Is there enough HOPE for Georgia?

Before I go into today’s topic we have some housekeeping.

Today is my last regular post for Get Schooled. You’ll still see my name as I write about higher education, but the talented Maureen Downey takes over the blog Monday. Many of you already know her from her weekly Learning Curve column and editorials about education issues.

Now, to today’s topic. Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking with several college officials about the upcoming school year. Inevitably, the conversations turned to HOPE.

The program — Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally – pays for the tuition, books and fees for Georgia students who maintain a 3.0 average.

Some officials – at least those at private colleges – wondered why the amount HOPE students receive to attend their institutions is less than what students would get for a public college.

If the goal is to keep bright students in Georgia, why not spread the wealth evenly they asked?

Others wondered if HOPE was fair, especially for late bloomers. Many students struggle during the first few years in high school. Students who turn their grades turn around during junior and senior years likely can’t get their GPAs high enough to be eligible for the scholarship.

Some would argue these students are capable and have the skills to succeed in college. Where’s the money for them?

Many also said Georgia is in need of a HOPE-like needs-based scholarship.

Nearly all colleges offer scholarships for students from low-income homes, but some say the state should provide for these students.

Do you think HOPE is meeting Georgia’s needs? If not, how would you change the program?

STORY HELP: A co-worker is writing a back-to-school story looking at who is volunteering in schools. If your PTA or school has an interesting group — whether it be all fathers or all grandparents or employees from a local company — we want to hear from you. Send a note to gstaples@ajc.com if you’d like to participate.

112 comments Add your comment

catlady

July 31st, 2009
8:57 am

With the advent of HOPE, Georgia quit funding the SSIG program, which was federally assisted. Poor kids lost out.

Private colleges, pre HOPE, got 1500$ per year. Now they get $3000. They should be glad they are getting any assistance at all.

State taxpayers are already on the hook for about $12,000 per student per year that tuition/HOPE does not pay. That is $12,000 we pay for the kids who receive HOPE and go party for a year to “find themselves.” We would do better to limit HOPE to TRULY deserving kids, and increase the allotment for poor, but talented, and hardworking, kids.

Joy in Teaching

July 31st, 2009
9:16 am

HOPE has become another entitlement program and 3.0 is, in my opinion, just not good enough of a GPA requirement for students to obtain and keep HOPE.

People think that the public school systems receive HOPE money, but that is no longer the case. When the program originally started, the money was to go toward Pre K, college tuition, and technology needs for public schools. The original GPA requirement was 3.5 but was lowered because too many college bound high school or college students couldn’t seem to obtain and keep that type of average.

Private schools shouldn’t be getting public money period. That’s why they are called PRIVATE schools.

Unfortunately, we have a governor and a legislature who seem to think that every kid in the state should go to college whether they have the skills or inclination.

HOPE should be expanded to improve techical and career education in high schools. I think that is the only hope that many of our students really have in order to succeed in the world these days.

Seen it all

July 31st, 2009
9:20 am

Is there enough HOPE? Yes, we have too much HOPE. The program has ruined because the standards were set TOO LOW to to EARN a scholarship. Then parents and students pressured teachers and schools to lower standards and give away “good” grades. Now people who have no business getting anything for free or even going to college are going to these schools and wasting time and money.

alm

July 31st, 2009
9:21 am

‘Maureen Downey takes over the blog Monday.’
Oh my this should be interesting.

DJ

July 31st, 2009
9:25 am

The HOPE program is a massive “bait and switch” on parents and students. Students think they are qualified due to grade inflation in the high schools. They use the scholarship get into a four year college then 40 % lose the HOPE due to low grades (even in remedial classes). The kid is in a school with friends and wants to stay. The parent or students keep coughing up big bucks when the kid belongs at a community college or a vocational school in the first place.

The sense of failure to the student is a by-product of all this. The student has never had to realize that college is very hard to make grades. The other issue is that students take soft subjects to keep their good grades. They are not challenged to take unfamiliar subjects that get them low grades. They then earn degrees in fields that do not pay above average wages.

