1 State Financial Aid Alabama The Alabama Student Grant Program provides up to $1,200 annually for students attending nonpublic institutions. The Alabama Student Assistance Program (ASAP) provides need-based grants to students. Annual awards range from $300 to $5,000. To receive initial and renewal ASAP grants, students submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Students with qualifying Expected Family Contributions (EFCs) may use the reward at nearly 80 postsecondary institutions in Alabama. Arkansas The state lottery funds the merit-based Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship Program. Freshman students receive $2,000. Students receive one thousand more dollars for every 30 credit hours completed. Students may receive up to $5,000 if they have senior standing. Students receive financial aid only if they maintain a 2.5 GPA and earn 30 credit hours per year. Students qualify for aid in two ways: (1) high school grades and assessment scores or (2) college freshman GPA. Recent high school graduates must complete the Smart Core curriculum and achieve one of the following: GPA of at least 2.5 or an ACT composite score of at least 19 (or SAT equivalent). Full-time college students can earn the merit scholarship if they receive a first-semester GPA of at least 2.5 or produce an ACT composite score of at least 19. Academic Challenge Scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.5 GPA to continue receiving aid. Two other merit scholarships exist on a more-limited basis. The Arkansas Governor s Scholars program rewards up to $4,000 a year to the most highly qualified student in each county. Selection is based on a weighted formula that includes ACT/SAT score, high school GPA, class rank, and leadership skills. Renewal of the Governor s Scholarship is contingent on maintaining a 3.0 GPA. Depending on available funding, Arkansas also gives up to $10,000 to 300 Governor s Distinguished Scholars. Governor s Distinguished Scholars must have a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher and score at least 32 on the ACT (i.e., an equivalent of SAT score of 1410). To retain the reward, students must maintain a 3.25 GPA in college. Recipients of both awards may renew the scholarship for up to three additional years based on GPA and hours earned. In addition to the Academic Challenge and Governor s Scholars programs, Arkansas provides a number of other merit- and need-based scholarships to students based on family attributes or specific programs of study. Delaware Delaware s awards the majority of financial aid through the Scholarship Incentive Program. The scholarship provides need-based aid up to $700 annually for students with a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher. Students receive up to $1,500 in merit-based supplements based on GPA. The grant awards are not renewable, meaning that students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on an annual basis. The Delaware Higher Education Office administers six professional incentive programs for students who pledge to enter teaching, nursing, optometry, speech pathology, or librarianship. In addition, there are several merit based scholarships administered through the Higher Education Office. Delaware is a
2 participant in the Academic Common Market and pays for a limited number of students to enroll in veterinary programs through a partnership with SREB. Students attending Delaware Technical Community College or enrolled in the Associate in Arts program through University of Delaware are eligible for the SEED scholarship, which covers tuition for up to two years. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and complete their FAFSA. Delaware State University students are eligible for the INSPIRE scholarship if they maintain a 2.75 GPA and complete a FAFSA. This provides for up to three years of tuition. Both scholarships are funded through the state. Florida The majority of state financial aid is allocated based on academic merit. Bright Futures Programs Initial Eligibility Criteria Renewal Criteria Academic Scholars Medallion Scholars Gold Seal Vocational Scholars 3.5 GPA on 16-unit core curriculum SAT 1290 or ACT hours of community service 3.0 GPA on 16-unit core curriculum SAT 1170 or ACT hours of community service 3.0 GPA on 14-unit core curriculum (excludes foreign language) Meet state placement cut scores 30 hours of community service 3.0 GPA Attempt at least 24 semester hours annually 2.75 GPA Attempt at least 24 semester hours annually 2.75 GPA Attempt at least 24 semester hours annually Academic and Medallion Scholar applicants may apply up to two additional optional units drawn from the core academic areas, and/or Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Advanced International Certificate of Education fine arts units in order to raise their GPAs to the qualifying level. House Bill 5101 (2014) created the National Merit Scholarship Incentive Program, which provide last-dollar aid to National Merit Finalist and Semifinalists. The scholarship provides aid equal to the highest cost of attendance at a Florida public university minus the sum of the student s Bright Futures and National Achievement Scholarships. Aid is renewable as long as students maintain a 3.0 GPA. Georgia All lottery-funded scholarships reward financial aid based on academic merit. Georgia residents graduating with regular diplomas may receive state lottery-funded HOPE Scholarships by earning a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 in core subjects (e.g., math, English, science, social studies and foreign language). College students may earn a HOPE scholarship if they have a qualifying GPA of 3.0 at the 30, 60, or 90 semester hour milestones. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in college to keep the HOPE Scholarship. Institutions monitor continuing eligibility as students pass the 30, 60, or 90 semester hour thresholds. College students may
3 regain HOPE eligibility if their GPAs exceed 3.0 at the next 30 semester hour milestone. Students can regain HOPE only once. HOPE Scholarship recipients at Georgia public colleges receive a set tuition award amount based on the institution they are attending and the number of credit-hours for which they are enrolled. Full-time HOPE Scholarship recipients attending Georgia private colleges receive $1,910 per semester. Students may be eligible for HOPE grants for certificate and diploma programs at public institutions by earning a minimum high school GPA of 2.0. HOPE Grant recipients at Georgia public colleges receive a set tuition award amount based on the number of credit-hours for which they are enrolled. The Zell Miller Scholarship awards grants to students who (1) graduate from HOPE-qualifying high schools as class valedictorian or salutatorian or (2) possess a minimum 3.7 GPA with 1200 SAT (26 ACT). The Zell Miller Scholarship varies based on institution and whether the student attends college part time or full time. Students retain the scholarship as long as they maintain a GPA of 3.3. If a student s GPA drops below 3.3, the student may be eligible for a regular HOPE scholarship, as long as the GPA stays above 3.0. Zell Miller recipients enrolled full time at private colleges receive $2,110 per semester. Starting fall 2014, students may earn the Zell Miller Grant to pursue certificate or diploma programs at eligible public postsecondary institutions. To retain the grant, students must maintain a 3.5 GPA at the end of each term. HOPE and Zell Miller grant recipients may also be eligible for a Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant. All three grants are funded through state lottery revenues. Current seniors who apply for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships must complete two full credits from any of four academic rigor course categories: Advanced math (e.g., Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry, Math III, or an equivalent course Advanced science (e.g., chemistry, physics, biology II, or an equivalent course Advanced foreign language courses Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Dual Credit Enrollment courses in core subjects (i.e., English, math, science, and social studies). Current juniors must complete three full credits and current sophomores four full credits. Students who qualify for both scholarships may receive either a HOPE or a Zell Miller Scholarship, but not both. Students who become academically ineligible for either scholarship have only a single chance to regain it. Neither scholarship covers textbooks or institutional fees. The state caps HOPE scholarship aid at 127 credit hours. Kentucky The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority administers the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), which provides financial support for state residents based on their academic performance throughout high school. The value of the award increases for each year of high school in which a student maintains a 2.5 or higher GPA in the Pre-College Curriculum. Students may earn additional increases based on their ACT or SAT composite scores. Students who were eligible for free or reduced-priced meals at any time during high school may earn additional supplements based on their performance on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams. Students receive a scholarship equivalent to the total accumulated amount each year that they are enrolled in Kentucky postsecondary institutions, as long as they meet GPA requirements. To maintain the
4 scholarship unconditionally, a student must earn a 3.0 GPA for each year in college. Students can receive half of the award amount if they fall below the 3.0 GPA threshold but maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. Students may regain the scholarship if they meet renewal criteria by the end of the spring semester. Louisiana The majority of state financial aid is allocated based on academic merit. Louisiana s Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) scholarship has four award categories. Specific requirements appear in the table below. Tech Award Opportunity Award Performance Award Honors Award Minimum GPA Minimum ACT 17 State average, currently Minimum Curriculum Career Diploma Curriculum Core 4 Core 4 Core 4 Award Range Equal to Tuition Equal to Tuition Tuition, plus $400 per year Tuition, plus $800 per year Continuing Eligibility 2.5 GPA at end of each spring semester 2.3 end of first spring semester and 2.5 thereafter 3.0 GPA at end of each spring semester 3.0 GPA at end of each spring semester Maryland Nearly all state financial aid dollars for first-time, full-time freshmen are allocated based on demonstrated financial need. Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant Educational Assistance (EA) Grant Who Can Apply? High School Seniors High School Seniors Full-Time Undergraduates Initial Maryland Resident Apply for federal financial aid File GA Grant application Complete the College Preparatory Curriculum (see High School Graduation ) Enroll in 12+ credits per semester Maryland Resident Apply for federal financial aid Enroll in 12 or more credits per semester
