Bottom line: HOPE will pay less and be more complicated.

I think simple is better, but the financial crisis means that the HOPE Scholarship will pay less toward a student’s college tuition and possibly involve low-cost loans to make up the difference.

It will no longer be the straightforward promise of a B average earning Georgia high school students free tuition at public colleges and universities.

In a few minutes, Gov. Nathan Deal will unveil his program to save the program, which is a victim of its own success and rising college costs The lottery can longer keep pace with the tab for HOPE and pre-k, and cuts have to be made.

Rather than HOPE paying all tuition cost, Deal is expected to offer a plan for a fixed amount of money per student, with the families making up the rest.

Stay tuned. Will post shortly with the details. In the meantime, if you are the parent of a high school student, walk right on by that Starbucks. You will need that $4.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

67 comments Add your comment

Dr NO

February 22nd, 2011
9:43 am

I like it. If students have a vested/financial interest then more responsibility will be exhibited. You want something then work for it. If not then sit in your soiled diaper crying about it.

MannyT

February 22nd, 2011
9:43 am

When this new plan starts, I wonder if the truly talented low to middle income student will have any financial incentive to attend a state school in GA (when compared to a scholarship/aid package from a good school elsewhere.)

catlady

February 22nd, 2011
9:49 am

How much of the loan business will be given to friends of the powerful? How much of the cost of administering and collecting these loans will be foisted off on the taxpayers of Georgia? Who will get rich?

No to the state-sponsored loans! Students who cannot afford the “gap” can either make up the money out of their own pockets, out of regular student loans, or they can “dial back” and go to a lower-tier, less expensive college.

No more sweetheart Deals!

JacobLocke

February 22nd, 2011
9:49 am

“which is a victim of its own success and rising college costs”

What it’s a victim of is paying out millions for students who either drop out after a year. Shame on Sonny for letting politics supersede addressing these issues when they were first evident years ago.

JacobLocke

February 22nd, 2011
9:51 am

Forgot to omit the word “either.”

And Catlady, we had no business sending half of those students to colleges and universities in the first place. It was a flawed system that everyone just ignored until now. Now it’s too late for those students who could really benefit from HOPE and who wouldn’t waste the opportunity.

gamom

February 22nd, 2011
9:55 am

Thanks for keeping the public informed. I really need to know what is going on with this since I have 3 college bound kids.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alisa T. Jackson, Paid For College, Pete Smith, ATL Public Schools, Maureen Downey and others. Maureen Downey said: Bottom line: HOPE will pay less and be more complicated. http://bit.ly/htsruZ [...]

Janice

February 22nd, 2011
10:19 am

I think it’s a good idea for kids to have more of a vested interest. I do wish the GPA requirements had been raised; however, I know that would have meant more pressure of college-level instructors to give grades. NCLB did a number on everyone. I wish someone had thought about the ramifications of implementing such an idiotic program. Sure, it’s an incentive for high school students to achieve higher education, but some high school teachers start/continue the process of coddling and college-level instructors are expected to continue it.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

February 22nd, 2011
10:27 am

What will be the “rigorous courses” required of future HOPE recipients?

College-prep? AP?

PsychMom

February 22nd, 2011
10:33 am

I just read the new requirements, and it actually makes sense to me. I like the idea of less money given for private college tuition- I think that it could be taken a step further and only have the money used for public colleges. Also, giving the most money to the top students makes much more sense.

Now the Pre-K reduction of hours – that I am not sure about. Of course, if it opens more slots, then it could be a positive thing.

TW

February 22nd, 2011
10:44 am

Great politics by Deal. Educating the electorate would mean the death of the Republican party.

Gotta keep the sheep dumb.

Oh yes, I'm the great pretender......

