Types of Aid

Scholarships

Over 80% of applicants to OU qualify for one of our merit scholarships. And did you know that if you receive a HOPE scholarship from the state of Georgia, you can use that to attend Oglethorpe? What’s more, Oglethorpe will MATCH the amount of Hope you receive from the state, giving you DOUBLE HOPE.

James Edward Oglethorpe (JEO) Scholarship
The James Edward Oglethorpe (JEO) Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition award that recognizes high school seniors with an outstanding record of academic achievement and great potential to contribute to the community life of Oglethorpe University. Candidates must be invited to and attend the JEO competition at Scholarship Weekend. In addition to the full-tuition award, JEO Scholars receive a stipend in support of a summer study abroad course, as well as an invitation to enroll in an exploratory Honors seminar during the first semester and eligibility for a research stipend for a senior Honors thesis. Up to five JEO scholarships are awarded annually.

OU Theatre Scholarship
The OU Theatre Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition award that recognizes high school seniors who demonstrate a commitment to performing and understanding theatre. Candidates must be invited to and participate in the OU Theatre competition at Scholarship Weekend. Through their application materials, nominees will have indicated promise in the field of theatre and performance as well as the critical ability to tie these pursuits to disciplines such as literature and history. In addition to the full-tuition award, OU Theatre Scholars receive an internship with our professional theatre partner company during the recipient’s junior year at Oglethorpe, as well as an invitation to enroll in an exploratory Honors seminar during the first semester and eligibility for a research stipend for a senior Honors thesis. Continued dedication to theatre at Oglethorpe is expected, including a major or double-major in theatre. Candidates will also receive a study abroad stipend for a summer course as designated by the department. Up to two OU Theatre scholarships are awarded annually.

Civic Engagement Scholarship
The Civic Engagement Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition award that recognizes high school seniors who have demonstrated a deep commitment to service and leadership in their communities as well as the promise of continued exemplary service at Oglethorpe and in Atlanta. Candidates must be invited to and participate in the Civic Engagement competition at Scholarship Weekend. In conjunction with Oglethorpe’s Center for Civic Engagement, these scholars are at the forefront of leadership and service initiatives both on and off campus, and they seek to understand the connections between their academic pursuits and the forces and resources in society around them. In addition to the full-tuition award, Civic Engagement Scholars enrolling Fall 2009 or after complete a 60-hour-per-semester volunteer placement arranged through the Center for Civic Engagement and a stipend for an internship at a nonprofit organization of the student’s choice; as well as an invitation to enroll in an exploratory Honors seminar during the first semester and eligibility for a research stipend for a senior Honors thesis. Up to three Civic Engagement scholarships are awarded annually.

Oglethorpe Scholars Awards
This group of scholarships for traditional undergraduate candidates ranges in value from $13,000 per year to $20,000 per year and includes the Lanier, University, Oxford, Presidential, and Presidential with Recognition Scholarships. These awards are based on the application for admission and are available to entering students with demonstrated academic achievement. Runners-up at the annual Scholarship Weekend will receive Oglethorpe Scholars Awards.

OU Choral and Instrumental Scholarships
Choral and instrumental music scholarships vary in amount and recognize incoming students pursuing any degree offered at Oglethorpe who demonstrate exceptional achievement in choral singing or instrumental music. Candidates must be nominated by the conductor of their ensemble with a letter of recommendation and the completed application. For more information about how to apply, audition, and to download the application/nomination forms, please visit the music program page.

HOPE Scholarships
The state of Georgia allocates HOPE Scholarship funds to eligible students attending private universities such as Oglethorpe. This scholarship is available to qualified Georgia residents who have graduated from an eligible high school in Georgia (1996 or later) with at least a 3.0 GPA in the state specified curriculum. Georgia residents who do not qualify under these guidelines may be eligible for HOPE after successful completion of at least 30 semester hours of college work with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Home-schooled students may receive HOPE funds retroactively for their freshman year if they attain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA after 30 hours at Oglethorpe.

Zell Miller Scholarships
The state of Georgia also allocates Zell Miller Scholarship funds to students attending private universities. These scholarships are available to qualified Georgia residents who have graduated from an eligible high school with a minimum 3.7 GPA combined with a minimum score of 1200 on the math and reading portions of the SAT test or a minimum composite score of 26 on the ACT test in a single national test administration. Georgia residents who do not qualify under these guidelines may instead be considered for the HOPE Scholarship. An eligible Georgia resident may receive either the Zell Miller Scholarship or the HOPE Scholarship. Zell Miller Scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 across all attempted undergraduate coursework to renew their awards.

