HOPE High School Equivalency (HSE) Examination Grant Program
You can now earn your GED for FREE through the Georgia HOPE HSE Grant Program.
Eligible Georgia residents can now apply for an award not to exceed $200 to cover the cost of a high school equivalency examination. The HOPE HSE Grant is available once per subject area exam to those who qualify.
How to Apply
Completing the Free Application for the HOPE High School Equivalency (HSE) Grant is the first step to obtaining funding that will help you finish high school. Follow these three simple steps to set yourself up for success.
The High School Equivalency (HSE) test provides a certification equivalent to a high school diploma that can help open doors for higher education and jobs in every industry. The HOPE HSE Grant program is available to eligible individuals to cover the cost of the HSE examination.
You may qualify for the HOPE HSE voucher if you:
• Have maintained residency in Georgia for twelve (12) consecutive months. • Have not earned a college degree or received the HOPE Scholarship. • Have not earned a high school diploma, an equivalent, or completed a home study program. • Are not in default of an educational loan or owe a refund on a Federal Title IV or State of Georgia student financial aid program. • Registered with United States Selective Service (if male at birth). • Have successfully completed a high school equivalency practice test.
Grants are available until the state’s HOPE HSE Grant Program funds are exhausted.
Ask a Question
If you have a question about the HOPE HSE Grant Program, please submit your question using the form below. A representative from our office will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.
If you have questions or need more information, contact our Customer Service Center Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm at 404-679-1645.
The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Regulations
We offer free classes to help you prepare to earn your high school equivalency or brush up on your reading, math, and job skills. Our classes are designed to help you get ready to take the next step, whether it’s to enter college or start a career. Classes are available in person, online, or a mix of both.
HOPE HSE Grant InformationEligibility RequirementsCompleting an ApplicationAnswers to Submitted Questions
How do I apply for the HOPE HSE Grant?
You can apply for the HOPE HSE Grant by completing an application online at https://hsegrant.tcsg.edu/login. Please note that the grant is subject to an annual appropriation and availability of state funding.
Who is eligible for the HOPE HSE Grant?
The High School Equivalency Examination Grant program requires students to meet basic requirements. An eligible student must:
Meet U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen requirement;
Meet TCSG’s Georgia Residency requirement, for at least 12 months immediately prior to seating for the state-approved HSE examination;
Meet federal Selective Service registration requirement, per Georgia state law. The requirement to register applies to males who were born on or after January 1, 1960, are at least 18, are citizens or eligible non-citizens who came to the United States prior to age 26;
Be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990, O.C.G.A. §20-1-20, et seq.
How many times can I apply for the HOPE HSE Grant?
Applicants can apply ONCE for each subject area test of the examination. For example, the GED consists of four subject tests, so four grants are available. Applicants may request one grant at a time, or multiple grants in one request. Once you’ve been awarded a HOPE HSE Examination Grant, it will expire 60 days from the date of the successful practice test for that subject. Grant approval is subject to funding availability. Note: As part of the application process, applicants must provide information to verify eligibility for the grant. Eligibility determinations are valid for one year.
I want to sit for my GED examination, but how do I know I’m ready?
Individuals must pass a practice test to determine readiness before applying for a HOPE HSE Grant.
Once approved, how long do I have to use my HOPE HSE Grant?
HOPE HSE Grants expire 60 days from the day you pass your HSE practice test for that subject.
Upon approval, how long will it take before I receive the HOPE HSE Grant?
Approved applicants can expect to receive their grant within 3-5 business days of approval.
English is not my first language. Is the examination available in other languages?
Yes. Individuals can opt to take each subject area exam in English or Spanish.
I used a HOPE HSE Grant to pay for an examination, but I did not pass one or more subject areas of the test. Can I apply for another grant to make a second attempt at the examination?
