Zell Miller Scholarship

The Zell Miller Scholarship is funded by the Georgia Lottery for Education and is administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. The Scholarship is available only to degree-seeking undergraduate students who meet the definition of a Georgia Resident for HOPE Scholarship purposes.

The Zell Miller Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship program with specific academic and grade point average eligibility requirements.  The purpose of the program is to encourage the academic achievement of Georgia’s high school students and Georgians seeking degrees from postsecondary institutions located in Georgia.

Eligibility

In all cases, a student must be a U.S. Citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen and meet the requirements to be classified as a Georgia resident according to University System of Georgia (USG) in-state tuition policy for either 12 or 24 consecutive months prior to the first day of classes of the school term for which the HOPE Scholarship is sought.

Graduated from an eligible high school in 2011 or beyond: 
Have at least a 3.7 HOPE GPA and a 1200 on the Math and Reading portions of the SAT or a 26 composite on the ACT OR graduate as the Valedictorian or the Salutatorian from an eligible high school OR graduate from an ineligible high school with a 1200 on the Math and Reading portions of the SAT or a 26 composite on the ACT AND achieve at least a 3.3 HOPE GPA at the 30 semester hour check-point in college.

First entered college in 2007 or beyond:
Have at least a 3.7 HOPE GPA and a 1200 on the Math and Reading portions of the SAT or a 26 composite on the ACT or having graduated as the Valedictorian or the Salutatorian from an eligible high school AND must have had at least a 3.3 postsecondary HOPE GPA at the most recent check-point.

Note: If a student did not or does not graduate from high school academically eligible for Zell Miller, then the student can never earn Zell Miller. Students may get awarded Zell Miller or HOPE Scholarship, but not both.

Additional eligibility requirements:

  • Be enrolled at a USG eligible postsecondary institution in a matriculated status leading to a degree.
  • Be a legal resident of Georgia for tuition purposes.
  • Register with Selective Service (men only).
  • Be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Post secondary Education Act of 1990.
  • Not be in default or owe a refund on a federal or state financial aid program.
  • Not have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Maintain a 3.3 HOPE GPA in college at all checkpoints.

Zell Miller Scholarship Application Deadlines

Students must have an application submitted by the last day of the semester in which they are seeking the Zell Miller Scholarship. The Office of Student Financial Aid has established the following deadlines for applications:

SUMMER SEMESTER: July 17
FALL SEMESTER: November 17
SPRING SEMESTER: April 15

Note:  If additional information is required, it must be submitted within 15 days of request.

Georgia State University Plus/Minus Grading System

The University implemented a Plus/Minus grading system in the fall of 2007. However, for the purpose of calculating the cumulative GPA for Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility only letter grades of A – F are used and Plus/Minus will not be considered.

Award Amounts

Tuition only
100% of the Standard Undergraduate Tuition amount is awarded.

Length of Scholarship

For the school term in which a student reaches the Attempted-Hours or Combined Paid-Hours limit of 127 semester hours, the student can be paid ONLY for the hours up to the Attempted-Hours or Combined Paid-Hours limit. Example: student has 120 attempted hours and enrolled in 9 hours for semester. Payment will only be made for 7 hours, even if Zell Miller funds did not pay for those credits.
There are no exceptions covering extra hours needed for dual-degree programs, second majors, or change in major.

Eligibility ends when a student receives 127semester credits of payment from any combination of Zell Miller or HOPE Scholarship, Paid-Hours, plus HOPE Grant Paid-Hours (effective Summer 2003), plus, ACCEL Paid-Hours (effective fall 2004) through spring 2011.

Once a student reaches either the Attempted-Hours limit or the Combined Paid-Hours limit, he or she is no longer eligible for the HOPE Scholarship.

Attempted-Hours Limit
All credit hours attempted after high school graduation are calculated when determining Zell Miller eligibility, even if they are not accepted by Georgia State University, were taken outside of the state of Georgia or at an institution in a foreign country or unaccredited institution. Credits attempted as part of a technical Certificate or Diploma program of study are only counted as Attempted-Hours if any postsecondary institution ever accepted those hours as credit hours toward a Degree. Credits hours forgiven by the institution are included in the calculations. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that Georgia State has transcripts from all institutions of higher learning (post high school graduation) in order for the Office of Student Financial Aid to accurately determine the student’s Zell Miller eligibility. Eligibility ends when a student attempts 127 credit hours, even if Zell Miller funds did not pay for those credits.

NOTE: The HOPE GPA does not necessarily match the cumulative GPA shown in PAWS. Please contact the Enrollment Services Center with inquires regarding your HOPE GPA.

Combined Paid-Hours Limit
All hours for which students received payment from Accel, HOPE Grant, Zell Miller or HOPE Scholarship program are included in calculating the total Combined Paid hours.

Regaining Eligibility for the Zell Miller Scholarship

Students who lose the Zell Miller Scholarship at any checkpoint may still get HOPE Scholarship, assuming all requirements, including the 3.0 HOPE GPA, are met.

A student may regain the Zell Miller Scholarship after losing it at a checkpoint only one time.  A student may regain eligibility if they have a 3.3 at the point of attempting 60 or 90 semester hours.

If a student loses the Zell Miller Scholarship a second time, the student may still keep the HOPE Scholarship, assuming all requirements, including the 3.0 HOPE GPA, are met.

When a student loses Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarship, simultaneously by dropping below a 3.0 HOPE GPA, the student would be considered as losing both Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarship. If a student loses Zell Miller and retains HOPE Scholarship, but then loses HOPE twice, the student would no longer be eligible to regain Zell Miller.

Seven Year Limit

A student that received HOPE Scholarship payment prior to summer semester 2011 may receive the Zell Miller Scholarship until June 30, 2015, as long as the student continues to meet all other eligibility requirements.

A student who has not received HOPE Scholarship payment prior to summer semester 2011, and meets all other eligibility requirements for Zell Miller Scholarship, may receive the Zell Miller Scholarship until seven years after his or her high school graduation date or Home Study program completion date.

Note: The seven year period ends on June 30th of the seventh full year following the student’s 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 graduation will have the period of military service added to the seven year limit.  Students must contact Georgia Student Finance Commission for review.

For More Information

For more information on the Zell Miller Scholarship, or to view the Zell Miller Scholarship regulations, please contact the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC): 770-724-9000 or 800-505-GSFC (4732) or www.gacollege411.org