February 22nd, 2011
10:47 am

The whole thing oughta be scrapped…….it’s nothing more than another entitlement program. With everything being relative, why is it all of a sudden necessary for our government to pay for our children’s higher and even Pre-K education. Whatever happened to the good old American ingenuity and hard work? Everybody’s got their hands out, saying……”where’s mine”. We need less government programs, not more…….everybody’s gotten lazy and because of it, America is being out-performed by other, more industrious nations…….wake up!!!!!!!!

catlady

February 22nd, 2011
10:47 am

Warning, warning, Will Robinson, more grade inflation coming at high school and college level! Especially worse at the college level!!

Is the 1200 math and science only? Is it really 63 (that would be over 30 YEARS)semesters of HOPE grant or Semester Hours (still, quite a few years of tuition)?

The low interest loan (guaranteed by the taxpayers, not the lottery players) for those with LESS than a 3.0? Surely that was an error!?

I hope whoever did the writeup made some errors!

LS

February 22nd, 2011
10:47 am

So is this a done deal or does it have to go through the State House and Senate?

get rid of this subsidy

February 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

just more people on the govt coffers

WE lost our way

February 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

Way to early in the session to see what the final product will look like.Changes will be made to his recommendations.Good or bad;who knows!However the loan program will add another layer of cost to the program.Some where a bank or financial institution are licking their chops.

Ruth

February 22nd, 2011
11:02 am

This is the best idea I have seen a Republican come up with. It’s fair and will keep the program going. I think they could even cut it back a bit more. Maybe 80% will make people appreciate it more. I also think it could stand to be on an adjustable scale based on income. And, no my family is not poor. But, I see no problem with helping out those who need more help. Just because you are a doctor does not mean you are any harder of a worker than the person that picks up your trash. And, also I could make an argument that even rich parents don’t always help their kids with tuition because I got squat from my family and worked my way through school and on an income based scale I would have lost out due to my parents very high earnings. But, a line has to be drawn somewhere and basing it on a parents income is the best mearsurement, even though some would be hurt, as I would have been if I had grown up in Georgia

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2011
11:02 am

It’s a good idea to require some pay-in by students and parents. However, creating some gawdawful system to disburse loans will cost more in the long run than it will save.

Oh, and adding that SAT/ACT requirement for a full scholarship should have been done long ago. I can’t wait to hear the screams of protest about how not everyone does well on tests. Most college grades rely heavily on tests, if you can’t do well you’re screwed anyhow.

Nicely Done

February 22nd, 2011
11:03 am

Deal is in financial trouble. He can now simply give the lending institution to which he is indebted the business of handling the loan program and all his $ problems go away.

LA teacher 2

February 22nd, 2011
11:09 am

What about students currently enrolled in college? Are there changes for them this fall? I have a kid w/ one more semester left…no idea how this applies to him. He has a 3.3, which until now, I was very happy about!

Recent UGA Grad

February 22nd, 2011
11:10 am

The proposed changes to the HOPE program are more than fair. 90% of tuition completely covered? Students and families in other states would kill for this program. I received HOPE when I went to school, until the second semester of my junior year where I unfortunately lost focus a little bit and dropped to a 2.98 GPA. I knew what I was doing and what I was risking when I decided to allocate my time to becoming more involved on campus and chose to maintain a 20 hour a week job instead of spending another couple hours studying.

I’m tired of people complaining about “how dare the state decrease the benefits of HOPE”. The state can’t do anything else. The program is absolutely a victim of its own success and I couldn’t be happier about that. Because of HOPE, my degree has so much more legitimacy than it would have for a recent graduate 15 years ago. We all know that HOPE has helped keep the best and brightest Georgia students in the state and has helped our universities gain national prominince from awards, attracting world renowned professors to the state and don’t forget about UGA 2 years ago having 2 Rhodes Scholars, one of only 6 universities in the country to have multiple scholars. I graduated from a program ranked #2 in the nation and part of that can absolutely be attributed to the success of the HOPE scholarship. Because of that, I have secured a wonderful career and did it graduating a semester early.

