2008-12-25 / News

Ga. Tech Promise scholarship assists low-income students

This year, 199 students from 52 counties across Georgia - from Appling to Wilkes - are attending the Georgia Institute Technology thanks to the G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise Scholarship Program. Launched in 2007, Tech Promise is designed to help Georgia students whose families have an annual income of less than $33,300 (150 percent of the federal poverty level) earn their college degree debt free.

Tech Promise is the first program of its kind offered by any public university in Georgia. Picking up where Georgia's HOPE scholarship and other financial aid options leave off, the program is individually tailored for each applicant. Assistance includes scholarships, grants, and job opportunities that allow eligible in-state students to attend Georgia Tech without the burden of student loan debt.

"As Georgia high school students evaluate college options, we do not want financial need to stand in their way of pursuing a degree at Georgia Tech," said Interim President Gary Schuster. "We believe that qualified Georgia students from all economic backgrounds should have the opportunity to attend and graduate from Tech regardless of their family's financial status. It is especially important that Tech Promise be brought to the attention of Georgia students who may be reluctant to apply because of concern about the financial burden attending college would place on their families."

Mary Vaughn, a senior in Science, Technology and Culture from Snellville, Georgia, values the opportunities that the Tech Promise program has allowed her to pursue.

"I attended Tech my first two years without Tech Promise," says Vaughn. "Although I had the HOPE scholarship, I had to work two jobs to make ends meet. Tech Promise has allowed me to work only one job, focus on my education, and begin saving money for graduate school."

Vaughn plans to pursue a graduate degree in education after she graduates from Georgia Tech. "My dream job is teaching," says Vaughn. "There have been so many teachers who have been such an inspiration to me and who have been responsible for who I have become. I just want to give back."

Under the terms of the Tech Promise program, student eligibility requirements and criteria include the following:

l Legal resident of Georgia

l Pursuing a first undergraduate degree

l Eligible applicant for federal student financial aid

l Dependent students whose parents: earn less than $33,300 in total annual income and/or benefits; and are eligible to file an IRS Form 1040A or 1040EZ for the most recent tax year

l Achieve and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (out of a possible 4.0); be in good standing with the Institute and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress standards

l Submit a complete financial aid application each academic year by the required deadline

An annual application is required for Tech Promise, and individual evaluations will be conducted to calculate each candidate's specific financial needs. Students may reapply for up to four academic years (eight semesters) of full-time enrollment.

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