You're wondering whether a Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally, or HOPE scholarship will pay for classes taken during the summer. In fact, HOPE scholarship funds may be used to pay for summer classes. However, there are restrictions on the HOPE scholarship that may affect whether the costs for particular summer classes are covered.
The HOPE scholarship is designed to assist eligible Georgia high school graduates and GED recipients in paying for tuition to attend colleges located within the state of Georgia. The program pays for up to 127 attempted or accumulated semester hours applied toward an undergraduate degree program. Students can receive scholarship funds for up to15 semester hours per term. Students enrolled under a guaranteed tuition plan can receive scholarship funding for up to 12 semester hours per term. The total amount of scholarship funds awarded cannot exceed the actual tuition charge.
All HOPE scholarship recipients must be Georgia residents. Students must graduate from an eligible Georgia high school with a 3.0 or better grade point average. Students graduating from ineligible high schools, or those who are home-schooled or earn GEDs, may become eligible for HOPE scholarship funds by scoring in the 85th percentile or above on the SAT or ACT test. Students may also qualify for HOPE scholarship funds by earning a 3.0 or better average after completing at least 45 quarter hours or at least 30 semester hours of college credit, even without ever completing high school or earning a GED. Students who first received HOPE scholarship funds before summer 2011 lose their eligibility June 30, 2015. Otherwise the eligibility period extends until June 30th of the seventh year after high school graduation or after students stop pursuing high school courses.
HOPE scholarship funds may be used to pay tuition for eligible classes for any term in which students are enrolled, including summer. Students need not be enrolled full-time. However, classes that are audited, that is, not taken for credit, may not be paid for with HOPE scholarship funds. If students enroll in summer courses that end after June 30th of their seventh year after graduation or leaving high school, HOPE scholarship funds may not be used to pay tuition for those classes.
The amount awarded through the HOPE scholarship program varies each year. The amount varies depending on the institutions students attend. The maximum amount each student may receive from the HOPE program is set each year by the Georgia General Assembly. Students who have previously earned baccalaureate degrees at any institution are not eligible for HOPE funds, even if they have never received HOPE scholarship funds.
- GACollege411: Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program Overview
- Georgia College: HOPE Scholarship FAQ
- Georgia Institute of Technology: HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship Differences Explained
- Georgia Institute of Technology: HOPE Scholarship
- Georgia Student Finance Commission: How Do I?
- GACollege411: Other Ways to Qualify for a HOPE Scholarship
Chris Blank is an independent writer and research consultant with more than 20 years' experience. Blank specializes in social policy analysis, current events, popular culture and travel. His work has appeared both online and in print publications. He holds a Master of Arts in sociology and a Juris Doctor.