5 Minimum GPA 2.5 GPA No GPA Requirement Need Formula Last Dollar Scholarship: Take cost of attendance and subtract Expected Family Contribution, Pell Grants, and state scholarships to define financial need. Award Range 100 percent of unmet financial need covered $400 to $16,500 40% of unmet financial need at fouryear institutions; 60% at community colleges $400 to $3,000 Continuing Eligibility Priority Reapply for federal financial aid to establish level of financial need Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward degree, as defined by institution Students with lowest federal Expected Family Contribution receive awards first Students may not hold the Guaranteed Access and Educational Assistance Grants simultaneously. Any combination of multiple state awards may not exceed $19,000 per year. Maryland will implement during the academic year, a 2+2 Transfer Scholarship (SB1215, 2014), which will provide scholarships of $1,000, or $2,000 for STEM Majors, for students who earn an associate s degree before transferring to a four-year institution. Mississippi The majority of state financial aid dollars for first-time, full-time freshmen are allocated based on academic merit. Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students Who Can Apply? High School Seniors Full-Time Undergraduates High School Seniors Full-Time Undergraduates High School Seniors Current College Freshmen Initial 29 ACT or 1290 SAT 3.5 high school GPA 15 ACT 2.5 high school GPA 20 ACT or 940 SAT 2.5 high school GPA Enroll in 12 or more credits per semester National Merit finalists or semifinalist Enroll in 12 or more credits per semester Complete College Preparatory Curriculum (see above) Demonstrate Financial Need Awards Up to $2,500 $500 per year for freshmen and sophomores $1,000 per year for juniors and seniors Tuition and required fees at a public institution
6 Continuing Eligibility Full-time enrollment Minimum GPA of 3.5 Full-time enrollment Minimum GPA of 2.5 Full-time enrollment Minimum GPA of 2.5 Continued financial need North Carolina The majority of financial aid dollars in North Carolina are allocated based on financial need. North Carolina sponsors four need-based grant programs that vary based on which type of college that students attend and the level of financial need. The table below summarizes grant requirements. Grant Education Lottery Scholarship Community College Grant UNC Need- Based Grant North Carolina Need-Based Scholarships Who Can Apply? Students attending public institutions Community College Students Public University students Students attending nonpublic institutions Required Enrollment Six credit hours per semester Six credit hours per semester Six credit hours per semester Nine credit hours per semester Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Threshold Less than $5,000 Less than $8,500 Does not use Federal EFC Award Range $100 to $3,000 $100 to $1,300 $500 to $4,200 1,360 to $7,200 All North Carolina need-based grants require students to submit the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid which generates the students Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Oklahoma The majority of financial aid dollars in are allocated based on demonstrated financial need. Who Can Apply? Oklahoma s Promise Eighth Grade students High School Freshmen & Sophomores Aid Type Need Merit Initial Parental income under $50,000 at time of program enrollment Academic Scholars Program High School Seniors Automatic Qualifiers Institutional Nominees
7 Minimum High School GPA Award Range Continuing Eligibility Complete the 17-unit Promise Curriculum and meet conduct standards Federal adjusted gross income under $100,000 at the time of college admission State residents in top 99.5% on ACT or SAT and National Merit Scholars ACT, GPA, and Class Rank requirements vary based on institutional type 2.5 GPA For institutional nominees only: Scholarship awarded based on credit-hour enrollment Credit-hour award range: $69.10 to $ GPA through sophomore year 2.5 GPA for courses taken during junior and senior years Research universities: 3.9 GPA Regional universities: 3.8 GPA Community colleges: 3.7 GPA Amount varies based on qualifying status and institution type 3.25 GPA 24 credits completed per year South Carolina South Carolina awards all financial aid based on academic merit. Students may accept only one of the following awards, even if they meet eligibility requirements for more than one. Palmetto Fellows Scholarships provide a maximum of $6,700 to first-year students and $7,500 per year to second- through fourth-year students at an eligible South Carolina four-year institution. Students must satisfy assessment and GPA requirements. Students can satisfy eligibility requirements if they: Score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on ACT) by the June test administration of their year of graduation, earn a 3.50 GPA on the SC Uniform Grading Policy at the end of their junior year, and rank 1 in the top six percent of their high school class in either their sophomore, junior, or senior year; or Score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT) by the June test administration of their year of graduation and earn a minimum 4.0 GPA on the SC Uniform Grading Policy. LIFE Scholarships are available for students at each public and independent institution in South Carolina. The scholarships provide a maximum of $5,000, including a $300 book allowance. Students must meet two of the following requirements: (1) Score 1100 on the SAT or (24 ACT) 1 In order to use rank as an eligibility measure, the high school or home school association must have a policy on rank which has been reviewed to verify compliance with the South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy and established Regulations for the State Scholarship programs.