I support the cuts to the program along with the proposed low interest loan proposal andother changes and I hope that others will as well. Also, remember – this comes from a student who lost HOPE. We all (students) know what we have to lose if we don’t focus on our academic requirements the way we should.

Ben

February 22nd, 2011
11:14 am

“Oh yes….pretender”, wow. The purpose is the keep the best and brightest students in the state and have them contribute to making the state better, ideally. Before HOPE, we were losing the best students every year to out of state schools who would take their talents to other states.

But, you’re right, let’s balance the budget on the backs of the students and the working class.

Laughable.

Anonymous

February 22nd, 2011
11:20 am

This cannot be the bottom line…I am a state worker who has been hit hard by furloughs (which are still going strong for some agencies by the way). My son also developed a chronic illness his freshman year which hit our savings hard. He worked hard, despite being debilitated many days, to achieve and maintain a 3.5 GPA as well as an 1100 on his SAT. We were truly counting on HOPE for tuition (not necessarily fees and other expenses) as he qualified for very little federal financial aid. While he has also applied for other scholarships, he has somehow “just missed” getting them. For students like him, this is a nail in the coffin…

T-Steel

February 22nd, 2011
11:23 am

One thing we all have to accept is that we are living in a different America. The cheap and easily accessible credit days are GONE. The free and risk-less spending of state governments are GONE (and the states benefited greatly from cheap credit too). And this is not a President Obama initiated problem (although his administration isn’t helping). This is a systemic America issue. Entitlements aren’t just a Democratic/Liberal thing. It is an American thing. We expected cheap credit, paid for education, etc. And damn it, we got it from Left and Right leaning administrations. Now we are in the “Great Correction” and it is a shock to many Americans.

So this HOPE change is what it is. Fewer of us may be going to college. The bigger issue is what is going to happen to those that can’t go to college. I’m 37 years old. My parents and grandparents didn’t have full high school educations but they were able to make a damn good living regardless. Not so with many of us post-Baby Boomers. We can be educated and not come close to the same living standards enjoyed by our parents. So when I hear job creation from the left and the right, I just ask “what kind of jobs”? And no one says much.

So for all the changes in HOPE, we need changes in our attitude in these new times and new way of looking at jobs and job creation.

UGA Student

February 22nd, 2011
11:33 am

My big question, as a student who has worked his derrière off since Summer 2010 to get my HOPE GPA back above 3.0, and would under normal circumstances would be getting it back at this 60hr checkpoint after the semester…

…Can those who lost HOPE get it back?

q

February 22nd, 2011
11:41 am

Dr.no, how is someone at say a hard school like Georgia Tech suppose to take the 17 hours of pure advance science and math classes they need to graduate and work at the same to raise the tens of thousands of dollars that overpriced tuition rates demand. While it is easy for an older person to simply say let the kids work for, they need to understand, 1) Many colleges have become much harder over the last ten to 15 years (cough cough Tech has changed a lot) as the private sector demands greater skills. 2) Tuition rates are overinflated by many public shools relative to the investment they make in any single student. 3) Dr. NO how am I suppose to get a job to pay for college when I am at college to learn the skills I need to have to get a job (no part time job would come close). I don’t understand why Americans hate money for education around the world we are loosing our edge as our education systems rot and decay yet all people want to do is blame the teachers or the kids.

,Wow, this is just wow

February 22nd, 2011
11:41 am

I guess my middle income son will now be going to school out of state, where he has received scholarship offers that cover full tuition, fees and room/board. He wanted to attend UGA, but it makes no sense for him to go there and incur debt. He suffered an injury his 10th grade year and his grades suffered accordingly. He has a 3.68 and scored 2000 on the SAT and 31 on the ACT, which has resulted in scholarship offers from many different schools. A school in Florida wants to give him a full ride, plus a laptop and a $500 per semester stipend. Sounds better by the day. I’m disappointed that they made these changes for seniors who are 6 months away from attending college. They should have gone into effect for the following year. These kids and parents have been planning for HOPE and are blindsided by the changes and some of us can’t afford to supplement our kids more than we had already budgeted.

