Preserve Hope Scholarships | Georgia Scholarships

Faces of Hope blog

Nicolle Sartain of Lawrenceville earned the Zell Miller Scholarship — which

covers 100 percent of college tuition — as a freshman at the University of

Georgia in 2014 / 2015, but lost it in her sophomore year after sticking out a tough

economics class and watching her grade point average fall a fraction below the

required 3.3 GPA.



Nicolle, editor of UGA’s independent student newspaper The

Red & Black, is now heading into her junior year with the HOPE Scholarship,

which covers only 75 percent of UGA’s tuition. Nicolle has racked up $8,658 in

debt and is looking at taking on another $3,570 loan, for a total of $12,408. She

knows that’s far less than the debt of students who don’t have either Zell or

HOPE. But it’s still scary, she said.


After looking at the exact numbers, I am worried about how I am going to be able to pay it off



I’ve had a job every semester of college –– in some semesters, two jobs. But when I

graduate, there’s no job guarantee anywhere. Nicolle graduated with a 4.0 from

Gwinnett County’s Mountain View High School in 2014. She’s working hard to

again qualify for the Zell Miller. Of course the worry is that I get it back and then

lose it again,dz she said. In her circle of friends, the conversation is seldom about

passing a particular course. It’s: Am I going to keep HOPE? Am I going to keep

Zell? she said.


Credit: Nancy Badertscher