The Cartersville Schools Foundation’s GateKey Scholarship program establishes two-year scholarships for eligible students and gives them the opportunity to work toward an attainable goal of a college education.
Students may attend either Georgia Highlands College for at least 60 semester hours (two years) or Chattahoochee Technical College. GateKey will provide funds for tuition, fees, and a book allowance. Students opting to attend Chattahoochee Technical College rather than Georgia Highlands College will receive funding for tuition, fees, and a book/tool allowance for the prescribed program in which the scholar is enrolled. At both Georgia Highlands and Chattahoochee Tech, GateKey provides funds after PELL and Hope Grant funds are applied. Students wishing to attend another college may petition to use their allotted funds elsewhere.
Students may be nominated for a GateKey Scholarship in grades 6 through 11. Applicants must be approved for free/reduced lunch. 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 6-11 who is eligible for the free/reduced lunch program.
Who can nominate a student?
Any individual including a parent, a Cartersville City Schools employee or a member of the community may nominate a student.
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 between October and February of 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 6-11 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?
Only if the student is a junior or senior in high school, enrolls in Georgia Highlands College or Chattahoochee Technical College, and remains in compliance with the GateKey Scholarship requirements.
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 expenses while attending Georgia Highlands College or Chattahoochee Technical College.
How much money will be awarded to scholarship recipients for books and/or tools?
The amount of money awarded for books/tools will be determined by the Cartersville Schools Foundation Board of Directors.
"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
REACH GEORGIA SCHOLARSHIPS
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.
The Cartersville Schools Foundation currently support 16 REACH Scholars in grades 8-12. This year, three Cartersville students will be in the first cohort of REACH graduates.
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, GAfutures.org and provides educational services such as free financial aid consultation and FAFSA completion assistance to high schools and postsecondary institutions across the state.
"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