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The Cartersville Schools Foundation’s GateKey Scholarship program establishes scholarships for eligible students and gives them the opportunity to work toward an attainable goal of a college education.

Students may be nominated for a GateKey Scholarship in grades 9 through 12.  Applicants must qualify for free/reduced lunch or and be able to provide proof of income.  If selected, students will be required to sign a contract along with their parents/guardian.  The contracted obligation requires the GateKey Scholar to maintain at least a “C” average in each class, study and complete assignments, require no disciplinary action, and remain crime and drug free.  GateKey Scholars may be assigned a mentor and will be expected to attend all scheduled mentoring sessions and GateKey activities. 

A GateKey advisory committee monitors the success of the program and serves as the appeals committee for scholars in jeopardy of losing their scholarship.  This committee is comprised on GateKey coordinators, the Cartersville Schools Foundation President, a representative of the Cartersville Schools Foundation Board of Directors, and a representative from the GateKey donors. 

High school scholars receive coaching/mentoring to assure that they are able to attend the college of their choice after graduation.  During their senior year, scholars receive assistance in the college process (FAFSA, college applications, scholarship applications, etc.).  We continue to work with the scholars throughout their college enrollment, assisting with any issues that may arise.  

GateKey Questions and Answers

Who is eligible for the program?

Any student in grades 9 - 12 who is eligible for the free/reduced lunch program, have not received any grades below a C, have had no discipline issues, and attend school regularly.


How do students apply?

Applications are available at the high school and are due to the front office by November 18, 2021. 


Who will select the recipients?

A selection committee comprised of school employees, Cartersville Schools Foundation Board members, and community members.


When will students be selected?

Selections will be made by early February each year.

Can students not selected re-apply?

Yes.  Any student who was nominated but not selected will automatically be reviewed again as long as they are in 9 - 12 grade.


Who is responsible for determining how many students will be awarded scholarships?

The Cartersville Schools Foundation’s Finance Committee will determine the number of scholarships awarded based on funding.


What role will GateKey donors play in selecting eligible students?

Donors will review a profile of the students selected consistent with the GateKey/Parent/Guardian contract.


If a student nominated for the program moves out of the Cartersville City Schools, will their nomination follow them?



If a GateKey Scholar moves out of the Cartersville City Schools, will they keep their scholarship?

No. GateKey is a program of the Cartersville City School System.


If I qualify for the Hope Scholarship, can I use the GateKey funds for other school expenses?

A Hope Scholarship recipient may use the GateKey funds for legitimate college-billed expenses. GateKey funds fill the gap of college costs after Pell, Hope/Zell; they do not pass through as unneeded college funds.


How much money will be awarded to scholarship recipients for books and/or tools?

Currently, the GateKey Scholarship is $5,000 which is dispersed as needed.

"The value of GateKey is immense. Think about it, donors are investing into a student's future and they probably haven't even met them. I think that is incredibly gracious! This scholarship gives students the opportunity to go to school with a little less financial stress. There are also mentors along the way to make sure you are on the right track after you graduate! I am so grateful and thankful for the GateKey Scholarship." ~ Destiny Clark, CHS Class of 2015, Kennesaw State University Graduate

Click below to access GateKey Scholarship Application  (Grades 9-12)


With input from the Cartersville Schools Foundation's GateKey Scholarship Program and the State of Florida's Take Stock in Children Program, REACH Georgia was launched February 6, 2012, at Georgia Institute of Technology. AT&T donated $250,000 seed funding for REACH Georgia’s first pilot year.

The REACH Georgia Scholarship “rewards students for self-accountability, promotes parent involvement and provides motivation and support; all factors that we know are critical in student educational achievement,” said Governor Nathan Deal at the launch of the program.

In the first pilot year, REACH Georgia partnered with Douglas, Rabun and Dodge County School Systems, committed 15 middle school students as Scholars and invested $150,000 to student scholarships. For academic-year 2016-2017, four years after the launch, REACH Georgia serves approximately 700 students in 69 school districts across the state with over $11 million committed to future scholarships for these Scholars.

REACH Georgia is administered by the Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA), a companion student finance entity of the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). GSFC is the state agency that administers the HOPE Scholarship and Grant Program as well as other state- and lottery- funded financial aid programs. GSFC also manages the career and college preparation website, and provides educational services such as free financial aid consultation and FAFSA completion assistance to high schools and postsecondary institutions across the state.

For more information on the REACH Georgia Scholarship program, click here:

"The best part about being a REACH Scholar is knowing that you have people motivating you to reach your full potential. I have benefited by REACH by seeking new opportunities, both in and outside of school. I have met new people and became closer to my REACH coaches.  My future outlook has changed because I have more options." ~ Pedro Robledo, CHS Class of 2017

"REACH gives me the opportunity to immediately attend a 4-year college after high school, rather than beginning at a community college and transferring. The funds provided by REACH and the matching funds from the University System make this possible." ~ Emely Pajarito, CHS Class of 2017

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