8 (2) Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA based on the SC Uniform Grading Policy upon high school graduation; or (3) Rank in the top 30 percent of their graduating class. LIFE Scholars must maintain a 3.0 cumulative LIFE GPA and earn an average of 30 credit hours toward graduation each academic year in order to retain their scholarships. Palmetto Fellows Scholars must maintain a 3.0 cumulative institutional GPA and earn at least 30 credit hours each academic year (not to include any AP, IB, dual enrollment, CLEP, or exempted credit hours). Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholars may receive an additional $2,500 enhancement in their second, third, or fourth year if they enter certain majors, including math, computer science, engineering, nursing, pharmacy, and middle grades education. Eligibility for the enhancement must be earned in the first academic year only and students must be enrolled in an eligible major at their home institution. Students also must meet all continuing eligibility requirements for the Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholarships. South Carolina HOPE scholarships provide a one-time maximum award of $2,800, including a $300 book allowance, to entering freshmen who had high school GPAs of at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA based on the SC Uniform Grading Policy upon high school graduation but who are not eligible for Palmetto Fellows or LIFE Scholarships. The state s HOPE scholars who maintain a 3.0 LIFE GPA and earn an average of 30 credit hours toward graduation during their first academic year may qualify to receive the LIFE Scholarship for subsequent years. Tennessee Tennessee awards financial aid based on academic merit and financial need. Beginning with the class of 2015, Tennessee high school graduates will have the opportunity to enroll in two years of tuition-free education as part of a new scholarship called the Tennessee Promise. The Tennessee Promise is a lastdollar scholarship, meaning it will cover the remaining portion of tuition and fees after all other aid is applied (excluding loans and work-study). The scholarship funds can be applied toward tuition and fees at the state s public colleges of applied technology, as well as two- or four-year institutions that offer an associate s degree. The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) program awards HOPE scholarships to recent high school graduates who attend approved Tennessee public or independent institutions. Students must have a score of 21 on the ACT (or 980 SAT) or a 3.0 weighted high school GPA. Students must maintain a 2.75 college GPA to renew the HOPE scholarship for the first 48 credit-hours and a 3.0 GPA to renew after 72 credit-hours. HOPE scholars also may qualify for supplemental awards, including the General Assembly Merit Scholarship and the need-based ASPIRE Award. The HOPE Access Grant is awarded to students who earn a 2.75 weighted high school GPA, score an 18 on the ACT (or 860 on the SAT) and have an annual household income of $36,000 or less. While the HOPE Access Grant expires after one academic year, students can receive the HOPE scholarship if they maintain a 2.75 GPA for their first two semesters of college. The state also provides several other grant opportunities for specific student subgroups through the TELS Program. Tennessee graduates who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant and have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under $2,100 can receive additional aid through the Tennessee Student Assistance Award. Funding is limited and awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant, also part of TELS Program, is available to Tennessee residents who attend one the state s 27 colleges of applied technology.
