FAQs

PROGRAM DESIGN

 

ACADEMICS

 

PARENTS

 

Teacher helping girl in school library

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 

 

PROGRAM DESIGN



Q:
Where are the REACH Program Regulations located?

A: The REACH Georgia program is administered by the Georgia Student Finance Authority, a companion student finance entity of the Georgia Student Finance Commission. You can view the program’s regulations at gsfc.org.

 


Q: How can a student participate as a REACH Scholar?

A: The school system where the student attends must be participating as a REACH school system. Each school system selects students to become REACH Scholars beginning in the 8th grade. The criteria for selection include: eligible for the Free or Reduced Lunch Program (FRLP), have a secondary cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 or better in all core courses, be academically promising, have a clean discipline record with no more than two minor infractions and zero out-of-school suspensions, have a strong attendance record, meet Georgia residency requirements, and meet U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen requirements. School systems give preference to students who are the first in their families to attend college and students who have the ability to make A’s and B’s with additional support and assistance.

 


Q: What is the funding model for REACH Scholarships?

A: REACH partners with Georgia school systems to participate in the program. For the first year of a school system’s participation, REACH funds $10,000 for each 8th-grade REACH Scholar. In the second year of participation (second cohort of REACH Scholars), and each year thereafter, the school system must raise private funds for a portion of the $10,000 REACH Scholarship and REACH provides funding for the remainder of the scholarship.

 


Q: How much must a school system raise to support each Scholar’s $10,000 scholarship?

A: The amount school systems must raise is based on the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Jobs Tax Credit Tier List. Depending on the relative wealth of the county where the school system is located, the school system’s obligation is:

  • Tier 1 counties: $1,500
  • Tier 2 counties: $2,500
  • Tier 3 counties: $3,500
  • Tier 4 counties: $5,000

 

REACH provides the remaining amount to equal $10,000. View your county’s tiers here.

 


Q: Once the school system’s portion of the $10,000 scholarship is secured for each 8th-grade REACH Scholar in the second year of the school system’s participation (second cohort of 8th-grade Scholars) and each year of participation thereafter, does the school system need to provide additional funding for those Scholars in the future?

A: No. Once the school system has met its funding obligation for each REACH Scholar, no additional dollars will need to be raised until the next cohort of REACH.

 


Q: May the school system use public funding to meet its obligation for a portion of the REACH Scholarship?

A: The school system must raise private funds; local public funds should not be used for REACH Scholarships.

 


Q: What happens to funds that the school system raises for each cohort of new 8th-grade REACH Scholars?

A: All funds raised for each Scholar’s scholarship is placed with the REACH Georgia Foundation until the Scholar graduates from high school and enrolls in a postsecondary institution.

 


Q: When are funds due to REACH for the second year of participation (second cohort of 8th-grade REACH Scholars)?

A: The school system must return all funds raised for the second cohort of REACH Scholars by August 15, prior to the beginning of the second school year of participation.

 


Q: Why can’t the school system simply keep funds raised until the 8th-grade student graduates from high school?

A: REACH must ensure that the $10,000 investment in a new 8th-grade Scholar is made and accounted for in the REACH Georgia Foundation. When the Scholar graduates from high school, the Foundation will transfer the scholarship funds to the Scholar’s college.

 


Q: Is the REACH Scholarship restricted to college tuition only?

A: No. The REACH Scholarship can be used to pay for any expenses relating to the cost of attendance at a REACH-eligible two- or four-year institution (e.g., food, transportation, housing, fees, etc.). The REACH Scholarship is in addition to any grant or scholarship the Scholar is eligible to receive.

 


Q:  When the Scholar attends college, does the $2,500 per year go directly to the Scholar?

A: No. The $2,500 per year will be drawn from the REACH Georgia Foundation and sent directly to the Scholar’s college.

 


Q: How is the REACH Scholarship awarded for enrollment at an eligible postsecondary institution?

A: The Scholarship is awarded by term based on enrollment at an Eligible Postsecondary Institution:

  1. A maximum semester or quarter award of $1,250 per semester or $834 per quarter.
  2. A maximum Academic Year award amount of $2,500.
  3. A lifetime maximum limit award of $10,000.

