- Financial Aid Eligibility RequirementsTo qualify for most types of financial aid, the student must:
- Have completed or left high school
- Be at least sixteen (16) years of age
- Have earned a high school diploma or equivalent
- Pursue a degree/diploma/certificate in an eligible course of study
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Demonstrate financial need
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Register with Selective Service if required (REGISTER ONLINE NOW)
- Not be in default of a student loan or owe a refund on previously received grant
- Agree to use any funds received for educationally related purposes only
- Certify that they will not engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of controlled substances.
Students will be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- If you have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, you are NOT eligible for ANY financial aid, except for Direct Federal Student Loans.
- The Department of Education now has a Lifetime Eligibility Limited on Pell Grant Students can receive up to a maximum of 600% Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) for Pell Grant (6 years/12 semesters). If you want to know what your LEU is, you can go to www.nslds.ed.gov. More information about Pell LEU can be found on our website.
- If you withdraw from courses you may be required to repay a portion of your financial aid back to the college. Please contact our office before you withdraw from courses.
According to federal guidelines, full-time enrollment is twelve (12) or more credit hours. Most certificate programs are not eligible for Pell. If you are not enrolled full-time, your Pell Grant will be reduced according to federal regulations.
HOPE Scholarship and HOPE Grant recipients: HOPE funds will ONLY pay a portion of your tuition. HOPE DOES NOT PAY ALL TUITION. HOPE Regulations may be reviewed at Georgia Student Finance Commission website.
Students should be aware that the number of hours that HOPE Grant and HOPE Scholarship will pay are limited and all students are responsible to know and understand where he or she stands as it relates to these limits. Students should be aware that HOPE Scholarship awards require a 3.0 GPA at the 30 and 60 hour checkpoint. The HOPE Grant award requires a 2.0 GPA at the 30 and 60 hour checkpoint. The Zell Miller Grant requires a 3.5 GPA at all times.
Drug Conviction and Financial Aid Eligibility
If a student has a federal or state drug conviction during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal aid, the student is disqualified from federal financial aid funding. Students self-report this information on the FAFSA. Question 23 on the FAFSA form asks if the student has ever been convicted of a drug related offense. Answering this question falsely, if discovered, could result in fines up to $20,000, imprisonment, or both. In situations of conflicting information, the School is required to confirm this information. Students convicted of drug offenses committed while receiving Federal Financial Aid may be ineligible for federal financial aid for one (1) or more years from the date of conviction. Federal Aid includes:
- Federal Student Loans
- Federal Grants
- Federal Work Study
Penalties for Drug Convictions in Eligibility
Possession of Illegal Drugs:
- First Offense: One (1) year from the date of conviction
- Second Offense: Two (2) years from the date of conviction
- Third and Subsequent Offenses: Indefinite ineligibility from the date of conviction
Sale of Illegal Drugs:
- First Offense: Two (2) years from the date of conviction
- Second and Subsequent Offenses: Indefinite ineligibility from the date of conviction
Regaining Eligibility After a Drug Conviction
You can regain eligibility for the federal programs no matter how many or what type of drug convictions you have if you successfully complete an acceptable drug rehabilitation program that meets the standards set by Congress and the Department of Education. You will regain eligibility on the date you complete the program.
An acceptable drug rehabilitation program requires passing TWO (2) unannounced drug tests AND be either:
- Qualified to receive funds from a federal, state or local government agency or program, or from a state or federally licensed insurance company, or
- Administered or recognized by a federal, state or local government agency or court, or by a state or federally licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.
Convictions During Enrollment
According to the United States Department of Education, if a student is convicted of a drug offense after receiving Federal aid, he or she must notify the Financial Aid Office immediately and that student will be ineligible for further aid and required to pay back all aid received after the conviction.
Federal Funded Eligible Programs:
The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate Pell Grant eligibility by the information a student supplies on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This formula produces an EFC (expected family contribution) number, which will determine if the student is eligible for the grant. Applicants must be undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree.
More About Pell Grant
Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used
The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant(SEOG) is a federally funded grant awarded to undergraduates with exceptional financial need. This grant is awarded first to those with maximum Pell Grant eligibility based on the file completion date, including providing all requested documentation to the Office of Financial Aid. Funds are extremely limited and there is no guarantee all eligible students will receive the grant. More Information
State Funded Programs:
HOPE – Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally – is Georgia’s scholarship and grant program that rewards students with financial assistance in degree, diploma, and certificate programs at eligible Georgia public and private colleges and universities, and public technical colleges.
Eligibility for the HOPE Grant
Basic Eligibility All HOPE programs require students to meet basic requirements. An eligible student must:
- Meet HOPE's U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen requirements;
- Be a legal resident of Georgia;
- Meet enrollment requirements;
- Be in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements;
- Meet academic achievement standards;
- Be in good standing on all student loans or other financial aid programs;
- Be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990;
- Not have exceeded the maximum award limits for any HOPE program;
Program Eligibility Full-time enrollment in a certificate or diploma program is not required and students are not required to graduate from high school with a specific GPA, however, they must have a postsecondary cumulative 2.0 GPA, at certain checkpoints, in order to maintain eligibility.
Note: A student who received a high school diploma (High School Postsecondary Graduation Opportunity Plan) by earning a technical college diploma or two technical college certificates, in one career pathway identified by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), may be eligible for the HOPE Grant, up to 30 degree hours. The student must be enrolled in an associate degree program at a TCSG institution in order to receive the HOPE Grant. After payment for 30 semester hours, the student is no longer eligible for HOPE Grant while enrolled in a degree level program. The student must then meet the HOPE Scholarship eligibility requirements at the 30 semester hour checkpoint.