9 Texas Texas does not sponsor a statewide, merit-based scholarship program. The Towards Excellence, Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant provides up to $8,000 annually to eligible students who enroll at Texas public universities within sixteen months of high school graduation, whose expected family contribution is less than $4,800, and who successfully complete the Foundation, Recommended, or Distinguished Achievement high school diploma. Students who have earned an associate degree, transfer to a four-year institution with at least 24 credit hours and a GPA of 2.5 or higher may also be eligible. Effective fall 2014, community and technical college students are no longer eligible to award initial year TEXAS Grants. Community and technical college students may continue to receive renewal awards if eligible. Students receive priority consideration for TEXAS Grant awards if they satisfy requirements in at least two of the following four areas : (1) advanced academic programs ; (2) Texas Success Initiative (TSI) college readiness ; (3) class standing ; or, (4) advanced math. To receive a TEXAS Renewal Grant, eligible students must maintain an overall grade-point average (GPA) of 2.5 and complete at least 24 credit hours per year. Students may renew TEXAS Grants for up to five years. Students with demonstrated financial need who rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class, complete the Recommended or Distinguished Achievement program, and enroll full time in Texas public colleges or universities may be eligible to participate in the Top 10% Scholarship Program. This program awards eligible students up to $2,000 per year. While the Top 10% Program has a Workforce Bonus Award, the Legislature has not provided sufficient funding for this supplement for the fall 2013 and 2014 semesters. In order to renew the Top 10% Award, eligible students must complete at least 75 percent of credit-hours attempted, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25, and complete at least 30 credit hours per year. The Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG) was created in 2001 (Texas Education Code Section ) to provide grant aid for tuition and required fees to financially needy students who enroll in Texas public two-year colleges. Public two-year colleges have experienced a substantial growth in enrollment over the last two years, accounting for an estimated 56 percent of public higher education enrollment in fall To be eligible for a TEOG, a student must be enrolled at a public community college, technical college, or state college, have an Estimated Family Contribution of no more than $2,000, and enroll in at least six semester credit hours per term. Students who continue in college and who meet continuing eligibility requirements may receive awards for up to 75 semester credit hours, for four years, or until they receive an associate's degree, whichever comes first. The continuing eligibility requirements are: (1) Meet the school's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements at the end of first year; and End of second year - Must complete at least 75 percent of the hours attempted in the prior academic year and have an overall college GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale The award amount is equal to the statewide average of a student's tuition and required fees. The financial aid office at the college the student is attending will notify the student if he/she is eligible for a TEOG.
10 Virginia State Financial Aid The majority of state financial aid dollars go toward need-based programs. The Virginia General Assembly awards financial aid funds in two ways: through the postsecondary institution and to the student. The Virginia Commonwealth Award is a need-based, institutional grant funded through state dollars. Colleges and universities choose how to award aid. The law, however, requires that institutions award aid in such a way that the students with the greatest need receive the largest awards. The Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program is a mixed aid (i.e., merit and need) program that provides state grants to eligible, full-time students enrolled in a Virginia public two- or four-year colleges or universities who have demonstrated financial need and who graduate from high school with GPAs of at least 2.5. In order to renew aid, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA and demonstrate continued financial need. The Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program provides financial aid for students attending instate, nonpublic institutions. The maximum award is $3,100. The Two-Year College Transfer Grant provides $1,000 per year to students who have earned associate degrees at a Virginia two-year college with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, enroll full-time at an in-state, four-year institution, and have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $12,000 or less. Students who enter baccalaureate programs in science, teaching, engineering, math, or nursing fields are eligible to reach an additional $1,000 per year. Smaller merit scholarship and loan programs provide aid to aspiring teachers, nurses, shipyard workers, and aerospace and civil engineers. West Virginia West Virginia awards financial aid based on academic merit, financial need, and intended career. The primary financial aid program is the merit-based Providing Real Opportunities for Maximizing In-State Student Excellence (PROMISE) Scholarship. The program offers awards for tuition and fees of up to $4,750 toward attending an in-state public or private college. To be eligible, West Virginia high school graduates must meet two requirements: (1) a 3.0 GPA in PROMISE core and overall high school course work; and (2) an ACT composite score of at least 22, with minimum scores of 20 in each subject (or equivalent SAT scores). The PROMISE core is aligned with university admission requirements. To renew the award, full-time enrollees must earn a 2.75 GPA in the first year and a cumulative 3.0 GPA thereafter. Further, students must earn a minimum of 30 credit-hours per year. The West Virginia Higher Education Grant (HEGP) is a need-based financial aid program. Awards vary based on the extent of financial need. Maximum annual awards are $2,600. This grant can be used in conjunction, or stacked, with the PROMISE Scholarship.
11 The West Virginia Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student (HEAPS) Grant program is a need-based financial aid program for students enrolled part-time or enrolled in a short-term workforce training program. Award amounts vary. The West Virginia Engineering, Science, and Technology Scholarship provides a maximum annual award of $3,000 for students admitted to eligible programs. Graduates must repay the scholarship with interest if they do not meet the work requirement (i.e., one year of in-state work for each year the scholarship was received). Other scholarship and loan programs increase affordability for students entering early childhood, teaching, and health science fields.