About the Scholarship

The Achieve Atlanta Scholarship is a need-based award designed to support APS students pursuing various postsecondary paths after high school.

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I APPLIED FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP, WHAT’S NEXT?

HOW DO I PAY FOR COLLEGE?

Awards

For students eligible for the 4-year college scholarship, Achieve Atlanta will award $5,000 per year (renewable for up to four years of school). For students eligible for the 2-year college or technical program scholarship, the award is $1,500 per year (renewable for up to two years of school).

Assistance

When combined with other possible sources of financial aid, the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship can assist in closing affordability gaps and reduce the need for students and families to borrow 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 postsecondary degree or credential.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria & Key Dates

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

  • Be a high school senior at an APS high school
  • 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

    • Scholars enrolling in a technical school or associate degree program (2-year school) will be awarded $1,500 per year for up to a maximum of 2 years (4 terms) of school. The funds must be used within 3 years of the Scholar’s high school graduation.

    • Scholars enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program (4-year school) will be awarded $5,000 per year for up to a maximum of 4 years (8 terms) of school. The funds must be used within 5 years of the Scholar’s high school graduation.

  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

    • If you are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid (complete the FAFSA), please reach out to us for assistance.

  • 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 eligible college/university or technical program by the fall after you graduate

Key Dates

for scholarship eligibility

Oct 1st

FAFSA Application Opens

Feb 1st

Scholarship Application Opens

May 31st

Scholarship Application Closes

June 15th

Final Scholarship Awards Announced

FAQS

Scholarship Basics

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

The Achieve Atlanta Scholarship will support Atlanta Public School graduates who meet eligibility requirements and need assistance paying for postsecondary education. Applicants must apply their senior year of high school.

No. Achieve Atlanta will support students along multiple paths after high school. This includes students pursuing 4-year degrees, 2-year degrees, and technical diplomas and certificates.

We fund students pursuing their first technical, associate’s or bachelor’s credential or degree. Students who earn a technical credential or associate’s degree and have remaining eligibility may be awarded funding to continue enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program. Achieve Atlanta will not provide scholarships for more than one associate’s or bachelor’s degree. No additional degrees will be supported once a bachelor’s degree is completed.

An eligible college/university is an accredited, nonprofit private or public college or technical program. All students must be enrolled at an eligible institution 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.)

Due to changes in eligibility criteria in 2021, the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship cannot be used at Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC).

Scholars must use their Achieve Atlanta Scholarship at an accredited, nonprofit private or public college or technical program in Georgia. If attending a college/university outside the state of Georgia, the school must also have a graduation rate of 44% or higher as determined by the College Scorecard.

Due to changes in eligibility criteria in 2021, the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship cannot be used at Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC).

No. One of the eligibility requirements is seamless enrollment at an eligible college/university immediately following graduation. If you choose to enroll at a college/university that does not meet the eligibility requirements, you are forgoing your Achieve Atlanta Scholarship.

Only in limited circumstances. To use the scholarship outside of Georgia, you must attend an accredited, nonprofit or public 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.

The scholarship award amount depends on if you enroll in a 2-year or 4-year college. 

  • 4-year college: $5,000 per year for up to a maximum of 4 years (8 terms) of school. The funds must be used within 5 years of the Scholar’s high school graduation.
  • 2-year college & technical program: $1,500 per year for up to a maximum of 2 years (4 terms) of school. The funds must be used within 3 years of the Scholar’s high school graduation.

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 their postsecondary education and reduce the need to borrow.

It 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 or two years of scholarship funding.

Please note that these are award maximums. If you exhaust your time eligibility or maximum funded term count before reaching the maximum award dollar amount, you will not receive the full award.

Achieve Atlanta Scholarship awards can be used for any part of the cost of attendance at accredited, nonprofit or public colleges/universities, in- and out-of-state. Cost of attendance (COA) includes tuition, fees, room, board and allowances for books, travel and other fees. Visit your college’s website to find the COA for your college.

Yes. The Achieve Atlanta Scholarship is renewable for up to a maximum of 2 years (4 terms) of school for students on the 2-year/technical path. The funds must be used within 3 years of the Scholar’s high school graduation.

Scholars enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program (4-year school) can renew their scholarship for up to a maximum of 4 years (8 terms) of school. The funds must be used within 5 years of the Scholar’s high school graduation.

To renew your Achieve Atlanta Scholarship for the next academic year, you must:

  1. Be within the maximum time eligibility period, award dollar amount, and funded term count limits for the Scholarship;
  2. Enroll full-time at an eligible Achieve Atlanta postsecondary college/university;
  3. Complete the Achieve Atlanta Renewal Application every term, including uploading all required documents (your SAR, transcript, course schedule(s) and other documents as requested) to your Scholar Dashboard portal;
  4. Meet the Scholarship academic requirements of earning at least 67% of credits attempted and maintaining a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA;
  5. Complete the FAFSA;
  6. Continue to meet our financial need criteria by submitting your SAR from your FAFSA annually; and
  7. Submit up-to-date contact information to Achieve Atlanta.

Eligibility

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
  4. Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
    • If you are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid (complete the FAFSA) please reach out to us for assistance
  5. 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)
  6. Enroll full-time in an eligible, accredited, nonprofit or public college or technical program in Georgia by the fall immediately following high school graduation. If you wish to enroll in an out-of-state college/university it must be an accredited, nonprofit or public college or technical program with a graduation rate of at least 44% according to the College Scorecard.

Yes. Please reach out to the Achieve Atlanta office at 404-880-3500 or scholarship@achieveatlanta.org for assistance with your application.

