GPA or eligibility; the HOPE office does.  Your high school guidance counselor sends your final high school transcript information to The Georgia Student Finance Commission, also known as the HOPE Office.  They review your transcript data and determine if you have the required 3.0 GPA (un-weighted) for all academic classes.  Once our office has your application on file, we will retrieve your HOPE GPA information from the HOPE Office.  (top)

How many hours do I have to enroll in order to receive my HOPE Scholarship each semester?

There is no minimum number of hours required to receive the HOPE Scholarship at Georgia College since we are a public university.  Please refer to the “What does my HOPE Scholarship pay for?”  answer for details on what HOPE Scholarship pays.  (top)

 
 
What are HOPE Attempted-Hours and why is it important for me to understand this?

 Attempted-Hours include all classes taken after high school graduation.  All withdrawals, dropped classes, transfer hours, and non-credit courses are counted in Attempted-Hours.  In addition, any Learning Support/Developmental courses taken prior to Fall semester 2011 are included.  It is important to understand because Attempted-Hours are used to determine when you will have your HOPE GPA checked at your "Tier Checkpoints" as well as the maximum time limit to receive your HOPE Scholarship.  Your Attempted-Hours for HOPE Scholarship purposes can very easily be different from what you may see on your PAWS account.  The official record of your Attempted-Hours as well as other HOPE Scholarship calculations will ONLY appear on your on-line Financial Aid Award notification (Bobcat DEN – Detailed Eligibility Notification) within PAWS.  This link appears on the Financial Aid menu on the Student tab. (top)

  When will my GPA be checked in order to continue receiving the HOPE Scholarship?

All students have two (2) different types of "checkpoints".  The first is called the "Spring Checkpoint".  At the end of EVERY Spring semester, you must have a minimum of a 3.0 HOPE GPA in order to continue to receive the scholarship for the next semester.  The second type is your "Tier Checkpoint".    These tiers are reached when you have ATTEMPTED 30, 60 and 90 hours.  It is important that you understand the hours that are included in the definition of "Attempted-Hours".   At the end of the semester that you reach a "Tier Checkpoint", your HOPE GPA must be at least a 3.0 in order to renew your scholarship.  If you do not maintain the minimum GPA requirement, you will not be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship until you reach the next "Tier Checkpoint".  If you do not have the minimum GPA required at your "90-hour Tier Checkpoint", you will no longer qualify for HOPE Scholarship.  Beginning Fall term 2011, a student can lose and regain HOPE Scholarship ONLY ONE time. (top)

Is my HOPE GPA the same as my Georgia College Cumulative GPA?

These GPAs could be the same or could be different.  Your HOPE GPA will count all grades for courses taken after high school graduation.  This includes both grades when retaking a course, grades for non-credit coursework and all transfer grades (even if courses are not accepted at Georgia College or paid for my HOPE).  In addition, any Learning Support/Developmental courses taken prior to Fall semester 2011 are counted if a letter grade is assigned.

Grades that are not counted in your HOPE GPA are S (Satisfactory), U (Unsatisfactory), IP (In Progress), or W (Withdrawn).  Also, grades for courses taken prior to high school graduation such as joint enrollment, CLEP or AP credit are not counted.  If you receive an "I" (Incomplete) in a course, this is temporary.  Initially, the "I" will not be counted in your HOPE GPA calculation; however, when a grade is assigned, your HOPE GPA will be re-calculated and your eligibility will be retroactive according to the outcome(top)


How long can I receive my HOPE Scholarship?

HOPE will pay up to a total of 127 Attempted- or Paid-Hours towards your first undergraduate degree.  All hours for which you received payments from Accel (through Spring 2011), (Accel pays for college classes taken while enrolled in high school), HOPE Grant (Summer 2003 forward), and HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship are included in calculating the total Combined Paid-Hours. Once you reach the 127 Attempted-Hours limit, the 127 Combined Paid- Hours limit, or receive your first undergraduate degree, you will be ineligible to receive further HOPE Scholarship payments.  Effective Fall 2011, this 127 maximum is "firm".  In other words, if you are enrolled for a term in which you reach the maximum hours you will only receive payment for the hours up to 127.  For example, if you are at 120 combined Paid-Hours for Fall 2011 and are enrolled in 12 hours, your HOPE Scholarship payment will pay for the remaining 7 hours of eligibility.  (top)


What is HOPE Paid-Hours limit?