No. Eligible applicants get one attempt to pass each subject area test of an examination using a HOPE HSE Grant. For example, if you used a HOPE HSE Grant to pay for a mathematics test but did not pass, you cannot reapply for a HOPE HSE Grant in mathematics. However, if you have never applied for a HOPE HSE Grant in social studies, you can still apply for a social studies HOPE HSE Grant.
I was approved for a HOPE HSE Grant, but it expired before I had a chance to use it. Can I reapply for another Grant?
Yes. You will need to reapply for the grant by completing an application online. If your practice test is older than 60 days for a given subject area, you’ll need to complete a new practice test before reapplying.
Can I use the HOPE HSE Grant for a HiSET exam?
At this time, the HOPE HSE Grant is not available for the HiSET examination. Check the TCSG Adult Education Website for updates regarding when the HiSET exam will become available.
Can I transfer my HOPE HSE Grant to another person?
No. HOPE HSE Grants are non-transferable and carry no cash value.
I still have questions about the HOPE HSE Grant Application. Who can I contact?
For questions or assistance with the HOPE HSE Grant Application, applicants can email HSEGrant@tcsg.edu or call 404-679-1645.
Where can I find additional information about the GED?
The GED test covers four subjects: Math, Science, Social Studies, and Reasoning Through Language Arts. You can take all four together or one at a time at an official GED test center when you’re ready. You can learn more about the GED by visiting www.ged.com.
I need help preparing for my GED examination. How can I find help?
Adult Education providers across Georgia offer FREE classes to eligible students to help you prepare for the GED or HiSET test. Visit our Adult Education Program Directory to find a class near you.
I received either the HOPE Scholarship or the Zell Miller Scholarship once before. Can I still apply for the HOPE HSE Grant?
No. An individual is ineligible for payment if they began seeking a college Degree or received HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship payment prior to sitting for a state-approved High School Equivalency Examination.
What is an eligible non-citizen?
An eligible non-citizen is a person who, in accordance with the Federal Title IV definition, is a United
States permanent resident with:
a Permanent Resident Card (I-551); or a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or
the holder of an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: Refugee, Asylum Granted, Parolee (I-94 confirms paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired); “Victim of human trafficking,” T-Visa holder (T-1, T-2, T-3, etc.), or Cuban-Haitian Entrant.
Persons with an F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or a G series visa do not meet the definition of an Eligible Non-Citizen.
How long do I have to live in Georgia to be eligible for the HOPE HSE Grant?
An applicant will meet the Georgia Residency requirements if they have established and maintained a domicile in the State of Georgia for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the examination date.
How can I check my Selective Service System registration or register for Selective Service System?
You can verify your Selective Service System registration by visiting www.sss.gov. Men 18-25 can register online with a valid Social Security Number, a printable registration form, or by completing a form (SSS Form 1) at the post office. Once a man turns 26, he is no longer able to register.
I’m a male who failed to register with the U.S. Selective Service System before turning 26 years old. Am I disqualified from receiving a HOPE HSE Grant?
A Selective Service Exemption Request form can be completed by an applicant that failed to meet the requirement to register for Selective Service between the ages of 18-25 and did not knowingly and willfully not register with Selective Service. Applicants who are non-eligible citizens with no social security number can also submit a Selective Service Exemption Request. Here is a link to the Selective Service Exemption Request Form. You must create a GAFutures.com account to submit the form. For more information, visit HOPE PROGRAM (gafutures.org).
I have a federal or state education loan that is currently in default status. Do I still qualify for the HOPE HSE Grant?
No. Individuals who have a federal or state educational loan in default status or owe a refund to a federal or state financial aid program are ineligible for the HOPE HSE Grant.
I am enrolled in a state-approved Adult Education Corrections program. Do I qualify for the HOPE HSE Grant?
No. An incarcerated person who sits for a state-approved High School Equivalency Examination is ineligible to receive a HOPE HSE Examination Grant award.
I was convicted of a drug-related charge within the last six months. Can I apply for the HOPE HSE Grant?
