“Super” seniors denied HOPE for extra semester. Is it fair?

Morning folks,

I am running this op-ed on the Monday education page in the AJC. It is by a UGA “super” senior.

While I don’t think we are going to see any expansion of the HOPE Scholarship this year or in the near future, I think she makes good points. Enjoy the piece and let’s discuss. I think this is a big issue at Georgia Tech where kids often go longer than four years.

(Monday morning 8:22: By the way, Amanda has come onto the blog to respond to some of the critical comments to her piece. Thanks, Amanda, for taking on the critics.

And to the critics, let’s keep this discussion civil.  I know that most of us are used to the wild west nature of the online world, but this may well be Amanda’s first foray. She may never come back again. Maureen.)

Please read her entry.

By Amanda Hammons

I am a “super-senior” at the University of Georgia.

The HOPE Scholarship has provided the resources necessary to maximize my college experience and allowed me to soak in the five-star education here in Athens until now.
Before entering college, I listened to the sage advice offered to me to get involved. I am a prime example of putting into college what I wanted to get out of it.

I will graduate this month with honors and a dual-degree in marketing and sport management. At the same time, I served as president of the Sports Business Club and raised more than a thousand dollars for campus philanthropies.

Having made the most of these last 4 ½ years at UGA, you can imagine the disappointment and dismay I felt when I learned that my HOPE Scholarship had expired for my last semester because I took too many courses.

Utilizing HOPE to further my education, I am now stricken of the resources needed to accomplish as much as I could in a short amount of time because I was too ambitious.

I place no judgment on students in Georgia receiving HOPE Scholarship who do just enough to sneak by each credit checkpoint. HOPE seeks to provide underprivileged students access to higher education.

What I don’t comprehend is why students with the highest level of pride in their studies, students who dedicate time and energy to rising above the norm, are not given the chance to continue or even finish their goals. I think these students merit another look by the HOPE Scholarship committee.

My proposition allows students with a 3.5 grade point average or better to be granted the chance to appeal scholarship revocation due to exceeding the 127-credit hour limit.
Of course, this extension would be conditional on maintaining the strong grade point average.
This extension opportunity not only encourages the HOPE student to maximize their college experience, but also explore the chance to grow by pursuing multiple majors/minors.

In my opinion, the HOPE Scholarship is the only business that not only takes away the benefits of success in school, but, in some capacity, inhibits them.

I felt compelled to bring this injustice to the public’s attention. Yes, I could have earned one degree and graduated last May, but my resume would have been void of a much-needed internship, and I would have had to sacrifice the presidential role of a club I have invested my heart into at UGA.

This involvement led to a scholarship that contributed to two tuitions over the summer, one for calculus, one for internship credit.

Many would argue that one degree is “just fine,” but I chose to persist because my family sacrificed to support my dreams when HOPE would not.

There are many families and students who cannot shoulder the burden of educational costs, even for a single semester. Even though ambition may spur a student to continue in college, it can’t pay bills.

Limiting college education for bright young adults is a slippery slope that begins with discouragement to continue learning.

I believe that granting a HOPE appeal to successful, driven students to further their pursuit of a higher education is not only a positive educational reinforcement, but also a powerful reflection on the importance of reaching your highest potential.

Super-seniors should be given the chance to continue hoping, dreaming, and earning without fear of financial burdens.

136 comments Add your comment


December 13th, 2009
6:54 am

Congratulations on your successes. You’ve made great choices to be involved in your school beyond the classroom, experiences that will serve you well in the business world. Which brings me to my point …

The scholarship must have limits. There’s a budget involved in funding and the business of managing that budget requires an end in sight. We hear about the “professional student,” a term usually associated negatively with a person who enjoys school (and no job) so much they just keep registering. In this example you’re on a positive track to double majors but with no limit as you propose, what’s to stop you from a triple major?

You knew the Hope rules when you signed the papers 4 1/2 years ago. You did read them didn’t you? So as you reached the 127 limit during Fall quarter registration what was your plan for Spring?


