THE ACHIEVE
ATLANTA SCHOLARSHIP

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The Achieve Atlanta Scholarship
About the Scholarship
The Achieve Atlanta scholarship is a need-based award designed to support APS students pursuing various post-secondary 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). When combined with other possible sources of financial aid, the Achieve Atlanta scholarship 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.
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 through an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 – $8,000 on the FAFSA Student Aid Report (this will be determined once you complete the FAFSA)
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 44% or higher as determined by the College Scorecard.)
October 1st
FAFSA Application Opens
January 30th
Scholarship Application Opens
May 31st*
Scholarship Application Closes
June 15th
Final Scholarship Awards Announced
* You’ll be notified of your contingent award approximately two weeks 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 Atlanta Public School graduates who meet eligibility requirements and need assistance paying for post-secondary education.
Will the Achieve Atlanta scholarship support only 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 44% or higher. You can research colleges, their graduation rates, majors offered, costs and much more at College Scorecard. 
How much is the Achieve Atlanta scholarship?
The scholarship award depends on the post-secondary path for which you qualify:

  • 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 substantially support students’ cost of attendance, but we do expect students to pursue all other possible aid (federal 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.
What is the maximum amount of scholarship money I can receive from Achieve Atlanta?
The answer here depends on the path you pursue after high school. The maximum amount of scholarship money you can receive on (or transfer to) a 4-year path is $20,000. The maximum amount on a 2-year/technical path is $3,000.
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 4 years of school for students on a 4-year path (must be used within 5 years) and for up to 2 years of school for students on the 2-year path (must be used within 3 years).
What do I have to do to renew my scholarship?
To renew your Achieve Atlanta Scholarship for the next academic year, you must:

  1. Be within the maximum time limit and funding limit for the scholarship;
  2. Enroll full-time at an eligible Achieve Atlanta post-secondary institution;
  3. Complete the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship Renewal Application including uploading your transcript, course schedule(s) and other documents as requested;
  4. Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirement at your institution;
  5. Complete the FAFSA;
  6. Meet the financial need criteria established by Achieve Atlanta during your initial application year; and
  7. Submit up-to-date contact information to Achieve Atlanta.
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 at least a 75 GPA to qualify for a scholarship to a technical school or associate degree program
  4. Graduate with at least an 80 GPA 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 through an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 – $8,000 on the FAFSA Student Aid Report (this will be determined during the FAFSA application process)
  7. Enroll full-time in an accredited, non-profit college or technical program in Georgia by the fall immediately following high school graduation. If you wish to enroll in an out-of-state institution it must be an accredited, non-profit or technical program with a graduation rate of at least 44% according to the College Scorecard.
How long am I eligible to receive the Achieve Atlanta scholarship?
If you are on a 2-year/technical path, your eligibility period is a maximum of 3 years. If you are on (or transfer to) a 4-year path, your eligibility period is a maximum of 5 years. Your eligibility period begins when you first enroll at a post-secondary institution as an Achieve Atlanta Scholar. Your Achieve Atlanta scholarship eligibility will end once you meet the dollar maximum or eligibility period maximum, whichever comes first.
I am a previous graduate of Atlanta Public Schools and I applied for the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship but I did not qualify. Can I re-apply?
No. You must qualify for the scholarship during your high school graduation year.
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.
I am a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. Can I apply for the scholarship?
Yes, DACA recipients can apply for the scholarship. You do not need to complete the FAFSA. Achieve Atlanta will use a separate process to determine whether you meet the financial need requirement, given DACA students are not eligible for federal financial aid. Please speak to your College Adviser or contact Achieve Atlanta 404-880-3500 if you are interested in applying.
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 my final GPA is between a 75 and 80 and I enroll in a 4-year college program, can I receive the $5,000 scholarship?
No. To be eligible for the $5,000 scholarship for a 4-year college or university, you must graduate high school with a cumulative GPA of 80.000 or higher. If you do not meet this requirement and enroll in a 4-year program you are forgoing the opportunity to be an Achieve Atlanta Scholar.
If I receive the 2-year college scholarship, can I qualify for the 4-year scholarship later?
Yes. Achieve Atlanta Scholars attending 2-year institutions can qualify for the 4-year scholarship later if:

  1. You earn a 2-year degree/diploma;
  2. You are accepted into and enroll full-time at an eligible 4-year institution;
  3. You meet the Achieve Atlanta financial need requirement (at the time of your original application)
  4. You have not reached the 5-year or $20,000 limit
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.
If I do not meet the requirements for the Achieve Atlanta scholarship, can I appeal?
Yes. However, exceptions to Achieve Atlanta Scholarship eligibility criteria and policies are rare, and will only be made due to exceptional personal or family circumstances. Please review the eligibility criteria and consider your situation carefully before submitting an appeal.

NOTE: Appeals will not be considered if you enroll in or transfer to an ineligible institution, including a for-profit institution, non-accredited institution, or institution that does not meet Achieve Atlanta’s out-of-state graduation requirements.

In addition, appeals must be submitted by the following deadlines below or will not be considered:

  • Oct 1 for fall term awards

To request an appeal form, call the Achieve Atlanta office at 404-880-3500. A unique link will be emailed to you requiring a statement detailing the circumstances which contributed to your inability to meet the requirements and any plans you have to meet the requirements in the future, as well as any supporting documentation.

Applying for the scholarship
How do I apply for the Achieve Atlanta scholarship?
  1. Starting October 1, 2016, 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. Starting January 30, 2017, go to www.achieveatlanta.org and 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 for 2017 high school graduates open January 30th, 2017 and close 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. The 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 adviser or school counselor. Also, see the Resources below.
Receiving my scholarship
I received an email saying I am preliminarily eligible for the scholarship, now what?
This means that the application you submitted currently meets all eligibility criteria but your final award will be determined based on graduating from high school with a final, weighted GPA of at least 75.00 for the 2-year/technical college scholarship or at least 80.000 for the 4-year college scholarship and enrolling full-time in an accredited, non-profit institution in Georgia. You may enroll in an institution outside of Georgia but the graduation rate must be 44% or higher according to the College Scorecard. Additionally, if your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) increases to more than $8,000, you will no longer be eligible to receive the scholarship.
My Student Aid Report from FAFSA says that I was selected for verification. What does that mean for my Achieve Atlanta Scholarship eligibility?
Verification is a process that your college will conduct to review your financial need. Most likely they will request additional tax or financial documents from you or your parents. Once verification is complete the school will determine your new EFC. If your EFC increases to more than $8,000, you will no longer be eligible to receive the scholarship.
How will you know where to send the scholarship?
The summer before you start college and each semester thereafter, we will send an update or renewal link to you. You will be asked to provide documentation confirming where you plan to enroll the next semester. The scholarship check will be mailed to the appropriate institution’s financial aid office.
How will my college receive the scholarship money?
As long as the college choice on your update form meets the institutional eligibility, Achieve Atlanta will mail a check to the college’s financial aid office. The financial aid office will then place the funds on your student account.
Do I get the whole scholarship at once or is it split between semesters?
The scholarship will be split between fall and spring semesters. Students receiving the 4-year college scholarship will receive $2,500 for fall and $2,500 for spring. Students receiving the 2-year/technical college scholarship will receive $750 for fall and $750 for spring.
I received an email that says you mailed my scholarship check, but so far, the check’s not showing up on my bill. What should I do?
Contact your school’s financial aid office. The email from Achieve Atlanta includes the check number you can reference. Remember: It usually takes 1 – 4 weeks for an institution to post a check to a student’s account.
Contacting us
What should I do if I have further 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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