State Scholarships and Grants
Students may contact the Georgia Student Finance Authority for further information about these programs at 1-800-505-GSFC(4732). You may also visit their web site at GAFutures.org. Award amounts and eligibility requirements are subject to change each year by the Georgia Legislature.
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Finanical Aid (FAFSA) or the Georgia State Financial Aid Application (GSFAPP) to apply for State Grants and Scholarships.
Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant (GTEG)
The Georiga Tuition Equalization Grant is a $950 grant from the State of Georgia for undergraduate Georgia residents attending private colleges in Georgia. For Georgia Grant purposes, summer 2017 begins the 2017-2018 year. Students may only receive this grant for a total of 127 semester hours. The Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant is not based on need and will reduce other full tuition awards you receive.
ALL qualified students must be enrolled full-time and maintain full-time enrollment status for the entire semester to keep these funds.
Independent students (not claimed on parent’s tax return & demonstrates 100% support) must meet one of the following criteria:
- Must be a Georgia resident for at least 12 months prior to the first day of the semester IF the student graduated from a Georgia high school,
- Military personnel stationed in Georgia or Georgia is their home of record- service member or spouse are considered a resident (We will need a copy of your military orders or pay statement that shows Georgia taxes), OR
- Must be a Georgia resident for at least 24 months prior to the first day of the semester IF the student does not meet the residency requirements at the time of high school graduation.
Dependent students & parent(s) of dependent students (under the age of 24 and parent(s) claimed the student on their federal tax return) must meet one of the following criteria:
- Parent must be a Georgia resident for at least 12 months prior to the first day of the semester AND the student graduated from a Georgia high school,
- If a military parent is stationed in Georgia or Georgia is their home of record (We will need a copy of the parent’s military orders or pay statement that shows Georgia taxes) AND the student graduated from a Georgia high school, OR
- Parent must be a resident for at least 24 months prior to the first day of the term if the student does NOT meet residency requirements at the time of high school graduation.
NOTE: No student shall have gained or acquired Georgia residency, for purposes of State Programs, while attending any postsecondary institution located in the State of Georgia without clear evidence of having established Domicile in the State of Georgia for purposes other than attending a postsecondary institution in Georgia.
Georgia HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Award
For undergraduate Georgia residents only. Qualified students receive $4,056 per academic year for HOPE or $4,480 for Zell. Georgia high school graduates who are named HOPE Scholars by the Georgia Student Finance Authority may receive only one of these scholarships. A cumulative 3.0 GPA is required for renewal and for students who wish to enter the program after 30, 60, or 90 cumulative attempted hours. While enrolled at Mercer, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for HOPE and a cumulative GPA of 3.3 for Zell Miller at Mercer each year (not counting "plus" grades...e.g. B+, C+). Plus grades will be counted as whole letter grades (e.g. B, C, etc.). The FAFSA serves as the student's application for the HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Award for private colleges in Georgia.
HOPE Scholarship recipients at private colleges and universities can attend half-time (at least 6 to 11 semester hours) and receive a HOPE Scholarship of $2,028 per academic year ($1,014 per semester). Zell Miller recipients attending 6 to 11 hours can receive a half-time Zell Miller Award of $2,240 per academic year ($1,120 per semester). Students must be enrolled at least half-time for a period of 15 calendar days after the end of the drop/add period to receive the half-time HOPE Scholarship award.
Students' HOPE GPA will be evaluated at the end of every spring semester, regardless of the student's number of attempted hours. Students earning less than a 3.0 cumulative HOPE GPA after spring semester may lose eligibility for the HOPE scholarship until the next entry point (30, 60, or 90 semester hours) in which their HOPE GPA is at least 3.0. Zell Miller requires a 3.3 HOPE GPA. Upon the next entry point (30, 60, or 90 semester hours), a student must have a cumulative HOPE GPA of at least 3.0 for HOPE or 3.3 for Zell Miller in order to regain eligibility. A student can regain eligibility ONE time after losing HOPE or Zell Miller.
A student who does not have sophomore, junior, or senior status due to withdrawing from classes will still be evaluated based on the number of total classes he/she has attempted. For example, a student may receive a "W" or "F" in a course, not earn credit for the course, but the course will still be counted as attempted hours for HOPE and Zell Miller. A student may receive HOPE or Zell Miller for a maximum of 127 semester hours.
A student who has not received HOPE or Zell Miller scholarship payment prior to the summer 2011 semester, and meets all other eligibility requirements, is eligible to receive the HOPE or Zell Miller scholarhsip until seven years after his/her high school graduation date. A student that serves on active duty in the military during the seven year period after his or her high school graducation will have that active duty period of military service added to the seven year limit.
Please visit Georgia HOPE Scholarship Program for more information.
Please refer to the GA Futures site for additional information.
STEM Courses and the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Courses and the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships
Effective Fall 2017, when calculating the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship postsecondary Grade Point Average (GPA), an additional weight of 0.5 will be added to grades of B, C, and D for approved degree level science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses taken at an eligible Georgia postsecondary institution Fall 2017 or later.
Where can I find out which STEM courses are approved?
The approved STEM courses will be listed in the STEM Weighted Course Directory.
Will approved STEM courses I take at another eligible postsecondary institution receive the additional GPA weight at Mercer?
Yes, all approved courses taken Fall 2017 or later will receive the additional weight.
Will STEM courses I take at an out-of-state institution receive additional GPA weight?
No. Courses must be taken at an eligible Georgia postsecondary institution Fall 2017 or later. Please see the STEM Weighted Course Directory for a list of the eligible schools.
Will STEM courses I took prior to Fall 2017 receive additional GPA weight retroactively?
No. Only eligible courses taken Fall 2017 or later will receive the additional weight.
If I take a course that is not currently in the STEM Weighted Course Directory and then it is added to the STEM Weighted Course Directory at a later date for a later term, can I get the additional GPA weight retroactively?
No. Please see the STEM Weighted Course Directory for the Beginning and End Terms for all courses.
What do I need to do to have the additional GPA weight added to my HOPE Scholarship GPA?
Nothing. We will add the additional weight to your GPA automatically.
Who determines which courses appear in the STEM Weighted Course Directory?
The STEM Weighted Course Council is responsible for approving all additions, deletions, and changes to the directory. This council consists of representatives from the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, the Georgia Independent College Association, the Georgia Student Finance Commission, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, and a member of the Georgia General Assembly.
How often is the STEM Weighted Course Directory updated?
Changes to the STEM Weighted Course Directory only occur once per year, generally in February.
Where can I get additional information?
Additional information can be found at https://www.gafutures.org/hope-state-aid-programs/hope-zell-miller-scholarships/hope-scholarship/stem-weighted-course-directory/.
For undergraduate Georgia residents who major in ABET accredited programs with the School of Engineering only. All Engineering majors are eligible, except Technical Communication and Industrial Management. Qualified students receive $3,500 per academic year, for a maximum of 5 years (or $17,500). These funds are awarded on a "first come, first serve" basis and a separate SEE application must be completed in order for the student to be considered for SEE. Applications are available in the Office of Student Financial Planning or online from GAFutures.org.
In return for the scholarship loan, students agree to work after graduation in an engineering-related field in Georgia for a reduction in balance for each year worked. If a student fails to complete service repayment, the student is required to repay in cash installments. For more information please visit GAFutures.org.