December 13th, 2009
7:55 am

Long, long ago, in the days before HOPE, there was another student with a four-year full-tuition scholarship. This student graduated with a double major by exempting many of her core courses (AP courses in high school, or SAT2 tests after high school could do this today), and concentrating on major coursework, as well as extracurricular activities.

I admire Ms. Hammons’ accomplishments, and am glad that she and her family felt they were worth the further investment. I suspect that there are other scholarship organizations, not funded by the state (or the lottery commission, or whoever we’re crediting this week) that might have found her worthy.


December 13th, 2009
8:55 am

Hopefully, there is a happy medium. Like Parent, there must be a llmit to Hope. It is soo easy to stay in college, particularly now when jobs are scarce, and just keep racking up the classes. Also, it really gets to me when everyone knows the rules but then expects exceptions. However, Ms. Hammonds, does seem like an exception to the rule. If there was an appeal process where should could truly present her case, including a plan that shows the end of her college career, then that seems fair


December 13th, 2009
9:33 am

let me start out by saying that certainly agree that HOPE needs to be limited. Students in Georgia are lucky to even have the state pay for some of their education. Unfortunately, so many are using HOPE that the state is running out of money. When the state runs out of money for mere education, the Board of Regents must force universities to cut out classes. When classes are cut, it forces students to stay in school longer just to meet graduation requirements. That said, these students expect HOPE to continue paying.

This not only affect HOPE recipients, but those who pay out of pocket as well. I am a full time student (older) who pays out of pocket, and I am forced to extend my graduation date another semester for 1 class. Why? lack of funding to offer the class year round. Maybe if HOPE limited their funds………………………………….

just sayin..


December 13th, 2009
11:21 am

I find it highly suspect that Ms. Hammonds absolutely had to take an extra semester of credit hours to achieve her dual degrees. If she had properly planned her course schedule in her first four years, utilizing free electives for her second degree, she most likely could have secured both degrees without exceeding the HOPE credit limit. Further, an internship could have been taken post-graduation (not for credit of course) and still supplemented her academic credentials.

Ms. Hammonds seems intelligent enough that she should have planned for this extra semester and researched other financial options.


December 13th, 2009
11:34 am

My daughter graduated UGA with dual majors and had to attend a 5th year. Trust me, there was no fluff built into her schedule.

I paid the 5th year out of pocket and was grateful for the financial assistance that HOPE provided for the first four years.

That said, I have long been a proponent of making the HOPE Scholarship a REIMBURSEMENT program where the student pays tuition out of pocket, attends class, and then gets reimbursed by HOPE based on the results of their grades.

In my opinion, a reimbursement program would eliminate the student who goes to college for a year, goofs off and loses HOPE, and then drops out never to return. It would also eliminate the grade inflation at the high school level because the HOPE scholarship is now based on college work instead of the high schooler’s GPA to qualify.

To Ms Hammonds, I would say that you graduated from UGA with two degrees and all you paid in matriculation fees is approximately $7000. A pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

drew (former teacher)

December 13th, 2009
12:00 pm

Congrats to Ms. Hammons on her success at UGA. It’s obvious that she is an intelligent young lady, so it’s a little surprising to read her editorial, which comes across to me as simply whining that “it isn’t fair”. Ms. Hammons should be thrilled that the state of Georgia has paid for the bulk of her 4-1/2 years at UGA.

I was also the beneficiary of the Hope scholarship, when I went back to school at the age of 40 to obtain my teaching degree. My Hope scholarship also “expired” prior to my graduation, due to some courses I had taken 20 years earlier during my first attempt at college. Even though Hope did not exist at the time, the classes I had taken/attempted were still counted as part of my Hope scholarship. So I had to pay out of pocket for my last year. The idea of complaining about the fairness of this never crossed my mind…I was just happy that Hope paid for most of it.