In addition to the Attempted-Hours limit, there is also a Paid-Hours limit to receive your HOPE Scholarship.  All hours that you received payment from your HOPE Scholarship, as well as any hours that you may have been paid from the Zell Miller Scholarship, HOPE Grant (Summer 2003 and forward) and Accel (through Spring 2011), are included in calculating your total combined Paid-Hours.  You are eligible for a combined payment for a maximum of 127 semester hours.  Once you reach either the Attempted-Hours OR Paid-Hours maximum, you will no longer be eligible to receive your HOPE Scholarship.  Effective Fall 2011, this 127 maximum is “firm”.  In other words, if you are enrolled for a term in which you reach this maximum you will only receive payment for the hours up to 127.  For example, if you are at 120 combined Paid-Hours for Fall 2011 and are enrolled in 12 hours, your HOPE Scholarship payment will be for the remaining 7 hours of eligibility.

Note:  Accel pays for college classes taken while enrolled in high school and was funded by the Georgia Lottery through Spring 2011.  Effective Fall 2011, this program still exists but is no longer funded by the lottery.  HOPE Grant is a program that pays for courses taken in non-degree programs (certificate and diploma programs) which are predominately offered at Technical colleges. (top)

  I am going to take a course (s) as a transient student.  Can I receive my HOPE Scholarship?

Yes, if the institution that you are attending is a HOPE-eligible, Georgia institution AND if you are HOPE eligible, you may receive HOPE Scholarship as a transient student.  We will notify the HOPE office that you are attending another institution so that the host institution (the institution where you are taking courses) can award HOPE.  The HOPE Scholarship award amount will be based on the host institution’s approved HOPE rate.  If grades for the current term need to be reviewed in order to confirm your HOPE eligibility, we will notify you by your university email that your eligibility needs further review.  In this case, you may need to pay all costs at the host institution by the host institution’s payment deadline and afterward receive your HOPE Scholarship as a reimbursement once your eligibility has been determined. (top)

Do my transfer or transient hours count in my HOPE Scholarship eligibility?

Yes. Your transfer or transient institution will need to send Georgia College an official transcript.  HOPE Attempted-Hours include all regular coursework attempted after high school graduation, all attempted transfer coursework, withdrawals, and courses dropped after drop/add period ends.  Courses taken as a transient student must be transferred back to Georgia College upon completion and these course grades and hours will be used in your HOPE GPA and hours calculations.(top)

If I drop a class how will it affect my HOPE Scholarship? 

 
Withdrawing from a class affects your HOPE Scholarship “Attempted” and “Paid” Hours, but it depends on when you withdraw.  If you withdraw from a class before the end of the drop/add period (the first 5 days of class), it does not affect your HOPE Attempted – or Paid-Hours, and the HOPE funds are simply taken off your account.  If you withdraw from a class after the drop/add period, those hours are counted as HOPE Attempted – and Paid – Hours, but you do not have to “pay back” any of your HOPE funds.  If you withdraw from ALL of your classes any time after classes begin, the hours are counted as Attempted – and Paid-Hours, but you do not have to “pay back” HOPE funds.  (top)

 I do not have HOPE Scholarship now.  When can I get it?

If you did not graduate from an eligible Georgia High School as a "HOPE Scholar", you may be evaluated by the Georgia College Financial Aid Office once you have attempted 30 semester hours.  This is called your "30-hour Tier Checkpoint".  If you do not meet the minimum requirements at 30 Attempted-Hours, you may be re-evaluated at 60 and 90 Attempted-Hours.  Make sure you understand what hours are counted in your HOPE Attempted-Hours. In addition, students are only eligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship until 7 (seven) years from the date of the student’s high school graduation, home study completion, or successful GED test.  This expiration date will be June 30th of the seventh academic year after either of these.  However, students that served on active duty in the U.S. Military after their date of high school graduation, etc AND before the calculated expiration of eligibility date may request an extension of eligibility based on such active duty service time (application on HOPE website must be submitted to their office).  Please note:  all students that received HOPE Scholarship prior to Fall semester 2011 will have their eligibility expire on June 30, 2015. (top)

 Can I file an appeal to receive my HOPE Scholarship if I do not qualify?

Yes.  All appeals or exceptions must be submitted in writing to Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC), the state agency that administers the HOPE Scholarship program.  GSFC must receive your appeal within 45 days of your denial from Georgia College.  Address this appeal to:
 
 Program Administration
 Georgia Student Finance Commission
 2082 East Exchange Place
 Tucker, GA  30084
  (top)

 If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our office at 478-445-5149 or  financialaid@gcsu.edu

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