Federal Grants and State Scholarships

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Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based.                                              

Grants and scholarships can come from the federal government, your state government, your college or career school, or a private or nonprofit organization. Do your research, apply for any grants or scholarships you might be eligible for, and be sure to meet application deadlines!

Federal Grants

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid offers aid assistance to students through their federal programs. Federal student aid covers school expenses such as tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies and transportation. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available as early as October 1 and should be submitted each year.

Federal Pell Grants are available to undergraduate students and do not have to be repaid. Eligibility is determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated by the Department of Education, using information provided on the FAFSA. Pell grant funds will be divided equally between fall and spring semesters and will be credited to your student account accordingly.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are available for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. This federal grant is awarded based on the EFC as determined by the FAFSA and the availability of funds. Schools have limited SEOG funding and priority is typically given to Pell Grant recipients.

You may find more detailed information regarding Federal Grants and Scholarships at the U.S.  Department of Education’s site

State Grants and Scholarships

Students interested in Georgia financial aid programs must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or GSFAPPS available at GAfutures.org.

HOPE Scholarship - To receive HOPE Scholarship funding, students must meet the residency and academic requirements set forth by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC), described at GAfutures.org. Basic eligibility requirements include, among others, being a legal Georgia resident, graduate from a HOPE-eligible high school with a 3.0 GPA in the core curriculum, and being declared a HOPE Scholar by GAfutures. To maintain eligibility for the HOPE scholarship at Berry College, a student must maintain a 3.0 HOPE GPA or better.

Home Study students, students who graduate from a non-HOPE eligible high school, or students who earned a GED must follow the information concerning their particular
state programs eligibility at GAfutures.org.

Students meeting all eligibility requirements as defined by GSFC and who are enrolled full time (12 or more hours per semester) will receive $4,304 in a HOPE Scholarship split between fall and spring semesters.

Zell Miller Scholarship - To receive Zell Miller Scholarship funding, students must meet all HOPE Scholarship eligibility requirements. Additionally, students must graduate as the Valedictorian or Salutatorian OR with a minimum 3.7 GPA combined with a minimum SAT score of 1200 on the math and reading portions or a 26 ACT composite score. The ACT and SAT scores must come from a single test administration. To maintain eligibility for the Zell Miller Scholarship at Berry College, a student must maintain a 3.3 HOPE GPA or better.

Students meeting the eligibility requirements as defined by GSFC in GAfutures.org and who are enrolled full time (12 or more hours per semester) will receive $5,616 in a Zell Miller Scholarship split between fall and spring semesters.

Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant - Students meeting GSFC’s residency requirements and who are enrolled on a full-time basis (12 or more hours) may be eligible to receive a $950 Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant split between fall and spring semesters.

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