State Aid Programs
Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) is a program for Georgia residents that provides students with financial assistance in degree, diploma and certificate programs. HOPE is administered in accordance with Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) regulations.
Georgia residents who are enrolled in a certificate or diploma program may be eligible for HOPE Grant. The HOPE Grant covers a portion of tuition. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA at 30 and 60 credit hour checkpoints in order to continue receiving the grant.
Zell Miller Grant
Georgia residents who are enrolled in a certificate or diploma program and who have a 3.5 GPA or better at the end of each semester will receive 100 percent of tuition. Students whose GPA falls below the 3.5 at the end of the semester will still be eligible for the HOPE Grant as long as your GPA is 2.0 or better.
HOPE Career Grant
Students who are receiving the HOPE Grant may* also be eligible for additional financial assistance from HOPE Career Grant.
*only select programs
Georgia residents who are enrolled in an associate degree program may be eligible for HOPE Scholarship assistance. Only students who graduated from high school in the past seven (7) years and were HOPE Scholars at the time of graduation may qualify for the HOPE Scholarship as an entering freshman. Other students may qualify if they achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average at the end of the 30-, 60- or 90-hour checkpoints and have graduated from high school within the past seven years. The grade average is based on all college-level credit hours attempted after high school graduation. The HOPE Scholarship will cover a portion of tuition. All students receiving the HOPE Scholarship will be reevaluated for eligibility at the 30-, 60- and 90-hour checkpoints and at the end of each spring semester. To apply, students must complete the HOPE Scholarship Evaluation Form, which can be found online or at any West Georgia Tech Campus.
Zell Miller Scholarship
Initial eligibility is determined by Georgia Student Finance Commission. Student must maintain a 3.3 GPA at all checkpoints to receive 100 percent of tuition. If student drops below 3.3 GPA but maintains at least a 3.0 GPA, they can be awarded the HOPE Scholarship, which pays a portion of the tuition. Student may regain eligibility one time if eligibility is lost.
One-time voucher for $500 given to Georgia residents who complete a GED awarded by Georgia Student Finance Commission. This award can be used for any educational costs including tuition, fees and books. Any funds not used by the student will be refunded to the student during their first semester of enrollment.
The Georgia HERO (Helping Educate Reservists and their Offspring) Scholarship program was created to provide educational grant assistance to members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reservists who served in combat zones or the children and spouses of such members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reserves. The Georgia HERO Scholarship Program is administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC).
The Student Access Loan (SAL) Program
Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA) offers the Student Access Loan Program (SAL) for eligible students attending an eligible Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), University System of Georgia (USG) or private postsecondary institution in Georgia. The SAL is a 1 percent fixed rate loan, designed to assist undergraduate and technical college students who have a gap in meeting their educational costs.
In order to receive the SAL, students must:
• Be considered a Georgia resident and United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
• Complete a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to apply for this program.
• Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in accordance with the SAP policy at their college or university.
• Must be enrolled in an eligible Georgia postsecondary institution.
• Previous SAL borrowers must be current on their monthly KIT payments.
• Meet all eligibility requirements.
Students Attending TCSG Postsecondary Institution
• Applicants must have first applied for and exhausted other student financial aid options including federal, state and private scholarship and grant programs and Veterans Education Benefits.
• Interest rate structure for loans received on or after July 1, 2014:
• Fixed rate of 1 percent while in school and out of school as long as the loan remains in good standing.
• A monthly Keep In Touch (KIT) payment of $10 is required approximately 60 days after the first disbursement is received.
• The monthly KIT payment is required while in school and while in grace period.
• Repayment is a maximum of fifteen (15) years with a minimum payment of $50 for loans received on or after July 1, 2015.
• The minimum loan amount is $300.
• The maximum term loan amount is $1,500.
• The maximum loan limit is $3,000 per year and up to a maximum of $12,000 over a college lifetime.
• Origination Fee – A non-refundable fee of 5 percent of the loan amount, but not more than $50, is deducted from the first disbursement of the loan.
• The program is also designed to provide a loan discharge option to those TCSG students who graduate with a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average in the program of study for which the loan was received.
Application Procedure for the Student Access Loan
Applicants who are selected for funding have 14 calendar days once approved by the postsecondary institution to complete the required promissory note, disclosures and self-certification.
• The first selection of applications will be current HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship recipients and prior year SAL borrowers in good standing. The following selection of applications are processed first come, first served and are based on available funds.
• Selection does not guarantee approval and applicants may or may not be selected each application year.
• SAL is an annual process which includes application, selection, certification, approval and disbursement.
• If you apply for this loan, you understand that this is a private education loan that must be repaid and cannot be combined or consolidated with federal loans.
• Borrow smart! When applying for a loan, request only the amount of funds needed for your educational costs and that you can repay.
• Your eligible postsecondary institution may decline the loan or certify for a reduced amount based on financial aid status.
• All documentation must be completed with WGTC before a disbursement can be received. That includes the Master Promissory Note and Applicant Self-Certification.
• Loan disbursements are sent directly to the student’s chosen eligible postsecondary institution and are not transferable.
For more information and to apply, go to GAfutures.org.