Introducing the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship


ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP

The Achieve Atlanta scholarship is a need-based award designed to support low-income APS students pursuing various paths after high school. For students attending a 4-year college, Achieve Atlanta will award up to $5,000 per year (renewable for up to four years of school). For students attending a 2-year college or technical program, the award is up to $1,500 per year (renewable for up to two years of school). These scholarships are meant to provide “last dollar” assistance. When combined with other possible sources of financial aid, they should greatly reduce the need for students and families to take out high-interest, private loans to pay for school. The Achieve Atlanta scholarship is an important part of Achieve Atlanta’s broader effort to dramatically increase the number of APS students who earn a post-secondary degree or credential.

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ABOUT ACHIEVE ATLANTA

Achieve Atlanta’s vision is that all students educated in Atlanta Public Schools will complete post-secondary education and obtain the full benefits a higher education provides. Our model is built on a holistic, collaborative approach to increasing both college access and college persistence. Achieve Atlanta is working in close partnership with Atlanta Public Schools to reinforce and align the efforts of strategic partners toward a common goal: To get more Atlanta Public Schools students to and through college.



Scholarship Eligibility Criteria & Key Dates

To be eligible for an Achieve Atlanta scholarship, you must:

  • Graduate from an APS high school (includes charters)
  • Be enrolled in an APS high school continuously since at least the start of 11th grade
  • Graduate with a cumulative, weighted GPA of at least 75 to qualify for a scholarship to a technical school or associate degree program
  • Graduate with a cumulative, weighted GPA of at least 80 to qualify for a scholarship to a 4-year college or university



  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Demonstrate financial need by qualifying for either a full or partial Pell Grant
  • Enroll full-time in an accredited, non-profit college or technical program by the fall immediately following high school graduation (NOTE: To use the scholarship outside the state of Georgia, you must attend a school that has a graduation rate of 50% or higher.)



* You’ll be notified of your contingent award one week after you apply.
* If you’d like to be recognized at graduation as an Achieve Atlanta scholarship recipient, be sure to apply by April 30th.

Frequently Asked Questions

SCHOLARSHIP BASICS
What is the purpose of the Achieve Atlanta scholarship?

Achieve Atlanta’s mission is to dramatically increase the number of Atlanta Public Schools (APS) students completing post-secondary education. The goal of the Achieve Atlanta scholarship is to help remove the financial barriers preventing many APS students from reaching this important milestone.


Who is this scholarship for?

The Achieve Atlanta scholarship will support low-income Atlanta Public School graduates who meet eligibility requirements and need assistance paying for post-secondary education.


Will the Achieve Atlanta scholarship only support students going to a 4-year college/university?

No. Achieve Atlanta will support students along multiple paths after high school. This includes students pursuing four-year degrees, two-year degrees, and technical diplomas and certificates.


Can I use the Achieve Atlanta scholarship at an institution outside of Georgia?

Only in limited circumstances. To use the scholarship outside of Georgia, you must attend an accredited, non-profit college or technical program that has a graduation rate of 50% or higher. You can search for colleges/programs and their graduation rates at collegescorecard.ed.gov. If you do not find your school listed here, please contact Achieve Atlanta.


How much is the Achieve Atlanta scholarship?

The scholarship award depends on the post-secondary path you choose:
– 4-year college: up to $5,000 per year for up to four years of school
– 2-year & Technical: up to $1,500 per year for up to two years of school


Why these award amounts?

Our awards are intended to serve as a “last-dollar scholarship”, meaning we expect students to pursue all other possible aid (grants, scholarships, etc.) to pay for their education. We anticipate when combined with other sources of financial aid, the Achieve Atlanta scholarship will help students and families finance post-secondary education without having to take out high-interest, private loans.


How can I use my scholarship?

Achieve Atlanta scholarship awards can be used for tuition, room, and board at accredited, non-profit institutions, in- and out-of-state.


Is my scholarship renewable?

Yes. The Achieve Atlanta Scholarship is renewable for up to four years for students on the 4-year path and for up to two years for students on the 2-year path.


What do I have to do to renew my scholarship?

