Do I have to be admitted to Georgia College before I apply for the Zell Miller Scholarship?
No. Prospective students may apply for Zell Miller by completing the GSFApps one time or by completing the FAFSA after October 1st each year. However, we will not actually review your application until you are admitted to Georgia College. Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility will be determined after high school graduation when high schools report final GPAs to the HOPE Office.
Do I have to complete an application to receive my Zell Miller Scholarship every year?
This depends on the application you choose to complete. If you are ONLY interested in receiving the Zell Miller Scholarship, you may complete the GSFApps at www.GAfutures.org. This is a one-time application so there is no need to reapply each year. If you complete the GSFApps after your freshman year, please contact our office to ensure we have been successful in accessing your application.
If you are interested in other types of financial aid (i.e., PELL Grant and Stafford Loans) in addition to the Zell Miller Scholarship, you must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.FAFSA.gov after October 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 Zell Miller 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.
I am considered out-of-state for tuition purposes. Will I ever qualify for the Zell Miller Scholarship?
In addition to qualifying for the Zell Miller Scholarship at the time of your high school graduation, you must also 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 Zell Miller 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 frame required to establish residency is 24 consecutive months instead of 12 months. Our office can help you to calculate the term you may be eligible to receive the Zell Miller Scholarship.
What does my Zell Miller Scholarship pay for?
Zell Miller Scholarship pays 100% of standard tuition but does not cover any costs associated with housing, dining, mandatory fees, or book expenses. Eligibility is limited to 127 attempted or paid hours, or the first bachelor's degree - whichever occurs first.
Does my Zell Miller Scholarship pay for classes that I am auditing?
No. Zell Miller Scholarship does not pay for audit classes nor do the hours count in any of the Zell Miller Scholarship calculations to determine your eligibility.
Does Zell Miller Scholarship pay for Summer classes?
Yes, as long as you have maintained your Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility after Spring checkpoint. After you register for summer classes, our office will review you for summer aid eligibility.
I am a freshman, how do I qualify to receive the Zell Miller Scholarship?
As an incoming freshman, the Georgia College Financial Aid Office does not determine your Zell Miller GPA or eligibility; the HOPE office does. Your high school guidance counselor sends your final high school transcript to The Georgia Student Finance Commission, also known as the HOPE Office. They review your transcript data and determine if you have the required 3.7 GPA (un-weighted) for all academic (core) classes, have completed necessary rigor course requirements, and meet the test score requirements. Once our office has your application on file, we will retrieve your Zell Miller eligibility information from the HOPE Office.
How many hours do I have to enroll in order to receive my Zell Miller Scholarship each semester?
There is no minimum number of hours required to receive the Zell Miller Scholarship at Georgia College since we are a public university but you are limited to receiving Zell Miller for a maximum of 15 hours per semester. Please refer to the “What does my Zell Miller Scholarship pay for?” answer for details on what Zell Miller Scholarship pays.
What are Zell Miller Scholarship 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 Zell Miller Scholarship GPA checked at your "Tier Checkpoints" as well as the maximum time limit to receive your Zell Miller Scholarship. Your Attempted-Hours for Zell Miller 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 Zell Miller 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.
When will my GPA be checked in order to continue receiving the Zell Miller 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 3.3 Zell Miller Scholarship 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 Zell Miller Scholarship GPA must be at least a 3.3 in order to renew your scholarship. If you do not maintain the minimum GPA requirement, you will not be eligible for the Zell Miller 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 Zell Miller Scholarship. Beginning Fall term 2011, a student can lose and regain Zell Miller Scholarship ONLY ONE time.
Is my Zell Miller Scholarship GPA the same as my Georgia College Cumulative GPA?
These GPAs could be the same or could be different. Your Zell Miller Scholarship 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 by the Zell Miller Scholarship). 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 Zell Miller Scholarship 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 Zell Miller Scholarship GPA calculation; however, when a grade is assigned, your Zell Miller Scholarship GPA will be re-calculated and your eligibility will be retroactive according to the outcome.
How will STEM courses affect my Zell Miller Scholarship GPA?
