I received this note from former Gov. Roy Barnes, who granted me permission to share it although he was aware that critics would jump in and accuse him of sour grapes or worse
As the first generation in my family to attend college, I share Barnes’ concern that the changes in HOPE will hurt kids who do not come from a family with strong education backgrounds.
I also think the 3.7 GPA to get Full HOPE and the 3.5 to keep it is steep, considering that the average GPA for the students in Georgia Tech’s Honors Program is below 3.5. (The average GPA in the Honors Program at Tech is 3.34 for the Class of 2011 and 3.37 for the Class of 2012. )
Please, be respectful in comments as I am going to be en route to Athens and my editor hates to play traffic cop in my absence.
From the former governor:
A message from exile where grandchildren and cows rule the day. I can’t believe what we have done to HOPE. Did there need to be a change made to HOPE? Without a doubt, but what we are doing is the wrong solution. The answer would have been to go back to the original plan for HOPE. Available to those with a family income of $75k for a single parent and $150k for two parents.
Now, to get the full ride for HOPE you have to have a 3.7 GPA and a 1200 SAT. This favors kids who come from affluent families. As a first generation college graduate I know first generation kids generally score lower on the SAT and that is generally from family circumstances. Children in non college families don’t get exposed early to the breadth of learning as kids from college graduate homes.
My children scored significantly higher on SAT than their mother or me, and their children will score even higher. What we have done is give HOPE to the affluent families who can already afford to send their kids to college, and deprive poorer white and black kids an opportunity to break out. Bad policy.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog