Smyrna state rep: We need to throw HOPE a financial life line to keep kids going to college

Will we have fewer colleges students -- and grads --  as a result of cuts to HOPE?  (AJC/file photo)

Will we have fewer colleges students -- and grads -- as a result of cuts to HOPE? (AJC/file photo)

An AJC news story this morning notes a slowdown in enrollment at the state’s public campuses, reporting that while the University System of Georgia enrolled a record number of students this fall, more than 318,000, the figure is only a 2.1 percent increase from fall 2010, the system’s smallest increase since 2005.

The details in the story will be used to frame the upcoming HOPE debate in the Legislature. You can see one side of that argument below in the essay by Stacey Evans, a legislator from Smyrna.

The story states:

Also a dozen campuses are teaching fewer students. The colleges are scattered across the state and they tend to enroll more low-income students who are more likely to struggle to pay for college. System leaders predicted and welcomed a slowdown, saying it would make the annual influx of new students easier to manage. The system has gained about 48,000 students since fall 2007.

Officials couldn’t link enrollment changes to just one cause, but with about one-third of the system’s students depending on HOPE, changes to the award can’t be ignored. Lawmakers revamped the lottery funded scholarship last spring, decreasing the aid students receive to keep the program viable for future recipients. As a result, thousands of students are bridging a financial gap and must pay hundreds of additional dollars in tuition, books and fees.

This story is the ideal lead-in to this essay by state Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, on the need to put more money into HOPE. Evans gave a powerful speech last year on the House floor role on HOPE in transforming her own life. I expect more speeches this year as HOPE will again be up for debate.

Evans  is a first generation college graduate and HOPE scholar. She represents Georgia House District 40 and is a partner in the law firm of Wood, Hernacki & Evans, LLC.

By Rep. Stacey Evans

Growing up in rural Ringgold in north Georgia, the daughter of carpet mill workers, college seemed a remote possibility for me financially. My parents always pushed me to work hard, but they were worried about paying the rent and making sure my brother and I had dinner on the table. For me, the HOPE scholarship and other financial aid was a life line.

After many late nights of studying, my 3.8 GPA earned me a HOPE scholarship and admission to the University of Georgia. But I didn’t stop working. I continued staying up late – this time to waitress to supplement my financial aid – and waking up early to study.

My story has a happy ending: I became my family’s first college graduate, went on to law school and now mentor students through the hurdles of the college admissions process. I have seen too many students who struggle in situations even I could have never imagined. These are students like Atlanta teen Marlanna, who missed the SAT several times because her mother did not have transportation to drive her to the test. Everything from transportation and filling out applications online when you don’t have a computer, to obtaining immunization records and ordering transcripts are harder when you don’t have the financial resources or someone in your family who has been through it before. And that’s before you even get a tuition bill.

Marlanna was recently accepted to Georgia Perimeter College. She too has a happy ending. But there are many students who don’t and those happy stories will become fewer. The hurdles that Marlanna faced are unimaginable to most.

This last legislative session, the “reform” measures placed yet another hurdle in front of low income students. In response to declining lottery revenues, the HOPE scholarship program has changed. It is now more difficult to obtain a scholarship and those who do, receive a smaller reward.

That means thousands of Georgia students will delay college or not go at all as the dollars available for the HOPE scholarship continue to deteriorate. Other current recipients of HOPE funds may have to drop out and possibly even be in default because of a decline in their education money. And the situation is only expected to get worse.

By fiscal year 2013, the state is expected to wipe through reserve funds and be expected to make even larger cuts to the HOPE program. This is why it is essential that Georgia consider all new revenue sources to supplement lottery funds. Like others, I need more time to consider whether video lottery terminals in a centralized location is the best option. But it is certainly an option that should be considered. It is discouraging to know that some have immediately dismissed the idea before it can even be studied.

The purpose of HOPE was to make college a possibility for more students. It was never intended to simply make it easier for those who have the resources to go. Our state is better off if we have more college-educated students and the only way to meet that goal is to make college more of a possibility for a larger portion of the population. The current HOPE scholarship program does not do that.

If you grow up in a family with a household income of less than $36,000 a year, you have a less than 5 percent chance of going to college. On the other hand, if you grow up in a family with a household income of more than $95,000 a year, you have more than a 75 percent chance of going to college. HOPE was intended to change these figures so that the family you were born into did not determine whether you were going to college or not. Georgia will not climb the economic charts as a state by continuing to simply send children of college graduates to college – that is already done. We need more first-generation college students.

