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Zell Miller Foundation offers new way to pay for class

The Shirley Miller Scholarship is open to all students who qualify for the HOPE Scholarship. (Special: Zell Miller Foundation)

Calling all current and future Georgia college students — a new way to help cover the cost of tuition is here. 

The Shirley Miller Scholarship is now available to anyone who qualifies for the HOPE Scholarship, which requires a full-time schedule and at least a 3.0 GPA. The mission is to cover the funding gap between the HOPE scholarship and the cost of tuition.

Until fully funded, the applicants will be prioritized based on the following criteria:

  1. Applicants who are Black, Hispanic or Asian
  2. Students studying at HBCUs
  3. First-generation college students
  4. Applicants with an annual household income lower than Georgia’s median household income

The scholarship was created by the Zell Miller Foundation, which was co-founded by the former Governor of Georgia. 

As Governor, Miller founded the HOPE Scholarship, which originally covered the entire cost of tuition, whereas now it offers partial coverage. Over 1.9 million students have benefited from the program.

“Zell Miller’s vision was to provide full tuition to students who earn a HOPE Scholarship, and we are committed to fulfilling that vision,” Executive Director Lori McClure said of the new scholarship.

Former first lady Shirley Miller is instrumental in the foundation, and the new scholarship program is named in her honor.

This past spring, the Zell Miller Foundation raised $50,000 in immediate support, which covered the needs of 127 students. In total, the foundation faced 388 applications requesting $325,000 in aid, according to the foundation. 

“HOPE is the only reason why I am able to even be where I am now,” one applicant wrote to the Zell Miller Foundation. “Growing up surrounded by a family struggling to capture the American Dream… I essentially came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be able to go to school. I can now proudly say that with HOPE, I can be the first person in my family to gain a higher education.”

The deadline for applications is July 12.

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Hannah E. Jones

Hannah Jones is an Atlanta native who recently graduated from Georgia State University, with a major in journalism and minor in public policy. She began studying journalism in high school and has since served as a reporter and editor for two newspapers. Hannah managed the Arts and Living section of The Signal, Georgia State’s independent award-winning newspaper. She has a passion for environmental issues, urban life and telling a good story. Hannah is excited about the opportunity to serve the City of Atlanta and its people. Hannah can be reached at [email protected]

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