To continue receiving your Achieve Atlanta Scholarship, you must:

  1. Meet the minimum standard for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at your institution each semester or term;
  2. Maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). In the event your cumulative GPA drops below a 2.0, you must raise your cumulative GPA within a one-term grace period to at least a 2.0;
  3. Complete the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship Renewal Application and the FAFSA every academic year; and
  4. Update student contact information with Achieve Atlanta as necessary.


ELIGIBILITY
Who is eligible to receive the Achieve Atlanta scholarship?

To be eligible for the Achieve Atlanta scholarship, a student must:

  1. Graduate from an APS high school (includes charters)
  2. Be enrolled in an APS high school continuously since at least the start of 11th grade
  3. Graduate with a cumulative weighted GPA of at least 75 to qualify for a scholarship to a technical school or associate degree program
  4. Graduate with a cumulative weighted GPA of at least 80 to qualify for a scholarship to a 4-year college or university
  5. Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  6. Demonstrate financial need by qualifying for either a full or partial Pell Grant (this will be determined during the FAFSA application process)
  7. Enroll full-time in an accredited, non-profit college or technical program by the fall
    immediately following high school graduation


I graduated from APS prior to 2016. Am I eligible for a scholarship?

Unfortunately, the scholarship cannot fund students who have graduated from APS prior to 2016.


Are Brumley-GRAD Scholars eligible for the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship?

Brumley-GRAD scholars from the Class of 2016 are eligible, provided they meet all other eligibility criteria.


I am a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. Can I apply for the scholarship?

Yes, DACA recipients can apply for the scholarship. DACA recipients will need to complete the FAFSA and the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship application. Achieve Atlanta will review your application materials to determine financial need. For instructions regarding DACA students and FAFSA completion, see Student Aid’s fact sheet and United We Dream’s FAFSA toolkit, or speak to your College Adviser or Counselor.


If my final GPA is just below the minimum 80 or 75, will Achieve Atlanta round up to consider me eligible?

Unfortunately, no. To be fair to everyone, we will maintain strict minimum GPA standards and will not round up.


If I graduate from high school early, can I still receive a scholarship?

Yes, provided you have been enrolled in an APS high school for the last two full schools years prior to your graduation and meet all other eligibility criteria.


Are scholarships available to students accepted into colleges over the summer (i.e., after final Achieve Atlanta scholarship awards have been made)?

Yes, provided you meet all other eligibility criteria. If you are accepted to college over the summer, contact Achieve Atlanta to discuss your eligibility.


APPLYING FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP
How do I apply for the Achieve Atlanta scholarship?
  1. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  2. Save the SAR (Student Aid Report) that you’ll receive 3 -10 days after you complete your FAFSA.
  3. Find the “Apply” button at the top of the page and click there to access the online application. You’ll need your SAR and FAFSA info.


When can I apply for the scholarship?

Applications open in January 2017 (exact date to be determined) and close at 11:59 pm EST on May 31st, 2017.


Is there a fee to apply?

No, there are no fees to apply for the Achieve Atlanta scholarship.


What is the FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application is required to receive any federal financial aid (such as Pell Grant, Perkins, Stafford, etc.). You may complete this application online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.


I’m having trouble completing the FAFSA? What should I do?

Speak to your college advisor or school counselor. Also, see the Resources section below.


CONTACTING US
What should I do if I still have questions?

You can reach Achieve Atlanta two ways: 1) Use the “Contact Us” form on the website to send us a message, or 2) Call us at 404-880-3500 (Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM EST).



Resources

Videos and Links to Help You Apply for an Achieve Atlanta Scholarship



Next Steps

Apply for an Achieve Atlanta Scholarship!

01

Complete your FAFSA

Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

02

Save the SAR

Save the SAR (Student Aid Report) that you’ll receive 3-10 days after you complete your FAFSA.

03

Verify your GPA

Check with your high school counselor to verify your GPA, and keep up your grades to guarantee your eligibility.

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Questions? Comments? Send us a message below or call us at 404-880-3500.

Our Partners

Atlanta Public Schools
College Advising Corp
Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Hands on Atlanta
Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation
Lumia Foundation