Paying for College

Financial Aid

Financial aid is usually awarded in a "package," which can consist of one or all of the following components: a scholarship or grant (usually directly from the university) which does not need to be repaid, a loan (usually from the federal government), and an on-campus job. Distribution is based on financial need.

Most financial assistance is administered through the financial aid office of individual colleges. Therefore, care should be taken to make application for financial aid at each of the colleges to which the student applies. In most instances this will require that the family file some combination of the following three forms:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Federal government will process this form free of charge. Almost every college or university requires this form. It asks families to supply information about their income and assets and is most easily filled out using a completed tax return (questions will refer to specific lines of the 1040 or 1040A). The FAFSA will be available in early January of the senior year and should be filed electronically

College Board's PROFILE Form

Most private colleges and universities require more information than the FAFSA can provide. Therefore, many of these schools will ask the financial aid applicant to complete the PROFILE. The PROFILE application consists of two parts: an initial registration form available online at which should be completed in the fall of the senior year, as soon as the student's list of colleges to which he or she will apply is finalized. The College Board will process the initial PROFILE registration form and will return to the family forms that have been customized to gather the information required by each of the schools listed on the initial form. Since the College Board is gathering this information on behalf of the participating schools, there is a processing fee which accompanies the PROFILE. The 2006-07 costs were $18.00 per college listed, plus a one-time $5.00 service charge.

Institutional Forms

Because some colleges object to the high fees associated with the PROFILE form, they choose to request additional information using a form that they developed in-house. Be aware, however, that a few colleges require the FAFSA, the PROFILE, and their own institutional form! Because colleges often differ in their requirements to receive financial aid, students should contact the financial aid office at the schools they wish to attend to determine which forms are necessary and to request that these forms be forwarded to them.

In addition to money distributed by the Federal government or individual colleges and universities, the Georgia Student Finance Commission, (2082 East Exchange Place, Tucker, Georgia 30084, 770-724-9000) awards some additional funds based on merit or financial need. Information about State Grants such as the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant is available on the website.


The financial aid office of each college to which you apply is the best source of information concerning the scholarships available at the institution. Please remember that the Deerfield-Windsor College Counseling Office receives only a limited number of scholarship notices from the colleges, which we pass along to students. A comprehensive list of scholarships about which Deerfield-Windsor has been notified is available in the College Counseling Office and in Naviance.

As scholarship bulletins come to the attention of the College Counseling Office, they are posted on bulletin boards, publicized to seniors and made available for perusal in the College Counseling Office. Individuals are encouraged to pursue any scholarships for which they may be eligible either by reason of employment, service, association membership, talent, or major field of interest.

You are also encouraged to complete a free scholarship search at

Hope Scholarship

Through HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally), the state of Georgia rewards high school students' hard work with tuition scholarships for degree programs at any Georgia public college, university, or technical institute. Students need a true 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale in order to qualify for HOPE. More information is available from the Deerfield-Windsor College Counseling Office or

Students attending a private college or university in Georgia are also eligible for a HOPE grant of approximately $3,000 per year.

In order to receive the HOPE scholarship, you must submit either the FAFSA or, if you are not seeking federal aid, you may file the GSFAPPS application, available online at Those students wishing to receive the private school grant must fill out the GSFAPPS application.

Beginning Fall 2011

Regular HOPE

  • Students must have a 3.0 GPA graduating from an eligible high school.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in college to keep HOPE.
  • For the academic year starting Fall 2011, the HOPE amount is capped at 90 percent of the current tuition rate at University System of Georgia (USG) institutions.

Zell Miller Scholarship

  • Students must have a 3.7 GPA graduating from an eligible high school.
  • In addition to the 3.7 GPA, students must have a combined 1200 on the critical reading and math sections of the SAT or at least a 26 Composite ACT score. These scores must come from a single test sitting.
  • Students must maintain a 3.3 GPA in college to keep the Zell Miller scholarship.
  • A valedictorian and salutatorian from each high school will be eligible to receive the Zell Miller Scholarship without consideration of the GPA or ACT/SAT requirements.
  • Zell Miller Scholarship will cover tuition at 100% for an academic year.
  • Students who drop below the 3.3.GPA can earn Regular HOPE if their GPA remains at 3.0 or above.

For Both Regular HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship

  • Books and fee allowances have been eliminated.
  • Remedial classes are not covered by the HOPE scholarship.
  • Eligible students can continue to receive HOPE scholarship until they have attempted a maximum of 127 semester hours.
  • Students who lose Regular HOPE or the Zell Miller scholarship at an established checkpoint will have a single chance to regain HOPE or the Zell Miller scholarship.
  • Beginning with high school graduating class of 2015, students will be required to demonstrate that they have taken a certain number of rigorous high school courses in math, science, and foreign language.
  • Courses earned through dual-enrollment will count toward the rigor requirements being phased in for 2015.

**HOPE requirements are subject to change at any time.

For further information, please consult