HOPE Scholarship for Home Schoolers

Update (8/7/15)--HOPE/Zell Eligibility Threat

The Georgia Home Education Association (GHEA) has received an update from the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) regarding a policy change that took effect July 1, 2015, and potentially affects the HOPE eligibility of some 2015 home study students who graduated from accredited programs.

In an announcement this afternoon, GSFC President Tricia Chastain, states:

"Today, the GSFC Board of Commissioners voted to delay implementation of the new definition of "Eligible High School" and "Home Study" until GSFC can obtain further clarification from the Attorney General on how home study students graduating from an accredited program should be classified for the purposes of HOPE Scholarship eligibility. The 2014-2015 definition of "Eligible High School" and "Home Study" will be used until such clarification can be obtained and the HOPE eligibility of those Home Study students graduating from an accredited program will continue to be determined under the previous definitions. The Georgia Student Finance Commission is committed to increasing access to higher education for all students and we will continue to communicate with our partners in the home study community as we move forward." - Tricia P. Chastain

GHEA and the GSFC wanted to share this information with you as quickly as possible. Please understand that it will take a little time for the GSFC to update their website to reflect their Board's actions today.

GHEA will continue to provide further updates to keep you informed.

 

Update (7/31/15)--HOPE/Zell Eligibility Threat

 

The Georgia Home Education Association (GHEA) has received a timely response from the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) to questions GHEA raised after becoming aware that families of 2015 accredited homeschool program graduates were being contacted by the GSFC and told their students were not eligible for HOPE based on a policy change which became effective on July 1, 2015.

 

The GSFC has indicated that they are seeking further clarification on the new policy change which includes: "Home Study programs, whether accredited or non-accredited, are not considered Eligible High Schools."

 

Further, the GSFC has indicated that they are actively taking measures toward delaying implementation of the policy change during the time required for the clarification process. Additionally, the GSFC is in the process of reaching out to students affected by the change.

 

GHEA will provide further updates to keep you informed of important developments.  

 

 

GHEA is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that exists to support, promote and protect homeschooling in Georgia. We ask that you stand with us so that we can continue to work for you, the homeschooling families of Georgia.

 

 

 

 

URGENT -- HOPE/Zell Eligibility Threat!!

 

The Georgia Home Education Association (GHEA) has been contacted by several families with 2015 graduates of accredited homeschool programs who have been informed by Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) that their students are not eligible for HOPE/Zell Scholarships despite having met the GPA requirements through their accredited programs. GHEA has verified that the 2015-16 GSFC HOPE/Zell Program regulations which were made public in mid-May 2015 include a significant change in the definition of "eligible high school". This GSFC policy change, effective July 1, 2015, impacts HOPE/Zell scholarship eligibility for homeschoolers who graduated from accredited programs and whose parents filed a Declaration of Intent (DOI) as required by law.

 

The impact of this GSFC policy change creates a huge, sudden, and previously uncommunicated financial burden on 2015 homeschoolers who graduated from accredited programs and whose parents filed a DOI. GHEA has received reports of students being awarded HOPE/Zell Scholarship and then receiving contact from GSFC informing them that the award was in error.

 

GHEA recognizes the tremendous hardship this GSFC policy change places on our 2015 homeschooled graduates who are financially depending on HOPE/Zell for the Fall 2015 term, which begins within the next couple of weeks.

 

GHEA takes this matter very seriously and is working proactively to resolve this issue. GHEA is committed to supporting ALL Georgia homeschooling families.

GHEA needs your help. As we work through this with legislators and other officials, GHEA needs to know how many are affected. If your family or anyone you know has been impacted by this GSFC policy change, please contact us at HOPEThreat@ghea.org and include your name, phone number, email, and brief details of your graduate's situation. GHEA will not share your personal information.

 

GHEA continues to stand for Georgia citizens' right to homeschool.

 

GHEA will communicate updates as information becomes available. Please 'like' us on FaceBook and share this information with anyone you believe may be interested.


Home school students who maintain a "B" average during their first year in college may retroactively qualify for a HOPE Scholarship under a program approved by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC).

"Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program is about expanding educational opportunities to all Georgia children," said GSFC Board chairman Richard Maddux. "Home school students who meet our academic criteria should be able to earn a HOPE Scholarship, just like students in our public high schools."

Currently, students who graduate from an accredited Georgia high school with a cumulative "B" average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) qualify for a HOPE Scholarship to attend one of Georgia's public or private colleges or universities.

The scholarship to public institutions covers tuition, approved mandatory fees and a $150 per semester book allowance.

For students who choose a private college, HOPE will cover up to $3,000 per year for tuition, plus students are eligible for an additional $1,100 Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant.

Georgia's HOPE Scholarship also pays tuition, approved mandatory fees and a $100 per quarter/$150 per semester book allowance for students attending technical institutes.

HOPE Scholarships are funded by proceeds from the Georgia Lottery.

Under the program adopted by the GSFC board, home schoolers who are admitted to one of Georgia's public or private colleges or universities and earn a 3.0 during their freshman year may retroactively qualify for a HOPE Scholarship. Like other students, they will remain HOPE eligible if they maintain that "B" average.

This information is only to be used as general information about the Hope Scholarship. Please check with the Georgia Student Finance Commission to apply for and find out more details and requirements for the Hope Scholarship at gsfc.org, 770-724-9030, or 1-800-546-HOPE.

Updated 2002-11

The Association will serve and assist any home schooling family or support group in Georgia, however, GHEA is a Christian organization and the counsel and direction of the organization will be Christian.


GHEA • P.O. Box 229 • Snellville, GA 30078
Phone: (770) 461-3657
E-mail: info@ghea.org