I also have two sons in college right now, one at UGA, and another at a junior college, and both have Hope. But even with the Hope scholarship, both of my sons have had to take out student loans to cover the gap between Hope and the actual costs associated with college. But you’re not going to hear me whining about it. Hope has already saved me thousands of dollars, with the potential to save me thousands more.

As “Parent” stated, the Hope scholarship is not open ended…there are limits. These limits are published and fairly straight forward, so students need to keep these in mind when choosing their college paths. Choices have consequences. Ms. Hammond made her choices, and the consequence is that she will have bear some of the costs of her education. Sounds fair enough to me.


December 13th, 2009
12:07 pm

I’m also a college student in GA and fully understand that HOPE funds are available up to a maximum number of credits. That’s the way it works, period. If you’re allowed to get extra monies for additional credit hours, the entire program will be compromised. There are rules, we work with them. Focus your energies on gaining employment for paying for extra credits like everyone else.

Mack Easton

December 13th, 2009
12:27 pm

I am also a super super senior! As in age!! I would have been overjoyed if the Hope Scholarship existed in the early 50’s. Wow, nothing to do except maintain a minimum GPA, absorb knowledge and whine about not getting more financial assistance. I obtained my education bit by bit, year by year, paid for by me, bit by bit. Lots of sacrifices! No loans, no financial assistance and I am grateful I live in a country that allowed me to progress.

The purpose of the Hope Scholarship is to enable young Georgians in obtaining a college degree. Specifically, for those who could not otherwise afford college tuition but have the potential to progress by attending a higher learning institution. HOPE was never intended to produce or enable double degree graduates or make exceptions for anyone. To do so would be a form of bias.

If, as in Ms Hammond’s case, a person excels in pursuit of their higher education goals, that indicates the Hope Scholarship for the individual is/was a good investment.

For those who obtain a Hope Scholarship degree and want to continue climbing the educational ladder, they may do so while working in the “real world”. By taking continuing courses, online or otherwise. Some employers encourage and pay for further educational courses. Additionally, there are numerous opportunities for grants from many philanthropic
philantrophic foundations if the grants enable exceptional individuals to progress in fields that benefit society. There are also federal government grants for special fields.

Ms Hammond deserves congratulations on her accomplishments thus far. But, I detect a bit of selfishness and sarcasm in two of her remarks. I quote #1: “Yes, I could have earned one degree and graduated last May, but my resume would have been void of a much-needed internship, and I would have had to sacrifice the presidential role of a club I have invested my heart into at UGA.” Well, Ms Hammond, get used to sacrifices, particularly those of a personal nature. There will be many in your future.

The second quote ( her opinion) and one I totally disagree with is: “In my opinion, the HOPE Scholarship is the only business that not only takes away the benefits of success in school, but, in some capacity, inhibits them.” WHAT!!! This is an INSULT to the Hope Scholarship program and has overtones of “entitlement” instead of “Thank You,Hope Scholarship”.

Be grateful Ms Hammond! It is time to leave the security of the academic world, get a job, pay taxes, put your education to work, make sacrifices when necessary and keep climbing.

You will find the “real world” does not reward you for what you might like to be. It rewards you for what you can actually accomplish with the educational background and tools you have to offer.

My perception and opinion of Ms Hammond is she is NOT thankful for what the Hope Scholarship has done for her and now wants to change it to suit her personal needs.

Could it be that Ms Hammond is also having a problem “stepping down” from her exalted “presidential” role in a club.

The Hope Scholarship is a one time investment in our younger college age citizens for a single college degree, not preparation for double degrees and beyond.

Rules are rules. Waivers of rules are a form of selective bias. The Hope Scholarship should never permit exceptions to the amount of educational assistance.

If Ms Hammond really wants to pursue higher no or litttle cost eduation here is an excellent solution and opportunity if she can “hack” it!!!!! A “whiner” will not “hack” it!