These are some of the unintended consequences of this system that does not offer Hope.

Be realistic

July 31st, 2009
9:27 am

There are those who think that everyone should go to college (at least that is what it seems when so many are taking the SAT). If everyone could go to college and make it academically, then who would do all of the lower paying jobs? Let’s face it, we need people to be clerical workers, to clean buildings, to work in school cafeterias.
So as for HOPE, it should be available to those who want to go to technical or vocational school. That might allow some people to find what they really want to do. College is not for everyone – and many college graduates don’t even use their degrees in their jobs.

VAN

July 31st, 2009
9:48 am

I agree with DJ. High schools are inflating grades so that students are HOPE eligible. This completely sets students up for failure and disappointment.

Once students begin college, they have a wake-up call. They realize that their freshman year isn’t the 13th grade and that they actually have to study and work for their grade. They panic when they think they’ll make less than a B and beg professors to help them keep HOPE. They no longer have much of a drive to learn, but to keep HOPE. Parent’s don’t help much by threatening the student to pull them out of school if they don’t keep HOPE. Therefore, if a student thinks they’ll make a C or lower (which is perfectly normal in college) in a class, they’ll drop the class.

The intention behind HOPE is wonderful, but the current system isn’t working. Perhaps a solution would be to offer the HOPE scholarship after the student’s freshman year.

Requiem

July 31st, 2009
9:50 am

An education reporter ran this blog? I thought it was a software program, designed to spit out subject matter that didn’t conflict with the AJC’s political agenda.

HMorgan

July 31st, 2009
9:55 am

Thanks, Laura. You have done a great job with the topics here. You will be missed.

Lee

July 31st, 2009
9:58 am

Let’s see, where to begin…

HOPE is a GOVERNMENT program. As such, the government has a vested interest to fund GOVERNMENT colleges. Agree with it or not, it’s a pretty simple concept.

I’ve posted this time and time again, but make HOPE a reimbursement program where the student pays his tuition up front, gets his grades, and then gets REIMBURSED for those classes in which he passed. This would eliminate much of the grade inflation pressure at the high school level and also eliminate the “go for a year, lose HOPE, and drop out” student at the college level.

Do ya think Maureen Downey can come up with some fresh topics? This is what, about the 50th time we’ve blogged about HOPE?

Teach

July 31st, 2009
10:02 am

Good luck, Laura! Thanks for your hard work and professionalism.

jim d

July 31st, 2009
10:18 am

and Get Schooled goes the way of many a blog—-down the toilet!

jim d

July 31st, 2009
10:20 am

this will be fun to watch though–about the first time she slams teachers and gets a thousand or two posts from whiny a$$ed teachers

jim d

July 31st, 2009
10:24 am

William Casey

July 31st, 2009
10:32 am

The HOPE scholarship is one of the best things to happen to education in Georgia in spite of the inevitable grade inflation in high schools. It provides OPPORTUNITY. Not everyone belongs in college which many will find out regardless of HOPE. But, they get a chance. My son, Beau, did well at Northview High School (2070 SAT, 93 GPA, Cum Laude, AP Scholar, etc.) but he knows that if he messes around and loses the HOPE, the $60,000 I’ve saved for his other college expenses will go for a down payment on a condo at the beach for me. Want to bet that he’ll keep the HOPE and not end up a drunken fool on U-Tube?

Jake

July 31st, 2009
10:37 am

Reimbursement is perfect. For those that argue coming up with a year’s tuition and R&B up fron will be a barrier to some of the poorest HOPE was intended to help I suggest they work and save first. Then they would really value their educational opportunity. Nothing for private schools and nothing for vocational schools. The quality of all our lives is primarily determined by the top 10%. Throwing money at the culls is just a waste of money. And $3000 is less than 10% the cost of attending most private schools, making it meaningless and worthless.