HOPE helps us achieve that goal because it makes college more affordable to more students. But now that HOPE has been slashed and will continue to deteriorate over time, the program’s goals are lost.

We need to spread a message of hope to these students that that we want to help them get to college, not place yet another hurdle in their way. We need to show students that we will not close our minds to new ways to fund their education – even if those ideas are different than the way we are used to doing things in Georgia.

It is a new way of thinking that brought us the HOPE scholarship and that has helped so many first generation college graduates. And I hope that Georgia is open-minded enough to realize that the HOPE scholarship is now in need of its own life line.

–Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

119 comments Add your comment

carlosgvv

November 18th, 2011
8:27 am

All college costs keep rising and as more and more graduates find their degrees are worthless in the current job market, look for this trend to continue.

Sally Boyles

November 18th, 2011
8:28 am

Add to that, financial aid is expected to be the next financial bubble fiasco. In an economy where entry-level jobs straight out of college are harder to come by, these loans do not have the deferral periods that they once had. Many kids start paying while they are still in school, and if you have an unsubsidized loan, the interest is high. Not to mention, the debt is not discharged in event of bankruptcy. The chances of a stable middle-class lifestyle are slim these days.

SouthernGal

November 18th, 2011
8:30 am

Why just college…how bout funding school for those that need job training…electricians, plumbers, welders, heavy equipment operators, carpenters, concrete finishers, hair stylists etc.?

Follow the money

November 18th, 2011
8:36 am

But if you don’t acknowledge and recognize the “austerity adjustments” in K-12, college won’t matter anyway!!! Ms. Evans didn’t have to deal with this in her younger years, as my middle schooler has to deal with now.

tony

November 18th, 2011
8:37 am

how about this for a thought , lets get hope and the government out of paying for kids to go to college and watch how fast the cost of education goes down.

Frank

November 18th, 2011
8:38 am

We do not need to put more money into HOPE. Statistics show that about 1 out of every 3 recipients don’t requalify the second year. This tells me there are too many kids receiving money that were ill equipped for college in the first place.

HOPE needs to remain achievement based and requirements need to be put in place to help alelviate grade inflation. Also, there are a lot of folks out there that need to come to the realization that you or your children may just not be cut out for college and your time and money would be better suited preparing for another vocation.

Plumbers, electicians and other trades can be very rewarding too.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

November 18th, 2011
8:39 am

Hows that HOPE and CHANGE working out for ya?

5150 UOAD

November 18th, 2011
8:46 am

The problem with HOPE and more tax money going to schools is it doesn’t help the students with lowering costs. The Admin, Book producers, Fees, and Teachers all eat up the money. Hope has helped raise the cost of tuition not make it that much easier to afford school. HOPE is spending too much of the money on the people running HOPE. UGA should use some of the money the BOOSTERS give for football to lower the coast for ALL students to attend. UGA AA brings in like $85 Million/yr. Why not pay some teachers with some of that? Why not eliminate student activities fees with some of that?

Great Expectations?

November 18th, 2011
8:48 am

HOPE is such a touchy subject and unfortunately has become just another political target. I benefited extremely from HOPE while in school and would hate to see it go away, but I have a 2-yr old who I have been saving since his birth for him to go to college. As a parent, I put that as one of my top priorities for my kid. If HOPE is not around when he gets to school and he has to pay some or all of his tuition (like kids in almost every single other state in this country have to do) then he will get to make the choice as to whether it is worth it to go to college. Too many kids and parents are desensitized to the idea of having to pay for college in this state and it gets to me. If you have to pay an extra couple of hundred or even thousand of dollars a year for tuition and it is NOT WORTH IT, then is the HOPE scholarship just dishing out money to people who are just going to college because it is free? This is obviously not the case for all people, but I would 100% support a HOPE loan than would be forgiven IF you graduate, or you would begin repaying the instant you flunk out or decide to quit college. I think there are a lot of wasted dollars on students who go to college and don’t finish because there is NO RISK up front that could be saved and spent on more students who want to be there.

Yankee Prof

November 18th, 2011
8:54 am

My institution is one of those that went down in enrollment by several hundred students because we reinstated the SAT requirement. To be frank, based on the experience of the past five years when we were not allowed to restrict enrollment via the SAT, that group of students had a 3% chance of progressing to graduation, but they would utilize a significant percentage of resources and would contribute disproportionately to campus discipline problems.

I contend we are being better stewards of state rescources and of our mission by maintaining such modest standards. Give those kids time to grow up a bit, and we’ll be here for them when they’re ready to make a commitment.

Common Sense

November 18th, 2011
8:56 am

Yes we should continue to send kids to school on the taxpayer’s dime, whether or not there is a return on that investment.

And we need to make sure the universities continue to grow and raise their tuition rates because they are all underpaid at those levels as well.

Because when they graduate with tons of debt, and no job, they will more than likely join the roles of the dissatisfied democratic electorate.

And for democrats, that is a win-win.

clark kent

November 18th, 2011
8:59 am

When I went to college I had to pay for it. Me. My own. Not my parents, not the government, not someone else. Me.

To automatically assume that 1) people must go to college and 2) HOPE is the only way to do it are failed premises based on faulty logic.

james in athens

November 18th, 2011
9:05 am

100% agree with Great Expectations! Too many kids get Hope and after a year
flunk out because they were not ready for college and thus we have wasted
the $$$. I wouldn’t put another dime in this program. If it goes away so be it.
College is not for everyone and here’s an idea why not save up the $$ ahead
of time to pay for your college instead? I am also glad they changed the Hope
rule that no one receives Hope if they are 7 years out of HS. If your 40 or so you
need to pay for your own expenses if you want to go back to school… not including
our Military members………

Inman Park Boy

November 18th, 2011
9:11 am

As much as I love the HOPE program (full disiclosure: I have a son at GSU on HOPE) I also know that the presence of HOPE has led directly to higher tuition costs at Georgia Colleges. It works pretty much like health insurance, where doctors know that the cost is being paid by someone other than the patient, so why not raise fees? Inasmuch as the University System of Georgia is quasi-governmental in nature, it’s annual raises in tuition should be monitored by the General Assembly, and annual percentage increases should be in line with the raises in cost of living, and no more.

5150 UOAD

November 18th, 2011
9:18 am

Being out of school for 7 years? People in the work force know what real life is and will work harder than a just out of school student. Non-Traditional Students are better students and bring REAL Experience to the classroom. being out of school for 7 years means the person might know for SURE what degree of study they want to pursue after time in the work force or just adding to their chances to get a better job.

Really want to make sure HOPE works? Make the people pay for 1/2 the semester first and if they pass the money is paid back to them.

a reader

November 18th, 2011
9:20 am

I’d be fine with no HOPE if I thought for a minute that the GA universities would pick up the slack as they do in other states (look at what Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Miss State, USC and Clemson offer top students for example). But I doubt it’s going to happen…. so that said:

1. Grandfather existing HOPE receipients – these kids didn’t lose HOPE after 1 semester but don’t change the rules on them (again).
2. Don’t discriminate against hard work: let an AP A be a 4.5, which does reward course rigor and work.
3. Institute a “limbo” policy – if you’re at risk for losing HOPE (but not quite there), let it reimburse the semester not advance pay. Bet that makes kids buckle down and keep HOPE, and the ones that don’t, well nothing out of pocket for the state and they’re out of the system a term earlier.
4. Look at other sources of funding (private foundations, athletic associations at schools where they’re making money, etc.) to supplement HOPE.

It’s gonna be hard for my kid to decide to stay in state right now, given the early offers from competing out of state schools for 4 years of tuition that depend only on the student’s grades and not on the whim of a state legislature. When you look at non tuition expenses, they’re pretty much the same for in state vs. out of state, so net price is less for out of state.

And once the bright ones are gone they’re not real likely to come back.

William Casey

November 18th, 2011
9:22 am

HOPE and CHANGE is working just fine for me. Thanks for asking.

The HOPE scholarship has been one of the very best things the state of Georgia has ever done. My eternal thanks to Zell Miller. However, I believe that it is a good thing that each student contribute SOMETHING toward the cost of his/her education. It is simply human nature not to appreciate and fully take advantage of educational opportunities unless some of one’s money is going into it.

Follow the money

November 18th, 2011
9:25 am

To Inman Park Boy, Regents has been cut by the General Assembly, as has other state agencies, but decided it could rape the HOPE program to maintain its bloated, increasing administrative costs. And the recipients who earned the scholarship are being punished.

Road Scholar

November 18th, 2011
9:32 am

Could the downturn in enrollments be the result of not paying for remedial learning? The real students shuld address this before getting to college.

oldtimer

November 18th, 2011
9:35 am

Universities have done nothing to really contain costs. Salaries and retirement plans for full time are bloated and insurance plans are way better than other state employees.