December 13th, 2009
1:40 pm

@Lee- I SO agree. I LOVE the Hope scholarship as I know personally that many great kids have been able to attend college ONLY because of its existence. But let’s be sensible here. Many businesses offer college reimbursement just as you suggested…and knowing that money is coming back is a great motivator. Kids fresh out of highschool have a hell of a lot of growing up to do. Let them do it at their own expense. Afterall, after the first semester,each successful semester would bring money for the next. A sensible solution and a BIG money saver for taxpayers!

Ole Guy

December 13th, 2009
1:55 pm

Amanda, you are one “hard charger”…congrats on your steadfast focus on your goals. However, Drew pretty much hit the nail on the head; you should be quite pleased with the level of funding you have received thus far. Continue the “super senior” mentality in all you do. If that means finding alternate funding sources, so be it. There’s only so much “tea” in the barrel…allow others the same opportunities you’ve enjoyed. Godspeed, Amanda.


December 13th, 2009
2:16 pm

Youth like her should get the additional funds for the extra year in college. To offset this cost, the Hope scholarship should be handed out with more discipline. With the existing grade inflation, we’re giving money to kids that don’t have a chance at being successful in college and should maybe consider technical school. We should also recoup HOPE funds from kids that flunk out after 1 year.

Stop Whining

December 13th, 2009
2:19 pm

Amanda, You should be so grateful that you live in Georgia where there is a Hope scholarship instead of complaining because you might have to actually pay for one semester of college. Don’t you realize that most students have to take out student loans or have their parents pay for college? The Hope scholarship paid for what they said they would pay for. You were the one who chose to have a double major. You should be extremely grateful that you have gotten a great education for the cost of only one semester of college. Most people aren’t as lucky.

Old School

December 13th, 2009
2:21 pm

Parent and Drew, you hit the nail right on the head. Lee, I agree with you about the reimbursement idea. Amanda, quit your whining and be thankful that you had the HOPE scholarship for as long as you did. By the way, I don’t see any plan of what Amanda intends to do after graduation. It would have been nice to see what she was planning to contribute back to society in return for her 4 1/2 years of education which was mostly paid for by the taxpayers.

Another Parents

December 13th, 2009
2:22 pm

I just wanted to get on record with congratulating Ms. Hammond on her successes thus far and to reiterate the comments of other posters. There has to be a limit to HOPE. There’s an awful lot of scholarship & grant money out there for achievers like Ms. Hammond, but as another commenter already said, if she’s able to grad. w/a dual degree w/an impressive resume and pay less than $10K she’s way ahead of her peers. Be grateful, dearie, that you had HOPE for the first 4.5 years and drive on.


December 13th, 2009
2:25 pm

10 years ago HOPE was a great gift. Now it is an entitlement. Gimme Gimme!


December 13th, 2009
2:32 pm

I worked and paid for my own education and living expenses in days before Hope. I think I appreciate it a lot more. Get a job and a life.


December 13th, 2009
2:47 pm

I have a 3.97 GPA and I too have exhausted my HOPE funds two semesters ago when I decided to double major. I am not complaining as I am a senior in my final semester who knew perfectly well what I was getting into. I appreciate having access to the HOPE program in the first place because without it, college would have been just a dream. You knew that the HOPE scholarship paid for a limited amount of hours–no exceptions. Instead of whining, be grateful that you have access to such a program, because everyone is not so lucky.


December 13th, 2009
2:49 pm

@Jason- many of us busted ass and paid for our own education-and some of us earned scholarships-before HOPE. While I think HOPE is offered to too many and that it should be earned and limited, I do not begrude deserving kids being helped through HOPE… I can’t see wishing hardship on folks just because I had it hard. Didn’t your folks want YOU to have a better life than they did? There is no need to be cruel just because it wasn’t available for you.


December 13th, 2009
2:50 pm

I wonder if Ms. Hammonds would have been a little more judicious in her use of time and credits in the last four years if she had been footing the bill on her own instead of HOPE? Knowing that HOPE is taking care of the bulk of the expenses tends to give students a certain amount of freedom that they don’t have if they are paying the entire bill, and tend to make people scramble just a bit to get up and out in a timely manner.

