Sponsored: Grant helps offset tuition at private colleges


Students attending the following private schools may be eligible for the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant:

Agnes Scott College

American InterContinental University

Andrew College

Argosy University

Art Institute of Atlanta

Bauder College

Berry College

Brenau University

Brewton-Parker College

Clark Atlanta University

Covenant College

DeVry University of Technology

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Emmanuel College

Emory University

Georgia Military College

Herzing College

LaGrance College

Life University

Mercer University

Morehouse College

Oglethorpe University

Oxford College of Emory University

Paine College

Piedmont College

Point University

Reinhardt College

St. Leo University

Savannah College of Art & Design

Shorter University

South University

Spelman College

Thomas University

Toccoa Falls College

Truett-McConnell College

Wesleyan College

Young Harris College

Source: Georgia Student Finance Commission

Georgia has excellent private colleges and universities, but they do come at a price. Tuition at private colleges is consistently higher than at public universities.

Fortunately, some students who have their sights set on a private college education may qualify to receive a Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant (GTEG). The non-need-based grant program encourages Georgia residents to attend one of the eligible private colleges by providing financial assistance.

“Funding comes from money appropriated annually by the Georgia General Assembly during the budget process,” said Jonathan Stroble, senior manager of external affairs for the Georgia Student Finance Commission. “The program dates back to the 1990s, and it is not a loan that the student has to pay back; it is a grant.”

Stroble said grant recipients receive an award of $350 per semester (or $233 per quarter) for up to three semesters or four quarters per year, although the amount may change from year to year. There’s a cap on how long students can receive the grant money: up to 127 semester hours or 190 quarter hours.

In the fiscal year that ended June 2013, 33,215 Georgians received GTEG grants, Stroble said.

Grant applicants are required to meet certain residency requirements. They must be a U.S. citizen or national of the United States, or have evidence from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of eligible permanent resident alien status. Applicants must also be legal residents of Georgia.

The program is for undergraduate students only. Students must be enrolled full time in one of Georgia’s 37 eligible private colleges or universities, and be in a program of study that leads to a college degree, Stroble said.

Other eligibility requirements include: maintaining satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the student’s college; being in compliance with the Selective Service registration requirements; not being in default or owing a refund on a student financial aid program; and being in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990.

Students can apply for GTEG grants by going to GAcollege411.org and clicking the Financial Aid Planning tab. Information on the website is in English and Spanish.
Stroble said the deadline to apply for a GTEG grant is set by the private schools themselves.

“It is very important for an applicant to communicate directly with the financial aid office of the college or university they are attending, to be sure that you are meeting all of their financial aid deadlines,” he said. “The eligible institutions can regulate their own student application deadlines for the GTEG and other financial aid, so the deadlines may vary from institution to institution.”