Scholarships & Financial Aid

Scholarships & Financial Aid


A student’s HOPE GPA (or Core GPA) disregards most elective courses and only focuses on core academic courses between 9th and 12th grade. The requirements for the HOPE & Zell Miller Scholarships reference the HOPE GPA, not to be confused with a student’s overall/cumulative GPA. The following requirements must be met by high school graduation in order to be eligible for the first year of college. 

  • HOPE
      • 3.0 HOPE GPA and 4 “rigor” courses
      • Covers a portion of tuition (traditionally about 85% at in-state public schools)
  • Zell Miller
    • 3.7 HOPE GPA, 4 “rigor” courses, and scoring either a 1200 SAT or 26 ACT
    • Covers full tuition at in-state public schools

Students can check their HOPE GPA on GAfutures by logging into or creating an account. As long as the student’s last name, SSN, and DOB is included on their GAfutures profile, they will be able to view their HOPE GPA report after finishing 9th grade. 

All graduates must have 4 courses deemed by the state as “rigorous.” (see Rigor Course List)

Applying for HOPE or Zell Miller

Applying for HOPE or Zell Miller can be done in one of 2 ways

  • By completing the FAFSA (to be completed again each year through college) OR
  • By completing the GSFAPP (one time completion)
Rigor Course List

By graduation, students need to have completed 4 rigorous courses to qualify for HOPE/Zell Miller (in addition to the other requirements):

  • AP English Language
  • AP English Literature
  • Algebra II
  • Precalculus / AP Precalculus
  • Calculus / AP Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • AP Biology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Forensics (if offered for a full credit)
  • AP World History
  • AP US History
  • AP Seminar
  • AP Research
  • Spanish II, III, AP
  • Latin II, III, AP
  • Dual Enrollment courses

*In general, any and all AP and Dual Enrollment courses count as rigor credits*


Scholarship Spreadsheet – links to various local, statewide, and national scholarship opportunities

Going Merry – Scholarship search database website. Students are able to build their profile and get matched with scholarships that they are eligible for. Students can apply directly to many scholarships using information that is already on their profile. 

Big Future / College Board – Since students likely already have a college board account from taking the SAT, they can also utilize college board’s scholarship search engine. 

GAfutures – Scholarship Search – Since students should already have a GAfutures account, they can also utilize GAfuture’s scholarship search engine. 

While there are many scholarship search websites on the internet, all of the reputable scholarship sites are always free. Never sign up for a website that charges a fee to help you find scholarships–they are scams.


Financial Aid 101 Presentation – introduces types of financial aid, federal and state programs, HOPE, and FAFSA

Student Guide to Federal Aid

Senior Year Financial Aid Calendar

Financial Aid Estimator – allows you to get an estimate of how much federal aid you will qualify for before filing the FAFSA

20 Financial Aid Questions to ask Colleges/Universities

Student Loan Ranger – a series of articles about finding and repaying student loans from ‘US News and World Reports’

What if your Financial Aid offer is not enough?

6 Signs you are thinking about college funding the wrong way