MaconCatalog : Financial Information : Federal and State Grants
 
Federal and State Grants
The FEDERAL PELL GRANT PROGRAM is available to qualified undergraduate students seeking their first degree. The amount of a Pell Grant is determined based on a student's financial resources and the resources of his or her family, as reported on the FAFSA, along with the cost of education at the institution the student attends. Students are limited to 12 semesters (or its equivalent) in Pell Scholarship Funds. Completion of the FAFSAserves as an application for the Pell Grant. The maximum Pell Grant for 2020-21 academic year is expected to be $6,345.
To maximize Pell eligibility based on enrollment status, Mercer is instituting a Pell Recalculation Date (PDR). Enrollment status is based on the number of credit hours a student is enrolled each semester:
Less than 6 credit hours – less-than-half-time
6 to 8 credit hours – half-time
9 to 11 credit hours – three-quarter-time
12 or more hours – full-time
Mercer’s PRD is the scheduled disbursement date each semester. If the semester is taught in sessions, it is the scheduled disbursement date, for the first session. The student’s enrollment status on the scheduled disbursement date will determine their Pell eligibility for the semester and be considered the Pell Recalculation Date (PRD). Except for mandatory recalculations, the student's Pell award will not be adjusted based on enrollment status changes after the PRD date. Important to note, if you are enrolled in sessions. You must be enrolled full-time between both sessions by the last day of drop/add to receive your full-time Pell Award. Credit hours added after the PRD date will not change your Pell award. Students who begin attendance in all classes will be paid Pell based on their scheduled disbursement date, even if her enrollment status changes before the disbursement is made.
Based on current federal policy, a student can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters or the equivalent (roughly six years). A scheduled award is the maximum amount a student can receive for the award year if the student were enrolled full-time for the full year.
In certain situations, an eligible student can receive up to 150 percent of his or her scheduled Pell Grant award for an award year. For example, if you are eligible for a $2,000 Pell Grant for the award year, and are enrolled full-time for both the fall and spring semesters, you will likely receive $1,000 in the fall and $1,000 in the spring. However, under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to receive an additional $1,000 in the summer semester (resulting in you receiving 150% of your original award). You might hear this situation being referred to as “year-round Pell.” Please contact the Financial Planning Office for additional information if you plan to attend the summer semester.
To determine how much of the maximum six years (600%) of Pell Grant a student has used each year, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) compares the actual amount the student received for the award year with the student’s scheduled award. If the student received the full scheduled award for the award year, the student would have used 100%. It is possible that a student will not have received their full scheduled award for an award year due to not being enrolled the full year, not being enrolled full-time or both.
If a student did not receive the full scheduled award, ED calculates the percentage of the scheduled award the student did receive. For example, if a student scheduled award is $5000, but the student was only enrolled one semester and received only $2500, the student would be calculated as using 50% of his scheduled award for that year. Or, if a student received $3,750 for the award year due to three-quarter time enrollment and not full-time, the student usage would be calculated at 75% for the year
The FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT PROGRAM (SEOG) is available to a limited number of undergraduate students, both dependent and independent, who have exceptional financial need. These grants are awarded annually, based on each student's need as determined by information provided on the FAFSA. SEOG awards may be as high as $4,000 per year. SEOG funds may be awarded to eligible students receiving Pell as long as SEOG funds remain available. Please note need-based institutional aid may be replaced by SEOG.
TEACH GRANT – The Federal TEACH Grant program provides up to $3,736 per year (amount subject to change based on sequestration) to students fully accepted into an eligible education program and who intend to teach in a high-need field that serves students from low-income families. Eligible students must have and maintain a 3.25 GPA or scored in the 75% percentile in at least one section of a nationally-normed standardized test. In exchange for receiving the TEACH Grant, a student must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. As a recipient of the TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant. IMPORTANT: If you fail to meet this service obligation in its entirety, ALL amounts of TEACH Grant funds received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. You will then be charged interest from the date the grant(s) were disbursed. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. There are no partial cancellations.
GEORGIA TUITION EQUALIZATION GRANT PROGRAM - The State of Georgia has made available, to qualified Georgia residents, an annual tuition grant for attendance at approved private colleges in the state. To be eligible for this grant, the student (and parents of dependent students) must be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen as of the first day of classes for any particular semester for which GTEG payment is being sought. The student's academic load must meet the requirements specified by the GA Student Finance Authority (presently 12 credit hours per semester). To be considered for the grant, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year or, if a student does not wish to complete a FAFSA, a Georgia Scholarship Grant (GSFAPPS) must be completed by going to GAFutures.org. The total amount of the grant is determined each year by the state legislature, based on the availability of funds. Funding may be reduced by the State at any point in the year. If this is the case, the University will not make up this difference in funding. The 2019-2020 amount is $950.