REACH Scholars awarded less than the maximum amount per semester or quarter may receive the remaining funds for an additional term not to exceed $1,250 or $834, the maximum semester or quarter award amount.

 


Q: What if the Scholar does not use all of the $10,000 REACH Scholarship?

A: Any funds not used are returned to the Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA) to be placed in the Foundation for use by another REACH Scholar in the future.

 

ACADEMICS

 


Q: What if the REACH Scholar falls below the 2.5 cumulative GPA in core courses?  

A: The REACH Coordinator should immediately notify REACH staff and the academic coach. A coordinated effort (including the Scholar’s parents, academic coach, counselor and REACH coordinator) should be made to ensure the Scholar has additional support and tools to assist the Scholar. The Scholar must graduate from high school with at least a 2.5 GPA in order to be eligible for the $10,000 scholarship.

 


Q: What GPA is expected in college in order to keep the REACH Scholarship?

A: A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required in college.

 

PARENTS

 


Q:  If my child received the REACH Scholarship and our household income increases so that my child is no longer eligible for FRLP, would my child be able to continue in the REACH Program and be eligible for the scholarship?

A: Yes.

 


Q: Is my child able to use the REACH Scholarship for attendance at a two-year college? 

A: If the student fulfills the terms of the REACH Georgia Program requirements, the student may use the REACH Scholarship to attend a two- or four-year REACH-eligible college. The REACH Scholarship award is up to $10,000 for up to four years of college attendance ($2,500 each year).

 


Q: I am interested in my child participating in the REACH Scholarship Program. Despite the fact that my child’s school system is not in a participating school system, is it possible for my child to apply for this program?

A: No. In order for the student to qualify, a student must attend a school in a system participating in the REACH program.

 


Q: How are students selected to serve as REACH Scholars?

A: Selection of REACH Scholars begins with teachers and counselors nominating rising 8th-grade students to apply to become REACH Scholars. Students who are nominated must complete an application and the school system selects REACH Scholars from the completed applications.

 


Q: What grade must my child be in to be eligible for the REACH Scholarship? 

A: Rising 8th-grade students may apply to become REACH Scholars once they have been nominated.

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 


Q:  What other resources can students access to learn more about preparing and planning for college?

A: GAfutures.org is a free resource to help students and their families explore and plan for college. Managed by GSFC, GAfutures is loaded with tools and information that will make the process of searching, applying and paying for college easier for REACH Scholars.

 


Q:  When will the first REACH Scholars graduate from high school?

A:  The first cohort of REACH Scholars graduate from high school in 2017.

 


Q: How is the program measured for success?

A: Scholars’ grades, behavior and attendance are monitored quarterly. Additionally, Scholars and their parents and mentors complete surveys at least annually.

 


Q: Has any Scholar failed to meet the requirements to date?

A: No.

 


Q: Has any Scholar moved out of the participating school system since the beginning of the program?

A: Yes, two Scholars have moved to a non-participating REACH school system and another Scholar moved to a participating REACH school system.

 


Q: What happens if a student transfers out of the REACH participating school system?

A: If a REACH Scholar transfers to another participating school system, the student may continue participating in REACH provided all eligibility requirements are met.  The student’s scholarship funds will transfer to the new participating school system for the student. If a REACH Scholar transfers to a non-participating school system or a nonpublic Eligible High School located within the state of Georgia, the student may continue participating in REACH provided all eligibility requirements are met. The school system will retain the scholarship funds and may use them for a new 8th-grade REACH Scholar selection.

 


Q: How are private donations used?

A: Gifts to the Foundation are used to provide scholarships for REACH students,  to support character building and leadership development opportunities, and promote unique college campus experiences for REACH scholars during program participation.

 


Q. May I mail a donation rather than making it online?

A: Yes. You may mail a check to:

REACH Georgia Foundation

2082 East Exchange Place

Tucker, GA 30084

Make checks payable to REACH Georgia Foundation, Inc. and note on the check support for the statewide program or a specific REACH school system.

For additional donation information, please email us at REACHdonors@gsfc.org 

 


Q. Is my donation tax deductible?

A: Yes. Donations to REACH are made to the REACH Georgia Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (tax ID number: 47-37272500) so all donations are 100 percent tax deductible. All donors receive a tax receipt for their records shortly after the Foundation receives their donation.