Light

February 22nd, 2011
11:54 am

I’m with Anonymous…the DESERVING h.s. students (all races) who have worked hard over the past years to ensure they are eligible for HOPE — knowing that their families may not be able to afford tuition, fees and expenses — or have been able to save for college, this proposal is the nail in the coffin, and pretty unfortunate. While paying 10% may seem reasonable (in comparison to paying 100% tuition) it’s somewhat disheartening. No one is looking for entitlements but when HOPE was first designed many taxpayers supported it because they saw it as an opportunity they may not have otherwise had to ensure their child was able to attend college because they knew they could not afford to save for college. Many students have benefitted from HOPE in the past and some whose parents could afford to pay 100% of everything. But the college fund was to pay for a new car for the student and swanky apartments so they didn’t have to live on campus. I’m not complaining but I just wished that sometimes when political decisions are made, the hardworking honest people are not the ones holding the short end of the stick.

What's best for kids?

February 22nd, 2011
12:15 pm

I think that many keep forgetting that there are student loans out there, too. If one really wants an education, one will find a way to become educated. And for those who say that they can’t save, they are wrong. Putting aside a hundred a month will help defray the cost of higher education. There’s a 529 that has worked for us, and they have doubled out investment for our children’s education. So quit whining, and start saving.

catlady

February 22nd, 2011
12:19 pm

Ah, Nicely Done, you see to what’s behind the smoke and mirrors! Look at how many people are lauding it. They are quite willing to have the “leaders” of this state get their fortunes back by furthe scratching the backs of the banks, at no risk to them, by letting the taxpayers foot the bills. Guess I know how these gullible folks voted!

David

February 22nd, 2011
12:24 pm

@Anonymous –

You will not lose HOPE. It will still cover 90% of the tuition. So you or your student child will have to come up with the difference. They might actually have to work while in school. Who knows, it might do your son good to have a job while attending College. Please don’t cry about “a nail in the coffin”. In addition to working in school, there are also Federal loans to cover the difference. I worked 2 jobs and took out loans to go through school. It can be done.
TANSTAFL.

David

February 22nd, 2011
12:25 pm

oops. TANSTAAFL.

Darn keyboard.

Just Another Teacher

February 22nd, 2011
12:31 pm

I think this is MORE than fair. When I went to college in New York, I attended a state universtiy, NY did not have any HOPE programs like GA does. The kids here should feel lucky such a thing exists AT ALL. I received a Pell Grant and a scholarship, the rest was borrowed! Yes, school loans are out there and have very low interest rates! I still have $12,000 for my undergraduate loans at a 3.2% interest rate. It is a monthly bill just like any other that I have to pay, it’s a fact of life. I went back this past summer to get my Master’s; I am attending KSU, I think their tuition rates are very reasonable. I pay approx $2,200-$2,300 per semester. I think it is well worth it, I really enjoy the program and my professors, I think it is money well spent. I think if a student truly wants an education, they will take seriously their program of study and take out loans in order to acieve their goals.

Just Another Teacher

February 22nd, 2011
12:31 pm

correction *achieve

Anonymous

February 22nd, 2011
12:38 pm

@ David
My comments were by no means a “whine or cry.” If my son were 100% healthy and could truly work multiple jobs this would be a non-issue. However, he is considered a disabled student. His medical expenses are not going to go away (if anything, they will get more expensive over time) and that 10%, even through loans, is going to hit our family hard. Add to that the fact that I have endured furlough days along with NO cost of living increase over the last 3 years and you have a picture of just how overwhelming all of this feels.