HOPE and ZELL SCHOLARSHIP – For undergraduate Georgia GTEG residents only, designated HOPE Scholars are designated to receive $4,304, and designated Zell Miller Scholars to receive $5,616 per academic year. Award amounts for each academic year are determined by Georgia Legislation and subject to change. Georgia high school graduates who are named HOPE Scholars by the Georgia Student Finance Authority may receive only one of these scholarships. A cumulative 3.0 GPA is required for renewal of the HOPE scholarship and a 3.3 GPA is required for the renewal of the Zell Miller Scholarship. The cumulative GPA requirement also applies to all students who wish to enter the program after 30, 60, or 90 cumulative attempted hours. Please note that all degree courses attempted at Mercer and all other postsecondary institutions are included in the GPA and hours attempted calculations. Certificate/diploma courses are only included in the GPA and hours attempted calculation if the courses have ever been accepted toward a degree by Mercer or any other postsecondary institution. Also, only whole letter grades are used in the GPA calculation (e.g. a B+ is counted as a B). Beginning Fall term 2017, specific degree-level science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses identified as leading to high demand career fields in Georgia, and taken at an eligible postsecondary institution will have an additional weight of 0.5 added to grades of B, C and D. To receive the additional weight, the course must be taken at a HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship eligible postsecondary institution during the period the course is approved on the directory.
Each December, the STEM Weighted Course Council will approve the directory, effective for the upcoming academic year beginning with the fall term. The council consists of representatives from the University System of Georgia, Technical College System of Georgia, Georgia Independent College Association, Georgia Student Finance Commission, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, and a member of the Georgia General Assembly
You may access the Directory by going to GAfutures.org or by clicking on the following link: https://apps.gsfc.org/securenextgen/dsp_stem_course_listings.cfm. The FAFSA application serves as the student’s application for both the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships. If a student does not wish to complete a FAFSA, a Georgia Scholarship Grant Application (GSFAPPS) must be completed by going to GAFutures.org.
Hope and Zell Scholarship recipients at private colleges and universities can attend half-time (at least 6 to 11 semester hours) and receive a HOPE Scholarship of $2,154 per academic year ($1,077 per semester). Zell Miller recipients attending half-time can receive a Zell Miller award of $2,808 per academic year ($1,404 per semester). Students must be enrolled half-time 15 calendar days after the end of the drop-add period to receive the half-time HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships.
Students’ HOPE and Zell Miller GPA will be evaluated at the end of every spring semester, regardless of the student’s attempted hours. Students earning less than a 3.0 cumulative HOPE GPA after spring semester lose eligibility for HOPE and Zell until the next entry point (30,60, or 90 hours) in which their HOPE GPA is at least a 3.0 and Zell Miller GPA is at least a 3.3 GPA. Zell Miller recipients who do not meet the 3.3 renewal requirement but do meet the 3.0 HOPE renewal requirement, may receive HOPE in place of the Zell Miller Scholarship; however, a designated HOPE recipient can never receive Zell Miller based on cumulative GPA at the time of renewal. A student who does not have sophomore/junior status because of withdrawing from classes will still be evaluated based on the total number of hours attempted (e.g. a student may receive a “W” o “F” in a course, not earn credit for the course, but the course will still be counted as attempted hours for HOPE/Zell purposes).
The SCHOLARSHIP FOR ENGINEERING EDUCATION (SEE) is awarded to qualified Georgia residents who meet State eligibility requirements, have a 2.5 cumulative GPA (using the same calculation policies above as those for HOPE renewal), and are pursuing an undergraduate degree in any of the following programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology: Biomedical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. This award consists of $1,750 per semester of full-time undergraduate study, for an educational career maximum of $17,500. This student will receive a reduction in their balance of up to $3,500 for each year worked within the State of Georgia. Otherwise, this award converts to a cash-repayable loan. A separate SEE application is required every year, along with a FAFSA. Applications are available in the OSFP and at www.GAFutures.org. Please note: Funding is limited and is based on availability from the State. Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Should the State Legislature eliminate funding for the SEE, the University will not replace these funds.