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Hope & Zell STEM FAQ

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Courses -- HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships

Effective Fall 2017, when calculating the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship postsecondary GPA, an additional weight of 0.5 will be added to grades of B, C, and D for approved degree level Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) courses taken at an eligible Postsecondary Institution Fall 2017 or later.

Where can I find out which STEM courses are approved?

The approved STEM courses are listed in the STEM Weighted Course Directory.

Will STEM courses I took prior to Fall 2017 receive additional weight retroactively?

No. Only eligible courses taken Fall 2017 or later will receive the additional weight.

Will approved STEM courses taken at another eligible Georgia Postsecondary Institution receive the additional weight at MGA?

Yes, all approved courses taken Fall 2017 or later will receive the additional weight.

Will STEM courses taken at an out-of-state institution receive additional weight?

No. Courses must be taken at an eligible Georgia postsecondary institution Fall 2017 or later. Please see the STEM Weighted Course Directory for a list of the eligible schools.

If I take a course that is not currently in the STEM Weighted Course Directory and then it is added to the STEM Weighted Course Directory at a later date for a later term, can I get the additional weight retroactively?

No. Please see the STEM Weighted Course Directory for the Beginning and End Terms for all courses.

What do I need to do to have the additional weight added to my HOPE Scholarship GPA?

Nothing. We will add the additional weight to your GPA automatically.

Who determines which courses appear in the STEM Weighted Course Directory?

The STEM Weighted Course Council is responsible for approving all additions, deletions, and changes to the directory. This council consists of representatives from the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, the Georgia Independent College Association, the Georgia Student Finance Commission, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, and a member of the Georgia General Assembly.

How often is the STEM Weighted Course Directory updated?

Changes to the STEM Weighted Course Directory only occur once per year, generally in February.

How do I apply for HOPE/Zell Miller scholarship if I am a transfer student or have reached one of the HOPE checkpoints (30, 60, 90 hours attempted) and would like to be reviewed for eligibility?

You will need to complete the MGA HOPE/Zell Miller Evaluation Request Form located on the financial aid’s office forms page to initiate the review. IMPORTANT-In addition to submitting this form, you must file a GSFAPPS or FAFSA on or before the last day of the school term or your withdrawal date, whichever occurs first, in order to be paid for that term.

I am a transient student at Middle Georgia State University and eligible for HOPE/Zell Miller scholarship. How do I apply?

Students awarded the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship by their Home School should contact their Home School’s financial aid office to request certification of the student’s HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility to the  Georgia Student Finance Commission’s (GSFC) SURFER Website so MGA’s financial aid office can then access that information and award the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship to the student based on his/her MGA enrollment and the Home School's certification information.

I will be a transient student at another institution for a term(s).  How do I receive my HOPE/Zell Miller scholarship there? 

You will need to submit a HOPE and Zell Miller transient form to MGA’s financial aid office for processing.  The form is located on our webpage at

Where can I get additional information?

Additional information can be found at GAFutures.

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