My son was not aiming for UGA or GA Tech (or even GA State for that matter), just a regional 4-yr university. What about kids like him?

get a life

February 22nd, 2011
12:49 pm

Many kids and parents all over the country are paying for college and having part time jobs and still managing to go to school without complaining about what they thinkt hey are entitled to. It seems that when you have to work a little harder to get what you want, you appreciate the outcome just a little more. Kids going to college and loosing it withing the first 6 months because they spend too much time partying and students whose parents could afford to pay for their college without the need for HOPE but instead used the college fund for bigger and better improvements in their own lives is why we are where we are today. There should have been an income limit from the get go and now we are trying to recover. I think it is more that fair at the 90%. Work harder to get what you want instead of expecting to be handing something for free.

Clueless

February 22nd, 2011
12:58 pm

Will the GLC have to pay the whole 35%?

Dim HOPE for Public School Students

February 22nd, 2011
1:18 pm

This change will ensure that the parents who can afford to send their children to Ivy Leagu Private School will get the HOPE Scholarship PAID IN FULL. They have more college prep classes that ensure highter SAT scores than public school students. Politics is “dance with who take you to the prom.” Kids of the wealthy will go to college on HOPE while driving their BMW’s, shop at Lenox, and splurge on funds their parents put away for college. Hard working students from public schools are now forced to work part-time jobs, study, and KEEP HOPE ALIVE…the little that they get.

POLITICS.

Top School

February 22nd, 2011
3:54 pm

Not worth my time. I don’t have any children.

Whatever

February 22nd, 2011
4:28 pm

Why not include the income cap or sliding scale on income as well?

Mary

February 22nd, 2011
5:01 pm

So, let’s see if I understand this correctly. A child of a low income single mom, who obtains B’s in AP courses in high school would stand little chance of receiving the HOPE schlorship. However, if they would have chosen to take ‘regular’ classes and made A’s, they could further their education with the help of HOPE. Does this really make sense? That the highly motivated, talented and scholarly students, who happen to be from low income families, aren’t given the opportunity to go to college because they sought to challendge themselves while in high school. Are those really the students we should oppressing? Really?

blackbird13

February 22nd, 2011
5:08 pm

This bill is pretty closed to what I expected, except I figured at least some of those in college would be grandfathered in. Instead, the only way 100% tuition can be maintained is if the student qualified in high school and in college. What about non-traditional students, who maybe didn’t even take the SAT, but have a 4.0 in college? Or if they just missed a 3.7 in high school, but are Juniors in college with a 4.0? doesn’t make any sense to exclude them. There are plenty of college students who did very well in high school and on the SAT but perform abysmally in college because they can’t handle the lack of supervision. They will continue to get 100% tuition (at least until their grades plummet), but the best college students get less of a scholarship. This part of the bill must be changed.

Light

February 22nd, 2011
6:02 pm

What’s best for kids you say stop whining and that people can save but you know some people have lost jobs and are not underemployed. It’s not that they don’t want to save but once you’ve cut down bare bones it makes it somewhat impossible when you are trying to pay the mortgage, keep food in the house lights on and gas in the car to get to work to pay these things. And everyone knows that loans are an option and will do what they have to for their kids, but the point is, HOPE was a beacon of light for many families whose financial situation changed. Chill and don’t be so hard unless you know everyone’s financial situation. Everyone is not a deadbeat and the economy is sort of bad right now??!!XXX

Sophomore

February 22nd, 2011
6:07 pm

this is awful! you are putting a ton more pressure on us as students who already have to balance so much! with everything schools tell us colleges look for most students are lucky to get a 3.7. taking advanced placement classes, sports, clubs, all the involvment the schools pressure us to do and the pressure to keep your grades up from your parents. we aren’t superhero’s. some people may not be so bright but that doesn’t mean they dont try and they dont want to further their education and now you are limiting them and what they may be capable of. start looking at it from a high schoolers perspective, why do you think suicide rates have gone up so much?