Stevie-B

July 31st, 2009
10:49 am

I am a student at UGA. As is my younger brother. I currently have HOPE, my little brother just lost it. My fee’s after HOPE for the fall are $145. My brothers was around $3,000. I am glad HOPE is around. HOPE is not hard to keep. While some people are smarter than other, keeping a 3.0 GPA is not that hard. My brother is smarter than me, I just worked harder than he did so I kept HOPE. I think HOPE is a great thing, it is very attainable for any high school student to make. (GA is still near the bottom of the country in education, school’s in GA are not hard), if anything they should make the GPA requirement higher.

jim d

July 31st, 2009
10:57 am

MyOpinion

July 31st, 2009
10:58 am

It is funny how many people think that there is grade inflation in high schools by the teachers. It is the Georgia Administration that created this inflation. Around 2003 Georgia stopped using the 3.0/4.0 scale to determine if a student is eligible for HOPE and started allowing students with an 80/100; 85/100 on the numeric scale to receive HOPE. This new grading system allowed many students who initially had below a 3.0 to receive HOPE. They have just recently changed these procedures.

Moreover, HOPE is not a financial need based scholarship. Even if your parents make $500,000 a year, as long as you have and maintain a 3.0, is a resident of Georgia, are in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements, have no priors for drugs, and are not in default or owe a refund on a student financial aid program; you are eligible for HOPE.

HOPE needs to be revamped. I do feel that students today feel that they are entitled to HOPE and do the bare minimum to meet the requirements. I feel that HOPE should be open to vocational/trade schools and the high school GPA requirements should be raised to a 3.3/4.0. College requirements should remain the same (Harder to maintain GPA due to many factors not present in high school).

@DJ – Students realize that college is harder than high school, they just underestimate how much so. I know plenty of students that lost HOPE their freshman year because they spent too much time partying, and not enough time studying. With the institution of NCLB, many schools decided to mix the advanced with the average and below-average students to provide help for these students. With this method, advance students never had to work for an ‘A’ because in high school they were able to easily grasp the information and fly through the course work. Now in college they do not have the study habits required to maintain their college GPA’s thinking that they could still do what they did in high school to make an ‘A’; which was no longer the case.

Local student

July 31st, 2009
11:18 am

HOPE is available for technical schools and diplomas. The program (called the HOPE grant) has no requirements for a 3.0 either in H.S. or tech school. It’s perfect for those students who aren’t looking to be brain surgeons.

BABY SAY

July 31st, 2009
11:32 am

BABY SAY KOOOOODOS TOO LAURA!!!! WELLCOM TU MOEREEEN !! BABY SAY KEEEP HOP A-LIVE!!!

whiney a$$ teachers

July 31st, 2009
11:36 am

jim d,

No doubt you’ve made many a valid point about how teachers contribute to their own demise by not standing up for themselves. But I hope you wouldn’t use that to validate in the least many of the legitimate criticisms of Downey, and the very biased approach she takes to education issues.

Too many times her choice of subject matter seems more designed as apparent political cover that’s pushing a political agenda of the AJC as opposed to using her platform to promote more honesty and integrity in public education.

Remember this is the same Downey who wrote a column praising an administrator for “candor” when that administrator was belittling staff members.

Yet when, if ever, has she shown an appreciation for that same candor when it comes to Napolealvin?

I think you see my point.

Toni Green

July 31st, 2009
11:39 am

Hello I am Toni Green and I was reading your article and I found it too be very informative and interesting, however I would like to ask you a question? Do you feel that there are enough CNA Programs in Georgia, or do you feel that there should be more CNA Training Programs open to the public that is affordable to all residents of Atlanta Georgia due to the very low economic status of many individuals. I would galdly be interested in opening up such a program that would help the education and economic situation of many individuals. If I could kinda get some feed back of how the public view the need for this type of service it would allow me to investigate more with the State of Georgia and FIA Offices regarding the requirements require to open up a program. I am a Register Nurse, RN BSN, whom have 18 years of experiences in the field of Nursing and would be gald to assist all young adults in developing a career choice that would be only a steping stonein a career choices that can lead to endless avenue in this professional field. Please provide me with as much feed back as possible.