If you are on a 2-year/technical path, your time eligibility period is a maximum of 3 years. Within this period, you can be funded for a maximum of 4 terms. If you are on (or transfer to) a 4-year path, your time eligibility period is a maximum of 5 years. Within this period, you can be funded for a maximum of 8 terms.

Your eligibility period begins when you first enroll at a postsecondary college/university as an Achieve Atlanta Scholar. Your Achieve Atlanta Scholarship eligibility will end once you exhaust the time eligibility period, maximum award dollar amount, or maximum funded term count, whichever comes first.

The Scholarship will not be awarded for more than one associate’s or bachelor’s degree, nor will the Scholarship be awarded for students to pursue additional credits or credentials beyond their Bachelor’s degree even if the student has remaining eligibility.

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

Yes. Achieve Atlanta Scholars attending 2-year college can qualify for the 4-year Scholarship later if you:

  1. Are accepted into and enroll full-time at an eligible 4-year college/university;
  2. Meet all Achieve Atlanta renewal eligibility criteria; and
  3. Are within the maximum time eligibility period, award dollar amount, and funded term count limits for the four-year Scholarship.

Yes, provided you have been enrolled in an APS high school for the last two full school years prior to your graduation and meet all other eligibility criteria, you can receive the Scholarship. As an early graduate, you should contact Achieve Atlanta directly to alert us of your early graduation and to receive instructions on how to apply in your special circumstance.

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.

To request an appeal form, call the Achieve Atlanta office at 404-880-3500 or email us at scholarship@achieveatlanta.org. 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

  1. Starting October 1st of your high school senior year, go to www.studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa and complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
    • If you are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid (complete the FAFSA) please reach out to us for assistance
  2. Save the SAR (Student Aid Report) that you’ll receive 3 -10 days after you complete your FAFSA.
  3. Starting February 1st of your high school senior year, go to www.achieveatlanta.org and find the “Apply” button at the top of the page to access the online application. You’ll need your saved SAR to complete the application.

Applications for high school seniors open February 1st and close on May 31st. Students hoping to receive a honor cord at graduation must apply by April 30th.

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

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

If you are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid (complete the FAFSA) please reach out to us for assistance.

 

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

Receiving My Scholarship

This means that the application you submitted currently meets our initial eligibility criteria, but your eligibility will be re-reviewed once you graduate from high school to confirm that you’ve graduated with a final, weighted GPA of at least 75. If you have a qualifying final GPA, you will be required to complete a Fall Update Application to confirm that you’re enrolling full-time in an eligible college/university or technical program by the fall after you graduate and officially accept the scholarship. The Fall Update Application will be emailed to all qualifying students in mid-June.

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 may adjust your EFC. If your EFC increases to more than $8,000 you will be required to re-submit your SAR for review. We may also review your revised financial aid award from your college to determine your eligibility for the scholarship.

The summer before you start college we will email a unique Fall Update Application to you. You will be asked to provide documentation confirming where you plan to enroll the next semester. It is important to complete the this information as soon as you’re certain of your college choice to avoid any delays with your check being mailed.

The Fall Update Application will be our final check to confirm that you’re meeting all eligibility criteria. Once your eligibility is confirmed, the check will be mailed to the appropriate college’s/university’s financial aid office.

As long as the college choice on your Fall Update Application meets the college’s/university’s 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.

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.

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 a college/university to post a check to a student’s account.

You can reach Achieve Atlanta multiple ways:

  1. Email us at scholarship@achieveatlanta.org;
  2. Submit a case through the “Help Desk” on your Scholar Dashboard; or
  3. Call us at 404-880-3500 (Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM EST).

Next Steps

Apply for an Achieve Atlanta Scholarship!

COMPLETE YOUR FAFSA

Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting October 1.

SAVE THE SAR

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

VERIFY YOUR GPA

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

APPLY FOR THE ACHIEVE ATLANTA SCHOLARSHIP

The application opens online on February 1.

What’s Next After Submitting the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship Application?

After submitting the Scholarship application, you will receive an email within two weeks providing information on next steps. Below, you can see the three possible outcomes once you’ve submitted your application.

ELIGIBLE FOR ACHIEVE ATLANTA SCHOLARSHIP

Student meets initial eligibility criteria and is eligible to become an Achieve Atlanta Scholar. To remain eligible student must graduate from high school with a final, weighted GPA of 75 or higher and enroll full-time in an eligible college/institution by the fall following their high school graduation.

INELIGIBLE FOR ACHIEVE ATLANTA SCHOLARSHIP

Student’s scholarship application was reviewed, and the student did not meet one or more eligibility criteria to qualify for the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship.

ANOTHER COPY OF A STUDENT’S SAR IS NEEDED TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY

There was an issue with the readability or information was missing with the SAR (Student Aid Report) the student provided with their application. Another copy of a complete SAR needs to be emailed to scholarship@achieveatlanta.org to determine scholarship eligibility.

Paying for College

You can find tips and resources below to help you better understand the cost of college and how to pay for college.

HOW MUCH WILL COLLEGE COST ME?

Tips:

  • Financial aid can help you pay for college.

  • Tools and people resources can help you figure out what you will pay.

  • Affordability needs to be part of your college choice conversations (but don’t solely rely on a college’s sticker price).

Resources:

  • UAspire’s College Cost Calculator -Free online tool that helps you decipher and compare your financial aid offers.

  • Big Future’s Focus on Net Price, Not Sticker Price Resources.

  • Speak with your high school counselors, CAC adviser, or with your college’s financial aid office.
HOW DO I PAY FOR COLLEGE?

Tips:

  • Financial aid (grants, scholarships, and loans) can help you pay for college.

  • Any amount of personal savings can help.

Resources: