5 of the Best State Sponsored Scholarships

It’s no secret that getting a college education can be expensive. About 41 million people currently have student loan debt, and together they owe $1.2 trillion.

For most students, student loan debt is unavoidable. However, there are ways to minimize the ultimate cost of a college degree, such as taking on a part time job or choosing a school with less expensive tuition. One important avenue students should pursue is scholarships, specifically state-sponsored scholarships. State scholarships are generally given to residents of a specific state who plan to attend college in that same state. To earn any of the scholarships listed, students must submit an application.

Here’s a look at five state-sponsored scholarships, a sample of their requirements and the amount of aid given to students who receive that scholarship.

California – Cal Grant A

Cal Grant A is one of many the state offers students. California students who are eligible for this scholarship can receive the following amounts for these schools:

  • University of California: $12,192
  • California State University: $5,472
  • Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) accredited non-public colleges: $8,056
  • Non-WASC accredited non-public colleges: $4,000

Scholarship eligibility is based on income requirements, at least part-time college enrollment and a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Georgia – HOPE Scholarship

Students can qualify for the HOPE scholarship in a number of ways.

  • Graduate from an eligible high school or home school program with a 3.0 grade point average
  • Earn a GED or graduate from an ineligible school or program and earn an 85th percentile score on the ACT or SAT
  • Graduate from an ineligible school or program, earn 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of college credits with a 3.0 GPA
  • Take 30, 60 or 90 semester hours or 45, 90 or 135 quarter hours and earn a 3.0 GPA

The amount of the scholarship is dependent upon a student’s hours of enrollment and the type of institution they’re attending. Specific amounts can be found in this chart.

New Mexico – Legislative Lottery Scholarship Program

Students in New Mexico can qualify for this scholarship after they’ve attended an eligible college or university for one year. In addition, they must:

  • Have graduated from an accredited public or private high school in New Mexico, or have a GED
  • Enroll full-time in an eligible college or university the first available term after receiving their diploma
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA

If students meet the above criteria, they are eligible to receive up to $2,519 per semester for up to seven semesters.

New York – The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

New York residents attending the State University of New York, the City University of New York and independent not-for-profit colleges may be eligible for TAP. To be eligible, students must:

  • Be enrolled in an approved institution
  • Have graduated from a U.S. high school or have a GED
  • Be a full-time student
  • Declare a major by their sophomore year in a two-year program or their junior year in a four-year program
  • Meet income requirements

TAP gives students up to $5,165, dependent upon year of study, financial status and the number of other family members enrolled in college.

Tennessee – HOPE Scholarship

Students eligible for the HOPE Scholarship can receive up to $6,000 at eligible four-year or two-year institutions with on-campus housing, or up to $3,000 at eligible two-year institutions without campus housing. To receive this scholarship, students must:

  • Have a minimum 21 ACT or 980 ACT
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Enroll in an eligible institution within 16 months of high school graduation


Andriotis, A. (2014, June 14). College Debt: How to Ease the Burden of Loans. Forbes. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from Forbes

Sheehy, K. (2013, September 10). Pay for College Without Taking on Student Loan Debt. U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from U.S. News and World Report