The Financial Aid Process and HOPE updates Do you need $$$$$ for college? • There are lots of options! • Two primary types of aid: Merit-based and Need-based • The HOPE program is an example of a Meritbased program. You earn scholarship dollars because of your grades. 3 Types of HOPE Programs • The HOPE Scholarship program that you are most familiar with is the one that requires a 3.0 academic GPA • This program is for students who plan to attend college to earn a DEGREE. • The 3.0 includes grades in core classes only: English, Math, Social Studies , Science, and Foreign Language HOPE FUNDS • Academic Requirement of a 3.0 or higher in academic core classes • HOPE will only calculate GPA for English, Math, Social Studies, Science and Foreign language (including electives in those subjects) • All other classes (for example PE, fine arts, and career tech classes) will not be included in the HOPE GPA • Must be a US Citizen • Must be a Georgia resident • Enroll in a HOPE eligible school in Georgia (see gacollege411.org for list of schools) • Your “HOPE GPA” is different from the GPA on your transcript To convert your GPA the number grade for each HOPE class is changed to a letter grade and then given points: (You cannot just convert your cumulative GPA – it must be done for each class then averaged) Do not include classes not counted by HOPE. 90-110 = A = 4 points 80-89 = B = 3 points 71-79 = C = 2 points 70 = D = 1 point Below 70=F = 0 points The GPA does not include any weighting except for AP classes. These are given an extra .5 quality point. Therefore an 82 in an AP class is changed to a B and given .5 and will be considered a 3.5. You don’t have to calculate your HOPE GPA yourself: The easiest and most accurate way to find your HOPE GPA is to create an account on gacollege411.org where you can look up your HOPE GPA under the financial aid section See under “shortcuts” where you can find your HOPE GPA on gacollege411.org What does HOPE cover?? • The amount of $$$ that HOPE covers has changed. It used to cover all tuition and some fees and books. • Now it covers only a percentage of your tuition and no books or fees. The amount that it covers varies by college. There is a chart on www.gacollege411.org that tells you how much it covers at each college in Georgia. Currently it is about 90% of the tuition at most public colleges in Georgia. • This is still an amazing opportunity and worth keeping your grades up! HOPE will start adding “rigor” as one of the requirements starting with students graduating high school in 2015 Academic Rigor • Class of 2015 Must pass at least 2 rigor classes • Class of 2016 Must pass at least 3 rigor classes • Class of 2017 and beyond Must pass at least 4 rigor classes Classes that fulfill these rigor classes are still being defined but may include the following Rigor Requirements: Advanced math, such as Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry, Math III, or an equivalent or higher course Advanced science, such as Chemistry, Physics, Biology II, or an equivalent or higher course Advanced placement courses in core subjects International baccalaureate courses in core subjects Courses taken at a unit of the University System of Georgia in core subjects where such courses are not remedial and developmental courses Advanced foreign language courses You must maintain a 3.0 average in college to continue to receive HOPE. Your GPA will be checked at specific points. If you are not eligible for HOPE based on your GPA in high school, you may be able to receive “2nd Chance HOPE” after 30 semester hours in college if you get good grades! (Always check with the college financial aid office) Other HOPE Programs The newest HOPE Program is called the ZELL Miller Scholarship Requirement of Zell Miller: 3.7 academic core GPA 1200 reading and math SAT OR 26 ACT (in one sitting) OR Be number 1 or 2 in your class. (rigor requirement will also be added) Zell Miller Scholarship • What does the Zell Miller cover???? – This scholarship covers a greater percentage of the tuition than the 3.0 HOPE. – In most cases, it pays close to 100% of tuition. – To see what it pays for your college, go to www.gacollege411.org Click on financial aid and HOPE programs. There is a chart that tells you how much it pays per college. The HOPE Grant • The HOPE Grant is the 3rd program run by HOPE. It is designed for students who plan to earn a certificate or diploma from a technical college, like Chattahoochee Technical College. • The HOPE Grant, unlike the HOPE Scholarship and the Zell Miller, DOES NOT REQUIRE A GPA!!!!! That makes a technical college a great place if your grades are not a 3.0 – there are many programs at technical colleges that prepare students for jobs, or you could start at a technical school and transfer to a 4-year school. Applying for the HOPE • The easiest way to apply for HOPE is to go to www.gacollege411.org • Click on the financial aid tab at the top of the home page and then proceed to the HOPE scholarship link. There you will find both an electronic and a paper application form. The HOPE application is called the GSFAPPS • Cherokee County Schools will upload all transcripts to gacollege411, so all you have to do it to complete these forms. • Students can apply any time in their senior year. Merit-based money from colleges Most colleges offer scholarships for outstanding students. Check your college web sites under financial aid to see what scholarships they offer and apply for it! Some colleges use your application for admission as your application for scholarships, but many require a separate application to the financial aid office. FAFSA ( Free application for Federal Student Aid) Students and their parents should complete the FAFSA - It is used as your application for need-based aid. This forms asks questions about your household and your family income. The FAFSA is available at www.gacollege411.org FAFSA After completing the FAFSA you will receive a statement (an SAR) with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Colleges use this number to put together a financial aid package for you. This package will most likely be a combination of: Grants (are not paid back) Loans (do have to be repaid) Work study programs www.fafsa.ed.gov • This is the direct website for the FAFSA. (FAFSA.com is not the correct site) Helpful Hints • If you and your parents complete your tax return early, it will make this much easier. If you cannot complete the tax return early, you can estimate the numbers based on last year’s returns. • The sooner you apply after st January 1 , the better your chances of getting $$$$$$$$$. Other resources for Scholarships Use the internet to search for scholarships www.fastweb.com is a one of many good sites Also: • Check the CHS website or visit the counseling office for the latest copy of the “Scholarship Special” which will list all scholarship information that has been sent to CHS • Fill out a “Local Scholarship Form” that can be picked up in the counseling office to apply for scholarships offered by local organizations Helpful Hints • Start searching early. All students can start searching for scholarships as some are open to students in all grade levels. • Be persistent. There is money out there but winning scholarships takes time and effort. Do not pay for “scholarship searches” – this can be done on your own and for free – be wary of any organization asking for money from you. APPLY, APPLY, APPLY • You cannot qualify for financial aid, the HOPE or other scholarships unless you APPLY!!! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to receive $$$$$$ for your education!!!! • There is no limit to the number of scholarships you can earn! Some students have received 5-10 different scholarships. HOPE and financial aid are constantly changing. Always make sure to check with a college’s financial aid office for complete details. For more information : www.gsfc.org (Georgia Student Finance Commission) Or www.gacollege411.org The Big Thank You • A program to write letters to service men and women overseas during the holiday season. If you are interested, please see the information following this slide. The Big Thank You • Each letter should be heartfelt, handwritten, original, and free of any political statements. The purpose of the letter is to express thanks to the military personnel currently deployed outside the United States. We reserve the right to eliminate those messages that are political in nature and do not reflect a positive message in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Those letters will be destroyed. • • All letters must be on 8.5” x 11” paper or smaller. Do not use glue, tape, staples, cardboard, glitter or otherwise attach anything to the paper. Decorate using crayons, pencil, etc. Use both sides if you like, but use one page per letter only. Do not send cards or photographs. Feel free to include your mailing and email address, and you may get a response. Individual letters should not be sealed in envelopes. The Big Thank You • If you wish to participate, hand in your letters to your homeroom teacher or Ms. Manning.