The Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program provides tuition scholarships to children who desire to attend private K-12 schools. When making application to a participating school for receipt of a GOAL Scholarship, families must provide proof of eligibility.
In order to receive a GOAL Scholarship, a student must meet all eligibility requirements contained in the law under which we operate, and must meet all admission requirements set by the GOAL participating school and must go through the school's application process before receiving a scholarship.
The law under which this program operates defines student eligibility as follows:
- To qualify for receipt of a scholarship, a student must be a Georgia resident who is currently enrolled in, and has attended a Georgia secondary or primary public school for at least 6 weeks* immediately prior to receiving a scholarship or tuition grant under this law, or who is eligible to enroll in a qualified Pre-K4, Kindergarten, or 1st grade program.
*The six week attendance requirement may be waived in the following cases:
- A student is or would be assigned to a public school that the Office of Student Achievement determines to be a low-performing school based on the school attendance zone of his or her primary residence, or
- A student is the subject of officially documented cases of school based physical violence or student related verbal abuse threatening physical harm, or
- A student was enrolled in an official home study program for at least one year immediately prior to receiving a scholarship or tuition grant under this law.
Although Georgia law does not limit the household income of families eligible to receive scholarships under the Georgia Education Expense Credit program, all GOAL Scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need. GOAL provides its participating schools with scholarship award guidelines based upon family size and adjusted gross income. Under the guidelines, in order for a child to receive a GOAL Scholarship, total household income of the applicant family must not exceed $97,631. Under the guidelines, the maximum annual scholarship that may be awarded is an amount equal to 85 percent of the private school's lowest published rate of tuition for the recipient's grade or the award allowed by the law under which we operate ($9,081 in 2016), whichever is less. Click here to view GOAL's guidelines on household income and scholarship amount.
When submitting scholarship applicant recommendations, GOAL participating schools must use these guidelines. In order to validate the family's adjusted gross income, parents provide copies of the first two pages of their most recently filed federal income tax return. In some instances, due to extenuating circumstances of the applicant families, GOAL will make exceptions to the published guidelines. Also, in some cases, based on a thorough review of a family's financial information, an independent financial aid assessment company will recommend an amount that varies from the GOAL guidelines, and GOAL will consider whether to make an exception in these instances.
When GOAL approves a scholarship recommendation, GOAL sends a GOAL Scholarship Agreement to school officials for execution by the parents, an authorized school official, and GOAL. At the beginning of each year for which a scholarship is awarded, the participating school and GOAL again consider the financial need of the scholarship family, apply the guidelines, and determine a scholarship award amount for the upcoming school year.