Way Down South

July 31st, 2009
11:42 am

State officials have killed accountability and motivation for Georgia students.

jim d

July 31st, 2009
11:49 am

whiney a$$ teachers,

my opinon of ms. downy’s articles is much lower than any opinon I have ever voiced in regards to teachers. I know this may be hard to believe, but I actually hold most teachers in relatively high regard. I generally dis. only those that, in my opinon, have chosen the wrong profession.

All i was saying is that there are many teachers that will come to this blog just to blast her, yet will do little to actually help themselves. Does that make sense?

jim d

July 31st, 2009
11:55 am

Toni,

I’m aware of several CNA programs that friends are currently enrolled in–they are economically affordable and apparently quite a few available in the area. I would suggest that an indivudal may have a hard time starting one up and making it self sufficent in these economic times.

Northview (Ex)Teacher

July 31st, 2009
12:08 pm

Bear Casey,

Welcome back. I have missed you.

What do you think about Spalla becoming the principal at Northview? Why is it that only total pieces of crap (remember Bob Burke and Bobby Macris?) seem to thrive in Fulton County Schools?

One thing’s for sure: no parent will ever have to worry about academics getting in the way of grades so long as Spalla is in charge.

HopeRecipient

July 31st, 2009
12:17 pm

I receive HOPE, have always maintained above a 3.6 and am surprised by the amount of angst towards this program. If it were not for HOPE, I literally could not afford an education. I could afford the child care, let alone tuition and campus fees.

I am thankful this program exists, but I get extremely angry when I see other students getting the same funds and literally doing a fraction of the work. Perhaps a testing process should be instated so that all students receiving HOPE funds meet a standard.

Although they could use this as an opportunity to just set another standard too low .

jim d

July 31st, 2009
12:20 pm

To the question at hand.

Get Schooled Is there enough HOPE for Georgia?

No there is NO hope for Georgia in k-12 education until such time as CHOICE is allowed, much the same as it is in our college system. Seems our Colleges are doing a pretty damn good job at weeding out those that should not be there. Be NICE if our High schools could do the same–saving HOPE for those that are willing to work for it.

whiney a$$ teachers

July 31st, 2009
12:23 pm

jim d,

Yes when you put it that way, it totally makes sense. Here’s what I hope jim d. I hope you and others will ask the same tough questions of Maureen, and the tone and scope of her coverage of education issues, as you have asked of Napolealvin.

The press has a role to play as far as bringing light to the wrongdoings of educational officials who, let’s not forget, are supported with our tax dollars. On that front, Downey’s coverage leaves a lot to be desired, and it is my hope that readers will challenge her on this, and not pander to her.

Now does that make sense?

jim d

July 31st, 2009
12:28 pm

WAT,

Perfectly, and if you’ve been reading these blogs you will understand that I never back away from a challenge. Matter of fact, I rather look forward to many unsolved opprotunities and confronting those that are full of BS.

Rosie

July 31st, 2009
12:49 pm

Why not suggest a few topcis for Maureen since this topic has been blogged to death?

jim d

July 31st, 2009
12:50 pm

I think a good blog topic for today would have been. Will more blog entries disappear once Ms. Downey takes the reigns of the “GET SCHOOLED BLOG”?

I would be a bit hesitant to wager one way or another on that issue as Ms. Downey appears to have little tolerance for differing opinons. Hope she has thick skin!!

jim d

July 31st, 2009
1:01 pm

Ms Downey,

If you ever run out of blog topics you might ask the question as to why state law makers and enforcement continue to refuse to go after school boards that vote behind closed doors when our A/G (Thubert Baker) is on record stating that doing so is in direct violation of our state constitution?

Have you the courage to ask?