OU Match for Georgia HOPE
For recipients of an Oglethorpe Scholars Award, Oglethorpe offers an institutional match to the amount of the HOPE grant awarded by the state of Georgia. If you are determined to be HOPE-eligible, this match will be automatic. The match amount will be the same as the current year’s HOPE amount, whether you qualify as HOPE or Zell Miller.

If you have been awarded an Oglethorpe Scholars Award and are a resident of Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Mississippi and graduate with a 3.0 GPA or higher, we will recognize you with an equivalent grant of $3,500 per year. This award is in addition to other OU scholarships and is renewable for up to four years, provided that you maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher while at Oglethorpe. These awards are merit-based grants directly from Oglethorpe.

Harold Hirsch Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students
This award is provided by the Harold Hirsch Scholarship Fund of Atlanta. The fund provides annual scholarship assistance for degree-seeking students in the Adult Degree Program. Harold Hirsch Scholars must have at least a 3.0 Oglethorpe GPA, demonstrate leadership ability, and financial need.

The Fred C. Robey Endowed Scholar
Funding was established by Fred C. Robey, class of 1997. This scholarship is awarded based upon financial need to international students or to first-generation college students enrolled in Oglethorpe’s adult degree program.

 

Qualifying for Scholarships

Academic merit scholarship awards are based on the credentials presented in your application for admission. No extra forms or essays are required. You must be admitted to OU to receive a merit award.

Traditional undergraduate students who have been nominated for an academic scholarship may be notified in one of two ways:

  1. By letter: Following acceptance to OU, the Office of Admission will send a scholarship letter announcing the title, amount, and terms of the scholarship. The mailing of scholarship letters typically begins in the mid-winter and continues throughout the spring, reflecting Oglethorpe’s rolling admission policy.
  2. By invitation to Scholarship Weekend: Following acceptance to OU, select first-time freshman applicants will be invited to Oglethorpe’s annual Scholarship Weekend in January of their senior year, during which a competition is held for our most prestigious merit awards. A subsequent scholarship letter will then be sent from the Office of Admission to announce the results of the weekend. If a student is invited to Scholarship Weekend, he or she is certain to receive a merit award; and participation in the weekend will help determine which one.

Merit awards will also appear in your comprehensive financial aid award package.

Merit-based scholarships are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study provided that you maintain satisfactory academic progress and meet any GPA and enrollment requirements of the award.

Grants

Grants are a form of financial assistance (also known as ”gift aid”) that you do not have to repay or work to earn. Some grants, such as merit scholarships, are awarded based on merit, but many grants take into account family need and circumstances. Grant aid may come from the federal and state governments as well as from Oglethorpe.

If we receive your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) results, you will automatically be considered for any grants for which you qualify. If you receive a merit scholarship, you may still be eligible for additional grants and aid if your demonstrated need on the FAFSA is greater than the scholarship amount.

These grants are need-based awards given by the university in conjunction with federal, state, private, and other institutional assistance to full-time undergraduate day students who demonstrate financial need through the FAFSA. These awards vary from student to student and range in value from $500 to over $20,000 annually.

Federal Pell Grants
Pell Grants are made available to students who have demonstrated exceptional financial need as reported on the FAFSA. The amount of the Federal Pell Grant is determined by the student’s financial resources and the resources of his or her family.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
These grants are made available to students with exceptional financial need. SEOG awards range from $100 to $2,500 per academic year and are contingent upon the availability of funds. The national average SEOG is currently $764 per year. To qualify for SEOG, a student must also qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.

Georgia Tuition Equalization Grants (GTEG)
These grants are provided by the state of Georgia to qualified Georgia residents who are full-time undergraduate students attending approved private colleges and universities. To qualify, students (and parents of dependent students) must reside in Georgia for at least one full year prior to the first day of class for any particular semester. Students must also be enrolled full time (12 credit hours or more) and meet all other Georgia Student Finance Authority requirements. The amount of the award is determined annually by the Georgia General Assembly. Students must complete a one-time profile and application online at www.gacollege411.org.

