Why do you need Georgia scholarships? The average Georgia college graduate ends up with $27,657 in student debt, according to the Institute for College Access & Success, and that can take a big bite out of your monthly income once you’re out of school. (Play around with our student loan payment calculator to see how much of a bite.)
Fortunately, there are many scholarships available exclusively for Peach State students, and we’ve listed some of the best ones below — along with tips for finding others.
Resources for finding scholarships in Georgia
There are numerous places to find free money for college if you know where to look. For students going to school in Georgia, resources include:
- The school you’ll be attending: Academic institutions throughout Georgia help students find financial aid, including scholarships and grants. For example, an entire section of Georgia State University’s website is devoted to these awards. You can use the school’s searchable scholarship database to find options for entering students, returning undergrads, and grad students.
- Community groups and organizations: If you or your family members are part of a union, community group, or church in Georgia, you might be eligible for scholarships for members or their children. One option is the Coleman, Chambers & Rogers LLP Scholarship Fund, which members of the Hall County Board of Realtors and their families can apply for. This scholarship, along with many others open to Georgia residents, is administered by the North Georgia Community Foundation.
- Government programs: The Georgia Student Finance Commission provides details on scholarships and grants administered by the state for Georgia students. Options include the Georgia Military College State Service Scholarship Loan Program and the Scholarship for Engineering Education for Minorities, which is a service-cancelable loan. You receive a reduction in the loan balance if you work in Georgia in an engineering-related field for a designated period of time.
- Online scholarship searches: You can use online sites to find scholarships for Georgia students. Some resources include the North Georgia Community Foundation, the Georgia Student Finance Commission, Scholarships.com, and Unigo.
The more Georgia scholarships you apply for, the more likely it is you’ll be able to get help paying for school. Don’t hesitate to apply for small scholarships, as there might be less competition, and any little bit helps.
Georgia scholarships you might want to apply for
Because there are so many Georgia scholarships available, you’ll want to research all your options. However, we also found a couple of great scholarships you’ll probably want to look at.
Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) Scholarship
- Are a Georgia resident
- Graduate from an eligible high school with a 3.0 GPA or higher (as calculated by GSFC)
- Maintain a 3.0 postsecondary GPA or higher
- Meet specific academic rigor requirements
To apply, complete the Georgia Student Finance Application (GSFAPPS) and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must file a FAFSA each academic year to be considered for funding, but you need to complete the GSFAPPS only once.
The school you attend determines your eligibility and might request additional documentation. Funding awards vary. You can find out how your HOPE Scholarship award will be calculated by creating an account at GAfutures.
Zell Miller Scholarship
The merit-based Zell Miller Scholarship pays up to 100% of tuition at public postsecondary institutions in Georgia and provides tuition assistance at eligible private institutions. You could qualify for this scholarship if you:
- Are a Georgia resident
- Graduate from an eligible high school as valedictorian or salutatorian while meeting the HOPE Scholarship requirements or graduate from an eligible high school with a 3.7 GPA or higher (as calculated by GSFC) and a combined score of 1200 or higher on the math and reading portions of the SAT or a score of 26 or higher on the ACT
- Meet specific academic rigor requirements
The award amount depends on your academic institution. To apply, you’ll need to complete a FAFSA each academic year and the GSFAPPS one time. Schools might request additional documentation for this scholarship, and you can find out more about eligibility at GAfutures.
Tips and tricks for paying for college in Georgia
It’s a good idea to rely on scholarship money first when paying for college since you don’t have to repay it. The same is true of grants, which are usually need-based rather than merit-based and which Georgia also has a lot of. Most people prefer to spend savings only after exhausting scholarship funding and then apply for federal and private student loans.
The more free money you can find, the less you need to borrow and the easier it will be to repay your student debt. Still, many students in Georgia do go into debt to fund their education, so you’re not alone if you need loans.
By applying for as many scholarships as possible and understanding the student loans you take out, you’ll be in the best position to ensure getting your education is as affordable as possible.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2019!
|1 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
2 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 2/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 Important Disclosures for Discover.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|4.26% – 13.26%1||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.20% – 11.44%2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.84% – 13.49%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.62% – 11.47%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.38% – 13.38%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.85% – 6.99%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.95% – 9.81%7||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.47% – 12.34%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|