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Nearly 60% of Shirley Miller Scholarships Awarded to Georgia Southern University Students

The Zell Miller Foundation recently announced it awarded $50,000 in Shirley Miller Scholarships for the Spring 2021 semester to 127 HOPE Scholars at 13 public colleges and universities across Georgia. Of those 127 scholarships, 73 of them were awarded to Georgia Southern students, the most of any institution.

Monica Kearse

“The HOPE and Shirley Miller Scholarships have helped me, not only with my tuition, but also with my life overall,” said Monica Kearse, senior multimedia film and production major. “Without them, I would not be in college.”

The Shirley Miller Scholarship provides HOPE Scholars a supplement that pays the difference between their HOPE award and the cost of tuition. The scholarship is named in honor of former Georgia First Lady Shirley Miller in recognition of her lifelong contributions to education.

Andrious Nelson

“It lessons my financial burden,” said Andrious Nelson, senior mechanical engineering major. “The Shirley Miller Scholarship allows me to focus on academics.”

The 73 Georgia Southern scholarship recipients were awarded a total of more than $16,000. The recipients emulate the diversity found on Georgia Southern’s campuses as 65% of recipients are African American, 22% white, 8% Hispanic and 5% Asian American. 36% of scholarship awardees are the first to attend college in their family and 49% attended Georgia’s Pre-K Program.

Aiyanna Thomas

“The HOPE and Shirley Miller Scholarships take away some of the stress of paying for college and make my college experience that much better,” said first generation student, Aiyanna Thomas, a junior health sciences major.

The mission of the Shirley Miller Scholarship fund is to restore former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller’s vision of providing full tuition to every qualified HOPE Scholarship recipient enrolled in a University System of Georgia or a Technical College System of Georgia institution.

Aleyah Williams

“I come from a low income family so they can’t help with tuition,” explained senior English major Aleyah Williams. “The Shirley Miller Scholarship means so much to me because for the first time in my college career, my tuition is fully covered by scholarships and not loans.”

Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship is available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement and provides money to assist students with the educational costs of attending a HOPE eligible postsecondary institution located in Georgia.

The application period for the Fall 2021 semester opens in the spring of 2021. Please visit the Zell Miller Foundation’s website for more information.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers approximately 140 different degree programs serving almost 27,000 students through 10 colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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