At a major public university in North Carolina (not sure if this is the same for the entire N.C. university system), you can stay in school up to 140 hours. After 140 hours, you pay DOUBLE. Tends to cut down on the professional students :-) However, we’re running into a slight problem in that my son entered school with almost 30 hours of AP credit — and we’re wondering if his university is going to force him to graduate “early”. When he registered for the 2010 spring semester, he was surprised to see that he was designated as a “senior”, even though he is a junior. Because of the freedom the 30 hours bought him from intro classes, he was able to jump right into major classes and do the double major, and is now literally searching for classes to take to complete the minor, while at the same time staying under 140 hours, AND not getting “kicked out” a semester early, because of some of his leadership commitments in various campus organizations.

To Ms. Hammonds: HOPE is a great thing, but don’t get greedy.


December 13th, 2009
2:51 pm

We all know we have a 127 credit hour max on a free scholarship that requires nothing more than an application and a minimum GPA. It’s not really fair to ask for more when – as was said – the scholarship helps those that can’t pay. Be happy with what you got and pay for it if you want more. It’s that simple.


December 13th, 2009
2:59 pm

The argument is that if you extend it to people who double major then why not to those who went on to graduate school. I knew what from the beginning that I was going to get a master’s level education at least and I took the required courses I needed to, graduated, and continued on to my masters. I feel like there has to be a limit. Congratulations on your accomplishments. You will get two degrees and if you have to pay for one semester at UGA, it seems like you will have to pay about 3000 dollars for that education.


December 13th, 2009
2:59 pm

HOPE was just that when it started out. It was originally for those who had the grades but not the money. Interesting how all who were against the lottery now take advantage of the HOPE system. You need to stop crying about needing more money. Get a job and get on with your life. When you entered school you understood what the schedule was. It is printed in black and white. And to Old School, the HOPE is paid by those who play the lottery. Not all taxpayers. Stop twisting the truth.


December 13th, 2009
3:13 pm

Ms. Hammonds apparently is under the illusion of grandeur that because she is an awesome student that the taxpayers of the state of Georgia are duty bound to provide her with every academic dream that she has. Bad news Ms. Hammonds: The taxpayers of the state owe you nothing. As for HOPE, I trust that you do understand that the proceeds that provide your HOPe come from the wallets of those who bet on a dream to be rich in a game that is incredibly slanted in favor of the house (the state).

I would suggest that you get a job to earn money to take those extra credits you so desire.

My academic experience was funded by a combination of friends, family, scholarships, loans, and yes…..WORK! This last piece of the college experience was the most valuable of all. It kept me connected with “ordinary” folks while I pursued my dreams in the oasis of academia. Today, I’m finishing a doctorate while working full time as an educator in the state of Georgia.

I wish Ms. Hammonds well in her future endeavors, but please remember that your life is shaped more by the efforts you earn than from what you demand be given to you.


December 13th, 2009
3:26 pm

My son is in the same boat. Honors student @ GCSU, but because he changed majors and had to take extra classes his HOPE funding has also run out. The Hope scholarship has been a blessing for the past four years so I’m not complaining about having to come out of pocket to help him in this last semester.

I do agree with Lee in that Hope should be a reward – reimbursement based on good grades, and not an entitlement. Rather than take Hope away as a punishment for poor grades, make it a reward for good grades.

I am totally opposed in using these funds for daycare services disguised as a “Pre-K” education program. Children coming out of these programs are no better equipped for elementary school than children who are raised at home or in other day care programs.

It would be much more beneficial to use these funds to further assist hard working students with their books or to assist hard working adults who need to further their education to make themselves more marketable in a tough economy.

UGA parent

December 13th, 2009
3:27 pm

Ms. Hammonds, there is this thing called “Student Loans”. I know about this because my son is a 5th year student due to changing his major. He too maxed out HOPE and he has taken out a loan to pay for his last year of school.
The interest rates and the amount of time to pay for these loans are very reasonable and a bright woman like you should have no problem paying for them with the job your hard work will procure.

Like several have said, don’t be greedy. Your proposition would hamstring a program that is in place to help all Georgians that can maintain a 3.0, not just the very top students.

Former UGA student

December 13th, 2009
3:47 pm

We could just do away with HOPE altogether – that would end the argument :)

On a more serious note, I utilized HOPE myself and am thankful for it. I didn’t just “squeak by” as the author of the editorial makes anyone out to be that does not double major. As a matter of fact, I would dare say that I was more involved during my 3 1/2 years of college (I graduated early) that she is.

One must recognize that HOPE has a definie price. By allowing students to take as many classes as they want, cost-free, it would discourage many from ever graduating. I would probably still be having a great time in college even today if everything was taken care of. The author talks of a “slippery slope” Well, there would certainly be one if we decided to up the ante on HOPE. Where would we stop paying for college tuition? Pay for a second major? A Masters program? A Doctorate? Furthermore, where is the money going to come from?

In summary, though she may mean well, the author of this editorial seems very spoiled. She does not see the gift of free education that she has already been given and is complaining because she wants more. Sorry Amanda, you can not have everything for free.


December 13th, 2009
3:47 pm

You can not be a professional student and expect HOPE to pay for it. You took to many courses for the degree you were seeking. Sorry, but get a loan. The state owes you nothing.


December 13th, 2009
3:48 pm

All that Amanda has achieved is commendable. However, the limit on HOPE hours is not a secret held out by the HOPE scholarship program until Amanda’s last semester. She seems to be a smart person and should have known that there is a limit on number of hours covered.

Does she think it would be right to cover her extra hours (and others in the same situation) for a double major and then next year or sometime soon the HOPE funds run out and students won’t even be covered for one degree? There has to be a limit.

Be happy for the 127 hours that were covered.


December 13th, 2009
3:53 pm

I thougth the HOPE was for students with good grades but with a family of a certain income limit. I see too many rich kids getting HOPE and I think that is wrong.

just stating the obvious

December 13th, 2009
3:55 pm

Wahhhhh, wahhhhhh, wahhhhh. You knew the limits to the Hope before you started college. Get over your entitlement mentality before it’s too late.

ms. obvious

December 13th, 2009
3:55 pm

The problem here is fairness. It was her decision to get two degrees, but Hope only pays for one. My husband who transfered to Georgia Tech, had to take an extra semester of classes, and had to pay out of pocket that semester because he ran out of hope money as well. There has to be some sort of medium. HOPE allows for a few extra classes, but not enough for a full extra semester. They have to have a cut off point. I would have loved for HOPE to pay for my Masters degree, but they won’t do that either. Why is that unfair? I would prefer though, that HOPE be around for my daughter, and I’ll just pay for my masters out of pocket. I felt extremely lucky that I was able to get my 4 years paid for by HOPE. Lets not get greedy here. If you are a “super senior” then good for you! You should have no problem paying back one or two extra semesters of student loans in order for future generations to get HOPE. You may even be able to look into some other possible scholarships. HOPE pays for four years, and we should be thankful for that. Don’t get greedy.


December 13th, 2009
4:00 pm

That’s right Amanda! How dare you go above and beyond expectations and then expect to continue to receive any support. Don’t you know there are lottery officials waiting for their bonuses? And although this money is freely given by those who play the lottery, we’ll just call it a “tax” and I am SO tired of paying for stuff like education and police protection and hospitals! I’d rather see my money go towards something more important…like an unnecessary war! How dare you!!!

GA Teacher

December 13th, 2009
4:00 pm

Congratulations on your accomplishments! You are the type of student that the taxpayers want to fund. However, you are also old enough to understand the compromises needed to make the “world go ’round.” For the advantage of having a great internship on your resume, you had to give up graduating in 4 years and spend a bit more money. That is life, sweetheart. You are going to be hard pressed to find sympathy.