A good starter question

July 31st, 2009
1:04 pm

I think this would be a good starter question, and I would hope that many others join the bandwagon and let’s just find out, from the get go, if Maureen will conduct herself with integrity and accountability.

Downey wrote a column praising an administrator for “candor” when that candor was comprised of belittling the teachers on staff.

Shortly thereafter, the governor made front page news on Downey’s very paper calling the APS denial of the cheating scandal outrageous.

Did Downey “candidly” address this? What did Downey, in her “candid” opinion think was more important than addressing an issue that strikes at the very credibility of the education system?

The question I would love for multiple people to ask is, if Downey is going to be complicit in protecting selected officials with her silence on a scandal that made front page news, why should the readers of this blog give Downey any credibility?

I really truly hope, no pun intended, that the reader of this blog care enough about the issues facing education in Georgia to skip the pleasantries and confront Downey directly on where her editorial coverage has done a great disservice to the citizens of this state, and the way their education tax dollars have been spent.

jim d

July 31st, 2009
1:25 pm

Votes must be public??

WHAT MEETINGS ARE OPEN?
The law applies to every state, county or municipal department, agency, board, bureau, commission or authority. It applies to every city, county or regional authority, including development and hospital authorities. These applications include any committee of its members created by any of the above authorities. It also applies to private entities that carry out the functions of a public agency, e.g. private companies which take over the operations of public hospitals. It applies to personnel board hearings (except for deliberations), Tax Equalization Boards, and to coroner’s inquests. It also applies to any non-profit organization that receives at least a third of its funds from state or local tax revenues.

Meetings occur when by prior arrangement there is a quorum of the members of a governing body or agency or of any committee of its members, and public business is discussed or presented. See O.C.G.A. 50-14-1.

WHAT MEETINGS CAN BE LEGALLY CLOSED?
A governmental agency is not required to close any meeting; however, it may vote in public to close a meeting to:

—Conduct an inspection of physical facilities under its jurisdiction.

—To meet with government officials outside the jurisdiction; e.g., attend conventions or meet with officials at the Capitol.

—Discuss future “acquisition” of real estate. However, notice that such a meeting is taking place must be given and minutes taken. When the deal is either completed or abandoned, those minutes must be disclosed. Votes must be public.

—Privileged consultations with an attorney regarding pending or potential legal action or claims. However, a meeting with an attorney to discuss the legality of closing a meeting must be open.

—Discuss employment, periodic evaluations or disciplinary actions regarding a public officer or employee. However, the presentation of evidence or argument in disciplinary cases must be open. And any action taken must occur at an open meeting. Meetings to discuss personnel policies in general must be open.

—An agency may also vote to close meetings where discussing security against criminal terrorist threats where closure is necessary to protect life, safety and property.

—Also, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles may close its meetings while deliberating or voting, or if the board determines that witnesses would be at risk if the meeting was open.

—Staff meetings held for investigative purposes as required by law may be closed, as well as meetings of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation or other law enforcement bodies; adoption proceedings; and hospital authority meetings when discussing the awarding or revocation of staff privileges, or the granting of abortions. Hospital Authorities may also discuss competitive plans and strategies in a closed meeting.

—Note: The General Assembly is exempt from provisions of the Open Meetings Act. See O.C.G.A. 15-14-13.

whiney a$$ teachers

July 31st, 2009
1:56 pm

With all due respect jim d,

I think the first questions need to be directed at Downey herself, to establish her credibility, and her willingness to hold herself accountable for the way she will conduct herself on this blog, and the topics she will focus coverage on, and her willingness to communicate with the very readers who ultimately pay her salary.

Does that make sense?

jim d

July 31st, 2009
2:24 pm

WAT,

Agreed.

So Ms. Downey,

Where’s an article condeming the practice of Gwinnett Counties BOE for violation of Georgia law? Of Mr. Thurbert Baker for failing to carry out his offices charge of enforcement of Georgia’s Sunshine laws?(50-18-73 (a) ) and The superior courts of this state for failing to do their job of enforcement as well?

