The HOPE scholarship program in Georgia provides financial aid for tens of thousands of college students. The scholarships are merit-based. Students need to have obtained a 3.0 grade point average in high school in order to be eligible for HOPE awards to help them finance higher education.
Black students do not receive anything close to their fair share of scholarship funds compared to the Black percentage of the state’s population. In 2011, 74,278 students received HOPE scholarships in Georgia. Of these recipients, 12,274, or 16.5 percent, are African Americans. Blacks are about 30 percent of the college-age population in Georgia.
The Zell Miller Scholarship Program is for top performing students and provides enough money for students to pay their complete tuition costs at state universities. Students need a 3.7 grade point average in high school and to score a 1200 on the reading and mathematics sections of the SAT college entrance examination. In 2011, a total of 10,629 students in Georgia qualified for Zell Miller Scholarships. Of these, only 400, or 3.8 percent were African Americans.