An individual convicted of committing certain felony offenses involving marijuana, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs, within one term (6-months) of sitting for a state-approved High School Equivalency Examination is ineligible for an award, in accordance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990, O.C.G.A. §20-1-20, et seq. Individuals can apply for the HOPE HSE Grant at the conclusion of the 6-month period following their conviction.
I completed a home school program. Do I qualify for the HOPE HSE Grant?
An individual is ineligible for payment if they received a high school diploma, or equivalent, or completed a home study program prior to sitting for a state-approved High School Equivalency Examination.
I have a foreign academic transcript from a foreign institution where I received my college degree. Do I qualify for the HOPE HSE Grant?
No. Individuals who have a college degree, including those from a foreign institution as indicated by a foreign academic transcript, are not eligible for the HOPE HSE Grant.
I am 16- or 17 years old. Am I eligible for a HOPE HSE Grant?
Yes, 16- and 17-year-olds are eligible to participate in the HOPE HSE Grant program. 16- and 17-year-olds must enroll in a state-approved Adult Education program and receive approval to take an HSE test. Contact a TCSG Adult Education Center for more information on how to get started.
I am participating in Youth Challenge or Job Corps. Am I still eligible for the HOPE HSE Grant?
Yes. Applicants enrolled in Youth Challenge or Job Corps are eligible for the HOPE HSE Grant if they meet the basic eligibility criteria.
What documentation may be required after completing the HOPE HSE Grant Application?
TCSG and its affiliates may request specific documentation to verify an applicant’s eligibility for the grant. Some documents may include, but are not limited to, birth certificates, passports, government-issued photo identification cards, tax records, employment records, immigration documents, utility bills, court documents, military records, financial statements, etc.
What is a notary?
A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by the state government — typically by the secretary of state — to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents.
Where can I obtain notary services?
Notaries are often available to customers at many businesses offering financial services, automobile title transfers, shipping services, and more. Some examples include banks, law firms or law offices, real estate firms or offices, tax preparer or accountant offices, photocopy shops, parcel shipping stores, auto tag and license service centers, colleges and universities, and libraries. We encourage applicants to seek assistance at their closest TCSG college. Colleges (Adult Ed Division of the college) have notaries on staff who can provide notary services at no charge.
I am currently enrolled in a state-funded Adult Education program and completed a notarized affidavit when I enrolled in classes. Do I still need to submit a notarized affidavit for the HOPE HSE Grant?
Yes, all HOPE HSE Grant applicants, including currently enrolled Adult Education students, must complete a separate notarized affidavit specifically for the HOPE HSE Grant demonstrating their lawful presence in Georgia.
How can I obtain a copy of my Georgia 500 Individual Income Tax Return?
How can I obtain a copy of my Federal Tax Return Transcript?
You can print a copy of your Federal Tax Return Transcript by visiting the IRS website.
What is a 'Dependent Student'?
“Dependent Student” means an individual under the age of 18 who receives financial support from a parent whose most recent federal or state income tax return lists the individual as a dependent. Dependent Students’ residency status is determined by their Parent or Legal Guardian’s residency status.
What is an 'Independent Student'?
“Independent Student” means an individual who is over 18 years of age and is not claimed as a “dependent” on the federal or state income tax returns of a parent or legal guardian who has ceased to provide support and right to that individual’s care, custody, and earnings.
Who can I contact for technical assistance or help with HOPE HSE Grant Application website?
For help with things like questions about documents, login assistance, help with document uploads, and application issues or technical assistance, email Inceptia at HSEHelp@inceptia.org or call 1-833-590-2501.
Who can I contact for questions about HOPE HSE Grant program eligibility?
Questions about eligibility, how to potentially regain eligibility after being denied, questions about examinations or approved testing locations, issues with using your grant, questions about signing up for preparation classes, or general questions about the HOPE HSE Grant, email HSEGrant@tcsg.edu or call (404)679-1645.
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