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Financial Aid

Scholarships

Most students pay for college through a combination of loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs. Like grants, scholarships are often a top choice for students because the money doesn’t have to be repaid.

Columbus State University students can access scholarships through institutional, external, and state funding sources. Typically, scholarships are based on need (income) or merit (academic, athletic, or artistic achievement). Take a moment to explore which scholarships you may qualify for.

Institutional Scholarships

Listed below are specialized scholarships:

View All Scholarships

External Scholarships

External scholarships include any funding from sources outside of CSU, the Georgia Student Finance
Commission (GSFC), or the federal government. Awards from companies, foundations, civic and religious
organizations, and employer tuition benefits are common examples of external scholarships.

Since external scholarships are designed to help meet overall college costs, CSU is required take these
awards into account when determining your eligibility for other aid programs. Report any award to the
Office of Financial Aid.

If you’re interested in accessing a broader range of scholarship opportunities, start with the following
resources:

  • High school counselors often have information of scholarships offered by local companies and clubs as well as scholarships designated for entering freshmen.
  • Employers often offer scholarships to their employees or children of employees. Please check with the Human Resources department.
  • GAfutures.org lists information and applications for Georgia Scholarships.
  • Online tools: Sites such as Fastweb  and Scholarships.com match learners with scholarship
    opportunities free of charge.*

*Online resources are offered for informational purposes only and not endorsed by Columbus State University.
The Office of Financial Aid does not guarantee the accuracy or the timeliness of information provided by
external sources.

State Scholarships

Listed below are the requirements for the Hope and Zell Miller scholarship programs:

The student must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet academic rigor requirements:
    • Must earn a minimum of four full credits from the academic rigor course categories (see list below) prior to graduating from high school
      • Advanced math, such as advanced algebra and trigonometry, math III, taken at the high school, or an equivalent or higher course taken for degree level credit at an Eligible Postsecondary Institution; or
      • Advanced science, such as chemistry, physics, biology II, and certain computer science courses taken at the high school level, or an equivalent or higher course taken for degree level credit at an Eligible Postsecondary Institution; or
      • Foreign language courses taken at the high school, or taken for degree level credit at an Eligible Postsecondary Institution; or
      • Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or degree level Dual Credit Enrollment courses in Core subjects.
      • Advanced math
      • Advanced science
      • Advanced Placement (AP) courses in core subjects
      • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Must graduate from an eligible high school with a minimum 3.0 GPA
    • GPA is checked at checkpoints to ensure student is maintaining the required 3.0 GPA
    • Checkpoints:
      • End of every spring semester
      • 30 attempted semester hours
      • 60 attempted semester hours
      • 90 attempted semester hours
      • Three-term checkpoint, if enrolled less than full-time for first three semesters
    • Can only regain HOPE once after lost
    • Can only regain eligibility at the hour checkpoints
  • Must maintain 3.0 GPA throughout to keep HOPE scholarship
  • Has 10 years after high school graduation to use HOPE scholarship before it expires
  • The student can only use HOPE or Zell within 127 attempted or paid hours (whichever comes first)
  • Hours taken through the Dual Enrollment program Fall 2011 or later do not count toward the 127 attempted hours limit
    • This allows the student to have more hours to use for HOPE or Zell

**Regulations found at https://gsfc.georgia.gov/regulations/regulations-2019-2020**

The student must meet the following requirements:

    • Must be the designated valedictorian or salutatorian AND
    • Must meet the minimum HOPE scholarship requirements
    • Has 10 years after high school graduation to use HOPE scholarship before it expires

OR

  • Meet academic rigor requirements as for HOPE
  • Must graduate from an eligible high school with a minimum 3.7 GPA AND
  • Must have a 1200 SAT total test score OR 26 ACT composite score
  • Must maintain 3.3 GPA throughout to keep HOPE scholarship
  • Has 10 years after high school graduation to use HOPE scholarship before it expires
  • The student can only use HOPE or Zell within 127 attempted or paid hours (whichever comes first)
  • Hours taken through the Dual Enrollment program Fall 2011 or later do not count toward the 127 attempted hours limit
    • This allows the student to have more hours to use for HOPE or Zell

**Regulations found at https://gsfc.georgia.gov/regulations/regulations-2019-2020**

HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship STEM Weighted Course FAQs

Effective fall 2017, when calculating the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship postsecondary Grade Point Average (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 Georgia postsecondary institution fall 2017 or later.

Where can I find the approved STEM Courses?

Approved STEM courses can be found in the STEM Weighted Course Directory.

Will approved STEM courses I take at another eligible postsecondary institution receive the additional GPA weight at CSU?

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

Will STEM courses I take at an out-of-state institution receive additional GPA 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.

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

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

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 GPA weight retroactively?

No. Please see the STEM Weighted Course Directory for the Beginning and Ending Term dates for all courses.

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

Nothing. The additional weight will be automatically added to your HOPE Scholarship GPA.

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.

Will I receive the STEM weight as a Dual Enrollment student?

Dual Enrollment students who take a STEM course will not receive an additional 0.5 weight for the class to determine their HOPE Scholarship GPA at the postsecondary (college) level because the course was taken while in high school. Students will receive a 0.5 weight for a core dual enrollment STEM course when calculating their high school HOPE Scholarship GPA.

NOTE: When calculating a student’s HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship GPA, the calculation will include an additional weight of 0.5 to grades of B (3.0), C (2.0) and D (1.0) in these eligible courses. Grades of A and F do not qualify for the additional STEM weight. Dual credit enrollment students who take a STEM course will not receive an additional 0.5 weight for the class to determine their HOPE Scholarship GPA at the postsecondary (college) level because the course was taken while in high school. Students will receive a 0.5 weight for a core dual enrollment STEM course when calculating their high school HOPE Scholarship GPA.

Sample HOPE GPA Calculation with STEM

**Regulations found at https://gsfc.georgia.gov/regulations/regulations-2019-2020**