The STEM Weighted Course Directory located on www.GAfutures.org lists the STEM courses that have been approved for weighting for Zell Miller Scholarship recipients. When a student's Zell Miller Scholarship GPA is calculated, an additional weight of 0.5 will be applied for grades B, C, and D in these eligible courses.
How do I view my Zell Miller Scholarship GPA?
The My College HOPE Profile feature on GAfutures allows you to check your academic eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship. Your My College HOPE Profile can be accessed through your GAfutures account at gafutures.org.
If you are currently NOT receiving Zell Miller Scholarship and are interested in having your GPA calculated, you may contact our office at 478-445-5149.
How long can I receive my Zell Miller Scholarship?
The Zell Miller Scholarship 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 Zell Miller 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 Zell Miller Scholarship payment will pay for the remaining 7 hours of eligibility.
What is Zell Miller Scholarship Paid-Hours limit?
In addition to the Attempted-Hours limit, there is also a Paid-Hours limit to receive your Zell Miller 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 Zell Miller 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 Zell Miller 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.
I am going to take a course(s) as a transient student. Can I receive my Zell Miller Scholarship?
Yes, if the institution that you are attending is a Zell Miller Scholarship-eligible, Georgia institution AND if you are Zell Miller Scholarship eligible, you may receive Zell Miller 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 the Zell Miller Scholarship. The Zell Miller Scholarship award amount will be based on the host institution’s approved rate. If grades for the current term need to be reviewed in order to confirm your Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility, we will notify you by your university email that your eligibility needs further review. You are required to pay all costs up front and be reimbursed your Zell Miller Scholarship if your Zell Miller Scholarship is not awarded to you prior to the host institution’s payment deadline. In order to have your eligibility sent to your host institution, you will need to complete the transient survey located in your PAWS account. Instructions for the transient survey will be emailed to you after a transient form has been submitted to the GC Registrar’s Office.
Do my transfer or transient hours count in my Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility?
Yes. Your transfer or transient institution will need to send Georgia College an official transcript. Zell Miller Scholarship 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 Zell Miller Scholarship GPA and hours calculations. You are responsible for requesting that your host institution send an official transcript to GC. Failure to do so in a timely manner could result in an inadvertent over award of the Zell Miller Scholarship which would require immediate repayment.
If I drop a class how will it affect my Zell Miller Scholarship?
Withdrawing from a class affects your Zell Miller 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 Zell Miller Scholarship Attempted – or Paid-Hours, and the Zell Miller Scholarship funds are simply taken off your account. If you withdraw from a class after the drop/add period, those hours are counted as Zell Miller Scholarship Attempted – and Paid–Hours, and you do not have to “pay back” any of your Zell Miller Scholarship funds. If you withdraw from ALL of your classes any time after classes begin, the hours are counted as Attempted – and Paid-Hours, and you do not have to “pay back” earned Zell Miller Scholarship funds. Please check to see if you owe a balance, if adjustments are made.
Can I decline the Zell Miller Scholarship for a semester to save my eligibility?
No. 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 Zell Miller Scholarship payments. Students cannot save eligibility because the hours taken during that term will still count towards the 127 Attempted-Hours limit.
If I didn’t qualify for the Zell Miller Scholarship out of high school, can I ever be eligible to receive the Zell Miller Scholarship?
No. Eligibility for the Zell Miller Scholarship is determined at the time of your high school graduation. If you did not meet the requirements for Zell Miller at your high school graduation there is not another opportunity to earn Zell Miller Scholarship.
If I am not currently awarded Zell Miller Scholarship, but I think I am eligible, what do I need to do?
You need to contact our office prior to the last day of the semester in which you are seeking Zell Miller Scholarship. Our office makes every effort to identify possible candidates based on academic history, but it is the student’s responsibility to initiate a review of their eligibility prior to the end of the semester he/she is seeking payment if he/she have not been awarded these funds. This policy is necessary due to imposed state-mandated deadlines for universities to finalize reconciliation of all payments.
Can I file an appeal to receive my Zell Miller 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 of HOPE Scholarship from Georgia College. Address this appeal to:
Georgia Student Finance Commission
2082 East Exchange Place
Tucker, GA 30084
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our office at 478-445-5149 or firstname.lastname@example.org.