December 13th, 2009
4:01 pm

The HOPE scholarship program for graduating high school seniors could be greatly improved by factoring into the decision the student’s SAT or ACT score. Too many high schools inflate grades making the GPA worthless. Some students graduated with 3.8 GPA and that same student needs remedial courses before they could enter regular college classes.

Why not require a 1,000 SAT score and 2.5 GPA was needed to qualify?

Too many students attend one year of college and then drop out because they lose HOPE funding. Most of those student were never qualified nor motivated to attend college.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

December 13th, 2009
4:07 pm

My daughter will also graduate from UGA this semester with honors, and like Amanda, she too did not have access to HOPE funds for her final semester. In her case, the issue was not double majors or changing majors, but rather a change in the summer course offerings at UGA this year. The one course that she needed to complete before her eligibility expired was not offered due to budget cutbacks.

I am glad to say that my daughter has worked throughout her tenure at UGA to cover most of her non-scholarship expenses, and she will be graduating debt-free with a minimum amount of parental help. Yes, her parents picked up the tuition tab for her last semester … but we knew it was coming and had prepared for it.

I don’t necessarily agree with Lee that the HOPE scholarship should be a tuition reimbursement program. There are too many deserving kids who would never have the opportunity to attend college under those conditions. However, I see no reason why the scholarship can’t be modified to require the student to reimburse the lottery fund if they subsequently lose their scholarship and drop out of school.


December 13th, 2009
4:08 pm

Why don’t you just graduate in 4 years? If you take a full class load each semester (instead of dropping classes midway through – which count towards HOPE credits), HOPE gets you through college tuition free – just as it was designed to do. Sorry it took you 4.5 years at a second rate school to realize that you cannot correctly forecast. Good luck!


December 13th, 2009
4:10 pm

That’s right Amanda! How dare you go above and beyond expectations and expect to continue to receive any support for doing so. Don’t you know lottery officials have bonuses to get? And yes, even though HOPE is funded primarily by those freely playing the lottery and is not an actual “tax”, let’s just call it a tax and I am SO tired of paying for education and police protection and hospitals. I would rather my money go towards something important…like an unnecessary war. How dare you!!!


December 13th, 2009
4:23 pm

So we should give you the Hope Scholarship to be a “professional student”? Rules, smules, we don’t care ’bout no stinkin’ rules?????


December 13th, 2009
4:26 pm

Lee’s idea is terrific, and makes a lot of sense to me. My middle son just finished his first college semester with a 3.4 GPA, but he didn’t qualify for HOPE out of high school.

When we went to orientation, we were actually told to limit our kids to no more than 29 credits the first year. Since HOPE doesn’t reevaluate merit until after 30 credits, a student can go halfway through the sophomore year before risking losing it. By the same token, at this point my son won’t earn any HOPE money until his sophomore year also.

Youngest just received his early admission to UGA. We were not aware that the AP and dual enrollment courses he has taken during high school were going to count against his available credit $$ in the future. I’m glad I checked this blog todday.


December 13th, 2009
4:40 pm

get a job or get a loan! quit your whinning elitist attitude! maybe if hammonds had had to work her way thru school, she would be emotionaly equipped to handle her “disappointment”!


December 13th, 2009
4:45 pm

Excuse my ignorance, but is not the Hope scholarship funded entirely by the Georgia lottery? Which nine times out of ten the users of this scholarship and their family members are not the purchasers of the tickets that fund this program. Ms Harmon success should make her a prime candidate for one of the many scholarships offered by many foundations. Her time would have been better spent looking into this option earlier than complaining later. Life is not fair and there really is no free lunch. I wish her much success in the future.


December 13th, 2009
4:59 pm

In Georgia the only hours counted against HOPE hours are hours earned at a college in Georgia with HOPE funds. The person who wrote about the AP hours has a child in a North Carolina university.