ScienceTeacher671

July 31st, 2009
4:46 pm

As long as we’re asking for investigative reporting, I’d like to know how much the state is paying to develop the new Georgia math curriculum, which apparently is not being used in other states. We have the new curriculum, new standardized tests, new textbooks – and who is benefiting from this? Were consultants hired to develop the curriculum? Who is developing and printing the new tests? Which textbook companies get Georgia’s business? And who is training the teachers, and how much is it costing the state and districts across the state to train teachers and buy new books?

HS

July 31st, 2009
4:52 pm

Parents and students in high school insist on taking the least restrictive environment to get the Hope Scholarship and not the best way to prepare for a long term positive academic achievement in college. So, they get a good GPA, get into a college of choice with Hope scholarship. Sounds like a good deal for college, student and parents till they blow it in the first year.
I think they should be allowed to loose the scholarship after 1 semester rather than one year. Also, the performers getting more than a 3.5 GPa in college could be allowed additional funds for books and other fees. Incentive for doing well should be available and related to the demands of a HS curriculum. Reward those willing to work and achieve!
The Hope Grant is an excellent program for those students that want a shorter and more career targeted education.

Will teachers and parents step up on Monday?

July 31st, 2009
5:06 pm

Teachers are constantly complaining that they are being denigrated by the media and that the concerns that hamper their ability to do their jobs are rarely, if ever addressed.

Come Monday, teachers have a chance to directly confront one of the main architects of that in the AJC, Maureen Downey. This is not some lowly reporter whose hands were tied; this is a member of an editorial board that has been notorious for its lack of support of teachers, and its lack of willingness to address issues that negatively impact teachers.

If you want your voice heard, Monday is the day. Do not let Downey or the AJC off the hook, by steering the conversation to the subject du jour, with a few platitudes and possibly even some softball questions served up by sycophant posters.

Even as the AJC prides itself on being a watchdog, there is plenty of evidence, even in today’s blog, that it has been a speak, see, and hear no evil lapdog of the status quo.

It’s been easy for Downey to carry on her agenda, when the AJC can pick and choose which letters to publish, and who to allow a forum for speaking. Monday is the day to see if Downey will address those she has attacked over the years, and has the willingness and integrity to address her readers, the ones who in the end are paying her salary. None of that can happen if readers don’t make it happen. For years people have complained about the editorial coverage in the AJC.

Monday is your chance to address it.

HOPE parent

July 31st, 2009
6:49 pm

My daughter just graduated from a Georgia college having kept the scholarship all four years.

We are not a rich family, and we are not a poor family – both our cars were bought used and paid in full, we live in a modest 3 BR/2 BA 60s style ranch – paying out of pocket would’ve been a budget issue. HOPE allowed my daughter to get through school with out taking out student loans – and that was the hugest benefit. She will be starting out without the cloud of debt that so many in our same “financial class” are burdened with.

HOPE should remain what the voters voted for – the original 3-pronged approach of pre-k, college tuition, and technology. If cuts need to be made, then reduce the amount going to private colleges. I don’t have an issue with either increasing the required GPA from HS or college, attaching a minimum SAT/ACT score, or turning it into a reimbursement program.

I have a huge problem with turning it into a needs-based scholarship – there are lots of funds out there that are needs-based, however responsible people who scrimp and save and put money aside throughout their children’s school years are penalized when it comes to traditional needs-based financial aid. HOPE was not designed to be that – it was designed to reward scholarship.

Reality 2

July 31st, 2009
8:55 pm

Science Teacher 671
The new GA math standards, K-12, were developed by a committee of georgia educators – teachers, univ professors – and maybe even some business inputs. That was DONE 5-6 years ago.

