Georgia Grants and Scholarships for College — Best Options and How to Apply

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Are you a Georgia resident looking to finance your higher education costs? The good news is that, along with loans, there are plenty of Georgia grants and scholarships available. The great thing about both is that unlike with loans, you never have to pay back the money you receive.

Below, you’ll find information on several top Georgia grants and scholarships for college.

Georgia grants and scholarships for college
Other federal grants available
To get Georgia college grants, act now

How to get Georgia grants

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in determining how much money you’ll receive for college. If you’re a dependent student, get your parents to help you fill it out. You’ll need a few things to qualify for aid, such as having (or being on your way to getting) a high school diploma and being a U.S. citizen.

After your FAFSA is completed, you’ll get an award letter detailing your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), or how much you and your family are expected to pay out of pocket for your schooling. The letter will also include how much money you’ll be getting from grants, scholarships and loans.

For some state-sponsored grants, you’ll need to complete the Georgia Student Finance Commission application.

Georgia grants and scholarships for college

There are many grants and scholarships available to Georgia residents, and some of these require applications outside of the FAFSA. Be sure to check how to apply for each one that you’re interested in.

1. HOPE grants and scholarships
2. Zell Miller Grant
3. Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant Program (GTEG)
4. Public Safety Memorial Grant
5. University of North Georgia ROTC Grant and ROTC Grant for Future Officers
6. Georgia Foundation Scholarship for Agriculture
7. Dual Enrollment

1. HOPE grants and scholarships

One of Georgia’s largest programs is HOPE: Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally. There are a few variations of this, including:

  • HOPE Grant: This is open to anyone and covers partial tuition, as long as you maintain a 2.0 GPA. The amount varies for full-time and part-time recipients.
  • HOPE Career Grant: If you’re eligible for the HOPE Grant, you might also qualify for the HOPE Career Grant. In order to qualify for this grant, you must be enrolled in a specific major aligned with industries that are deemed crucial to Georgia’s growth and that are in need of skilled workers.
  • HOPE GED Grant: This is a one-time $500 award that covers tuition, books or any other related costs for students who earned their GED and are looking to attend an eligible post-secondary school. Full-time school enrollment is not required to receive this grant. The grant must be used within two years of getting your GED.

These grants differ from the HOPE Scholarship, the largest state merit aid program in the country. To be eligible for this award, you must have graduated high school with at least a 3.0 GPA or have scored at least in the 75th percentile on the SAT or ACT if you received a GED.

2. Zell Miller Grant

The Zell Miller Grant is a little more stringent than the HOPE Grant in requirements. Although there is no high school GPA requirement, you must maintain a 3.5 GPA every year throughout college to remain eligible.

You can also apply for the Zell Miller Scholarship, which has higher standards than the HOPE Scholarship. It requires a 3.7 GPA upon high school graduation and at least a 1200 score on the SAT, or a 26 ACT score.

3. Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant Program (GTEG)

The GTEG encourages students to enroll in private colleges and universities in the state. You could get up to $475 a semester to help reduce the higher cost of private colleges. If you’re on track to attend a private college or university, you might qualify for extra money from the GTEG.

4. Public Safety Memorial Grant

If you’re the dependent child of a public safety worker who has died or was disabled in the line of duty, you could be eligible for the Public Safety Memorial Grant. Children of law enforcement officers, EMTs, firefighters, prison guards and correctional officers can qualify. You must be a legal resident of Georgia within 12 months prior to receiving the award.

If awarded, your entire college education could be paid for, up to $18,000 per academic year. This requires a separate application from the FAFSA.

5. University of North Georgia ROTC Grant and ROTC Grant for Future Officers

The University of North Georgia ROTC Grant and ROTC Grant for Future Officers are designed for students enrolled or planning to enroll as a full-time student in the Reserve Officers Training Corps at UNG. If you’re headed to UNG as an ROTC student, you’ll need to apply for this separately from the FAFSA.

6. Georgia Foundation Scholarship for Agriculture

If you are planning to pursue a career in agriculture, the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture offers seven scholarships worth $3,000 and seven worth $1,500 for eligible applicants. You must be majoring in the agriculture and environmental sciences and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

The Foundation also offers scholarships for students pursuing veterinary medicine and a technical school education.

7. Dual Enrollment

If you’re a high school student looking to enroll in college-level courses, you could receive money toward tuition, fees and books through the Dual Enrollment program. Not all colleges take part in this program, so make sure a school is participating before you enroll. This program requires a separate application form from the FAFSA. It’s open to students in public or private schools, or home study programs.

Other federal grants available

When you complete the FAFSA, you’ll be awarded a mix of federal grants, scholarships and loans. These awards are available to students all over the country. Here are some for which you might be eligible.

Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is one of the biggest grants offered in the country. Your award will be based on your financial need and expected family contribution. You’ll need to complete the FAFSA to qualify.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG is administered through the school you’re planning to attend, but you must complete the FAFSA to be eligible. You could receive up to $4,000 per year, depending on financial need. Not all schools participate in this grant, so check with your college’s financial aid office to see if you’re eligible to receive it. Once FSEOG funds run out, no more money can be awarded for the rest of the year. So you should apply as early as possible.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

You could be eligible to receive the TEACH Grant if you complete certain classes and agree to be a teacher under certain conditions. You must also meet academic requirements, which may include maintaining a GPA of at least 3.25 or scoring above the 75th percentile on one or more portions of a college admissions test.

Be sure to understand that although you’ll receive the money as a grant, if you fail to meet the requirements of the award, it’ll be converted into a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that you will have to pay back with interest.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

If a parent or family member has died due to military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11, you might be able to receive an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. If you meet the requirements for a Pell Grant except for the expected family contribution, you may receive this grant instead of the Pell Grant. You can receive the same maximum amount that the Pell Grant awards. You can only get one award or the other, though, not both.

To get Georgia college grants, act now

With the cost of college on the rise, it’s important to take advantage of all the money available to you as soon as you can. Whether it’s federal, state or local grants, explore all your financing options. You can also search for additional scholarship and grant opportunities here.

If you’re still coming up short, consider applying for private student loans to make sure all your bases are covered.

Rebecca Stropoli contributed to this report.

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