Tech Student

February 22nd, 2011
6:25 pm

As a Georgia Tech student I am non too pleased about this. I currently have a 3.83 GPA, which is a rarity at this school. The average GPA at tech is a 3.0. We are now getting financially punished for wanting to go to a tougher school than say Georgia Southern or Southern Poly. I do not agree with these changes. Set different standards for different schools

blackbird13

February 22nd, 2011
6:27 pm

@sophomore

Though I sympathize with your stress, consider how you come across from an adult perspective. You are, I’m sorry to say this, a poor writer, at least based on your post. Poor grammar, punctuation, everything. You will seriously undermine your arguments, and your chances of success in college, if you don’t pay attention to basic communication skills. It may mean you have to forget about clubs, sports, etc. in order to concentrate on academic work. Sorry, but I’ve been a high school student, so I have had that perspective. You are the one lacking the perspective of experience.

Oh yes, I'm the great pretender......

February 22nd, 2011
6:28 pm

@Ben

February 22nd, 2011
11:14 am
“Oh yes….pretender”, wow. The purpose is the keep the best and brightest students in the state and have them contribute to making the state better, ideally. Before HOPE, we were losing the best students every year to out of state schools who would take their talents to other states.

But, you’re right, let’s balance the budget on the backs of the students and the working class.

Laughable.

Ben, actually you’re the one that’s laughable……this is just another entitlement program and you’re probably one of those that’s got your hand out asking for more and more. If they’re leaving the state, there’s a more compelling reason for them to do so than that…….and this has nothing to do with the budget deficit…..

Only At Tech

February 22nd, 2011
6:43 pm

I agree with Tech Student above. A a GPA of 3.0 or 3.5 or whatever is a much more difficult to earn at Tech than at other state schools. I was just talking to some friends about this and we agreed – while we all had the required 1200 SAT and 3.7 GPA out of high school (like most Tech students), almost none of us would be able to keep the full HOPE scholarship under the new rules. A much fairer idea would be to give it to students who are above the average GPA – about 3.0 at Tech, but probably higher at other state schools.

Relo from VA

February 22nd, 2011
6:46 pm

I think this is a very reasonable proposal. Residents of Georgia are lucky to have such a program. Just check out the cost of other public schools in other states to say nothing of the private schools.

My husband and I both attended a very good school in Virginia. We were lucky to have some help from Mom and Dad- but the rest was loans and part-time jobs. I think one of the reasons I worked so hard in college was that in some respect it was my money on the line.

We are all “tightening our belts” with the economy. Why should HOPE be any different?

This is also a good reminder to those with young childern to save your money. I have 2 kids in elementary school, but am not counting on HOPE.

Legend of Len Barker

February 22nd, 2011
7:09 pm

Just because one major at a college is seemingly easier to obtain doesn’t necessarily mean the whole college is easier.

ABAC by virtue of having smaller classes, had professors who actually created tests that they had to hand-grade. None of that, “I have 90 students and no TA, so I’ll just skim each of these 15-page essays” and as rumored as what happened in a UGA course “give everyone an A- who meets the minimum requirements because I don’t want to take the time to actually look at them.”

The latter was a UGA journalism course. Upper level. Looking back at that paper, there’s no way I should have made the A+ I did. Way too many typos.

Since not all professors, classes, majors, and college/universities can easily be assigned a level of difficulty and quality, let’s stop pretending that classes at Tech and UGA are automatically tougher than their smaller school counterparts.

Macroeconomics was a booger-bear at UGA, but other classes weren’t. Biology at ABAC. Spanish at Valdosta State.

If I had to maintain a 3.5 with HOPE, I would have been dead after the first semester. Core curriculum, ick. I’m not a math person. Try as hard as I did, anything involving geometry is as foreign to me as Azerbaijan. I passed, but under the new HOPE, that would have messed up my GPA. And that’s after being #12 in my graduating class and having an 1160 under the old SAT.