Georgia is an adoption state, meaning every 6 (or so) years, a subject matter textbooks are “adopted” – of course, “adoption” is a bit misleading term because basically what happens is that the state develops an “approved” textbooks list, and if a school district pick one from the list, the state contributes to the purchase of the book. A district may purchase something else, but then they don’t get the money, or at least not as much. The adoption process for HS math took place 2 years ago (I think). I don’t know where you can find the list of approved textbooks, but I’m sure it’s somewhere on the web.

No one is particularly benefiting from the textbook adoption this time around any more than any other adoption cycle. The state dept of ed developed math frameworks which seemed to have become a defacto textbook for many schools – but they were developed by GA math teachers and math educators. I’m sure they got paid but anywhere near as much as they could have gotten from a private publisher. Besides, the end product is freely available on-line, so it is not costing schools any money other than making copies. I imagine some publishers may not be happy about that.

I think the training is provided by the DOE personnell mostly, and people at the various RESAs, I imagine.

You somehow seem to think that it is completely different math, but I encourage you to actually look at the released EOCT items. They are doing mostly the same mathematics – perhaps some statistics/probability topics may be new, but they are probably much more practical and needed in today’s world than quadratic equations. Topics are simply packaged differently.

I have no idea who the test makers are for the EOCT, but I don’t see any reason why it should cost any more than EOCT or other standardized tests that have been given.

Emily

July 31st, 2009
11:33 pm

I just graduated from UGA and was on the HOPE Scholarship for each year. I almost went to UNC Chapel Hill, but the HOPE made UGA impossible to refuse. It was the best decision I made, as I’m now fully employed with one of the Big 4 accounting firms, and I have no student loans to repay. HOPE kept me in-state, which is the whole point of having a merit based program like this. Keep the brightest GA high schoolers in GA for college. It has drastically improved our university’s reputation and rankings since it was implemented. Great program.

tc

July 31st, 2009
11:41 pm

If ol’ Sonny Boy had a chance, he’d get rid of HOPE. We all know now that Sonny hates public education. Sonny, please be gone real soon, before you do any more damage…go milk some cows!

tc

July 31st, 2009
11:51 pm

Hopefully this state has learned its lesson not to vote for another Republican governor for 150 years. Perdue is pathetic.

GA/FL

August 1st, 2009
6:33 am

I currently receive HOPE and Pell. My husband receives Pell only. We decided later in life to fulfill our dreams of better education. Every day I am so thankful we have HOPE and Pell to help us accomplish our goals.

Robert M

August 1st, 2009
6:56 am

No wonder Georgia’s education system lags behind–read these comments. Some of you should really educate yourself prior to commenting on an education blog. First, funding is available for students who receive technical education. It is called HOPE Grant. And nearly 70% of students in the Technical College System receiving this funding. And it carries with it fewer stipulations so students retain it.

Second HOPE is NOT a government program. It is a private business operated though the Lottery Corporation. Sales=Revenue for them like it does for any business. The Lottery Corp then gives the state a percentage of the revenue, per legislation. Thus, why should HOPE be restricted to just public colleges? If the purpose is the help the all of the state, why should private colleges be excluded? The point of HOPE is to provide more access to college.

Finally, the program has become more of an entitlement program. In its original form, it was supposed to be needs based. But good luck getting that policy passed in this backwards Republican state. Students and parents should have more skin in the game. A student should have to prove himself or herself in college the first semester and then get reimbursed. Instead an incentive system exists to party your first year away.

The bottomline is that HOPE expenditures are increasing at a faster rate than the revenue. In FY10 the lines are projected to cross. Then what? What gets cut first? How do you begin to reform the program?

catlady

August 1st, 2009
6:57 am

5 errors for HOPE Scholar Stevie B. Oh, my!

catlady

August 1st, 2009
7:00 am

Robert: Orginally it was NOT exactly needs-based. Yes, there was a top income cap (later raised and then abolished) but there was a BOTTOM income cap as well, which lasted a couple of years after the top cap was abolished. Originally, if you got Pell you could not get HOPE–massively unfair to low income good scholars. It was, originally, a middle income rewards program.