AP hours in Georgia do not count toward the allowed HOPE credit hours.


December 13th, 2009
4:59 pm

Let’s just melt this down. “I’m now experienced in marketing and wish to pass my proposal along for my master’s thesis.”

I know of many good people who lost the hope scholarship due to inability in holding a B average… A Lot of them. You get your shot at a higher education and that’s a very good thing for the people who can get there. That said, I know many who really didn’t belong there, or were borderline, but quite bright in their own way. I’ll ask a divergent question and question what happens to the people dropped from the program. Sure, the cream of the crop comes here advertising like a politician. What about the others, surely you know them. Joe plumber, eh?

Starlets fly on their own dime because they’ve earned, or are worth it. What of the 10,000 who didn’t make the Freshman year? Worthy students, perhaps. What of those with no sponsors to continue their education? Because, that’s what this is kind of about, right?

Someone failed to notice that they were about to be dropped for some reason and are now looking for a pillow to land on. Be it high or low, where is that pillow? You can drown in half a teaspoon of water, after all.

Yeah, drama grad.


December 13th, 2009
5:04 pm

I wrote something and now it’s gone…. Welcome to the internet I suppose, waited too long.


December 13th, 2009
5:20 pm

I wrote something and it still hasn’t posted but when I try to repost it tells me its a duplicate! Where is my post?!


December 13th, 2009
5:31 pm

You knew up front what the rules were, did you not? Obviously you are a bright kid, but you seem to have learned little about the real world. Be glad that someone else paid for 50% of your education already. Greedy, probably not, naïve, yes.

Who decides who is and who is not a “Super Senior”. I know a lot of kids in the 2.5 gpa range that I would hire into my business before some 4.0 students. Just be glad you live in a State that has HOPE.

A 3.0 in HS is not a 3.0 in college. I would say if you want to make some real changes to HOPE base HOPE as follows, 45% on GPA, 45% on SAT/ACT and 10% on leadership/extra curr.


December 13th, 2009
5:33 pm

I have to disagree with PHS; I think MORE of the Hope money should be channeled into the Pre-K program, so that ALL kids in GA can have Pre K IN A SCHOOL, as mine were able to in Clarke Co. I think investing in kids when they are younger, especially “disadvantaged” kids, is a better use of the money. I also think that HOPE has not actually been able to do what it originally set out to. There’s no point in getting into the debate about whether access to resources affects overall performance, and there are cases on both sides, but the funding should be geared toward people who make the grade but couldn’t afford to go to college otherwise. I don’t know how that would be done, but a lot of you seem to think poor people are the ones buying lottery tickets, so those of you who think this should have no problem with funds being distributed as such. To me, there should be a combination of qualifications.


December 13th, 2009
5:57 pm

For the love of all the is good and just – do not tie HOPE scholarships to grades!

As a professor at a college in the University System, I already endure the pressure from students to award them Bs when they earn Cs. I’ve grown tired of the tears from students saying they won’t have any other way to attend school and the passive-aggressiveness where students try to shift the blame for their lack of success of anyone but themselves; I dislike being so cynical when a student says they need to meet with me after the semester ends.

I understand why people think this is a good idea – if I wasn’t in the system, I might agree with them. The expectation that students take their “free money” and invest it wisely in their education is very reasonable. The problem is that we’ve already seen runaway grade-inflation at the high school level and tying reimbursement to college grades is one sure way to encourage grade-inflation at the college level. No one wants to be accused of costing other people money and yet that’s exactly what will happen with this approach.


December 13th, 2009
6:00 pm

Let me clarify – I’m talking exclusively about the reimbursement suggestion from above.

Of course students already have to maintain a 3.0 in college to remain eligible for HOPE. This one flat line for all or nothing keeps things simpler for all involved. Reimbursing students based on their GPA will create situations where students expect one set of grades when they’ve really earned another and then they don’t get as much money back as they think they should get.