Loans

Loans are a form of financial assistance that must be repaid. Some loans are available regardless of your need profile, and others take into account your family’s financial need.  A number of low-interest loan options are sponsored by the federal government, while others are available through banks or other lenders. There are many types of loans, both for students and for parents of dependent students.

These are low-interest federal loans available through banks and other lending institutions. To qualify, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be enrolled in at least 6 hours per semester. Interest rates for Direct Loans currently fall in the 3.86-5.41% range. Direct Loan eligibility will be reflected in your financial aid award letter from Oglethorpe.

There are two types of direct loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Direct subsidized loans are need-based, determined by information in your FAFSA. You are not charged interest while you are in school at least halftime and during and deferment periods.

Direct unsubsidized loans are NOT need-based. Interest accumulates from the date of the first loan disbursement. You have the option to pay the interest while you are in school, during grace periods, deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be added to the principal amount of your loan, which will increase the total amount you have to repay over time.

Annual Loan Limits
The federal government set limits on the maximum amount you can borrow each year. Loan limits can be found in the bulletin.

Mandatory Requirements for Loan Recipients
All Federal Direct Stafford Loan recipients must sign a Master Promissory Note and complete mandatory entrance and exit counseling.

Also see our  FAIR LENDING PRACTICES – CODE OF CONDUCT

Perkins Loans are available to students with demonstrated financial need. If qualified, you may receive a maximum of $4,000 per year and an aggregate maximum of $20,000 for all years as an undergraduate. Exceptional need for financial assistance will determine your annual award. The Federal Perkins Loan bears simple interest at the rate of 5% per year, and interest does not accrue until nine months after you end your studies.
Direct PLUS Loans are made available through banks and other lenders to credit-worthy parents of dependent undergraduate students. The annual loan limit available to parents is equal to the student’s cost of attendance minus any other financial aid that the student will receive. If the Direct PLUS Loan is denied due to adverse credit, a student may be eligible to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan in the amount of $4,000 (freshmen and sophomores) or $5,000 (juniors and seniors).
Alternative loans, or private loans, are available to students or to parents of dependent students who need additional financial assistance. Since most private loans are credit-based, you will most likely need a cosigner to qualify. A cosigner is a person who agrees to assume responsibility with you on your private student loan. Your cosigner does not have to be a parent or relative – a cosigner can be any credit-worthy individual. Cosigners increase your chances of getting approved, may help lower your interest rate and may speed up the application process. A good cosigner has an established credit history, no serious derogatory items on his or her credit report, a history of paying bills on time, steady employment and no overextended credit.

Campus Employment

Oglethorpe offers the option of on-campus employment to help you earn money for college expenses. Some positions are part of a your need-based financial aid package, while others may be available regardless of financial need.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)
This program is designed to provide qualified students with the chance to earn part of their educational expenses by working a part-time job on campus. To be employed by this program, students must show evidence of financial need through a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Your financial award packet will indicate if you are eligible for Federal Work-Study. Undergraduates are paid by the hour, and wages must equal at least the federal minimum wage. The amount earned through Federal Work-Study cannot exceed a student’s total FWS award. When assigning work hours, Oglethorpe will consider a student’s award amount, class schedule and academic progress.

First-time work-study recipients will be contacted with more details on their employment opportunities. Typically, the work-study placement process does not begin until the late summer or the beginning of each fall semester, as the number, type and availability of positions must be determined before the Office of Financial Aid can proceed in placing incoming students.

Other On-Campus Jobs
In addition to Federal Work-Study positions, some departments at Oglethorpe offer opportunities for student employment that is not based on financial need. Type and availability of non-work-study employment varies by semester. Enrolled students will receive notice if application opportunities arise for part-time on-campus employment.

Learn more about on-campus jobs and see what’s available by visiting OU Works.

 

Tax Incentives

A number of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) programs provide assistance in reducing the cost of a college education.

Hope Scholarship Credit
The Hope Credit is a nonrefundable credit against a family’s federal income taxes. The Hope Credit may be claimed for those payments of tuition and related expenses.

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit
The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit applies to qualified tuition and related expense payments.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (CESA)
This incentive applies to education IRA’s. A taxpayer may deposit amounts up to $2000 annually in to a (CESA). The contributions must be for a child under age eighteen. Other family members may also contribute to the (CESA), but the total contributions cannot be higher than $2000.

For specific questions, contact the Internal Revenue Service regarding education credits.