Anonmom

November 18th, 2011
9:38 am

Anyone with strong opinions to share should keep in mind that state legislators rarely really hear from the “field” and should really feel free to write to legislators and let them know what they think about things… including the HOPE issue and even, maybe, assessing the high schools (or districts) from which the kids are graduating in need of remediation for college even though they think they are “college ready”. Express your opinions here so Maureen keeps her job and the blog stays interesting but also express yourself to the legislators, where something might actually be done about it.

Anonmom

November 18th, 2011
9:42 am

I thought for a minute that the GA universities would pick up the slack as they do in other states (look at what Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Miss State, USC and Clemson offer top students for example). — please explain….

Car Salesman

November 18th, 2011
9:43 am

The world needs ditchdiggers too.

justjanny

November 18th, 2011
9:48 am

@common sense: HOPE is funded through lottery dollars, not taxpayer money. Just keep on whining…wah! wah! wah!

5150 UOAD

November 18th, 2011
9:54 am

justjanny………….HOPE doesn’t pay to run the school. Tax dollars do. HOPE pays only tuition.

Shar

November 18th, 2011
10:12 am

Rep Evans is disingenuous at best.

What happened to HOPE is what happens to every “trust fund” that exists parallel to tax dollars. Our representatives, including Evans, cut funding to the University System to fund other projects (like the road to Sonny Perdue’s house and the excerable “Go Fish”) in the full expectation that they could get away with it politically because the System would raise tuition and HOPE would dull the pain. In fact, HOPE funds have been used and used and used to subsidize projects that would not have been economically justified if the Legislature had had to keep to their tax revenues, but by cutting and cutting and cutting the higher ed budget they have been, in effect, on a HOPE-underwritten spending spree. On a federal level, look at Social Security, which should be well-funded but which is teetering because the legislators have drained it for “other priorities.”

Another major political rape of the HOPE has been the desire for politicians to ensure that the benefits flow to their constituents rather than the amorphous future of the state. They have consistently lowered the requirements and fought any attempt to force recipients to either show college-readiness on some non-manipulatable measure such as the SAT or to put recipients’ money at risk by changing the format to a model that requires upfront payments that can be reimbursed upon successful completion. Rep. Evans, and all of her colleagues, finds it much easier to brag about how many students in her district qualified for the HOPE and conveniently disregard the ugly truth that very few of them retain it due to the poor college preparation they have received K-12.

If the Legislature had been forced to cap tuition and fee (you cannot imagine how many fees the University System has manufactured in the last ten years, all for the purpose of increasing revenues that do not take money from the HOPE fund) increases in the University System to, say, the rate of inflation plus 5%, they would not have been able to suck dry the HOPE trust fund. If they had agreed to an SAT floor or a higher GPA for those students who could demonstrate college readiness but who had trouble with standardized tests, as well as requiring recipients to put money (either cash or a loan) up front with reimbursement contingent upon successful academic work, the HOPE system would be robust today. They didn’t, because they wanted to use HOPE for their own purposes.

Now Rep. Evans wants to put tax dollars into a system she has helped to destroy, and she wants to put income qualifiers in place to make it yet another entitlement program that she can take political credit for. How stupid does she think we are?

GM of IST @ CCDOE in GMU

November 18th, 2011
10:32 am

Since HOPE is funded through state-sposored gambling, why doesn’t the state simply get into the prostitution business as well? Think of all the money we are losing by not having hookers and johns pay for your kid’s education!

Anthony

November 18th, 2011
10:38 am

You can go to the Ga Lottery website and in the FAQ section is a link that takes you to a PDF file that explains all of the outlay for the year.

Its pretty disturbing to see how much is outlayed to colleges for capital projects, technology upgrades, pre-k programs, and administrative fees.

HOPE’s board is made up of local business people chosen by the governor. The people add nothing to a lottery program. Its simply a gift from the governor to collect a large check every year.

This board hands out money to the colleges in the Georgia University System based on connections and influence.

Shar is absolutely correct about the program’s requirements being lowered by politicians looking to gain favor from their communities.

From a simple state lottery program all the way to the White House. This country is corrupt to the core.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

November 18th, 2011
10:46 am

Lets throw HOPE to the wolves.

a reader

November 18th, 2011
10:50 am

School funded programs (note some are automatic, some competitive, but having HOPE in GA has let the schools have the attitude of “let the state do it”, and we’re then at the mercy of the state in terms of maintaining promises to our children):

Alabama (need to click through for resident / non resident pages): http://scholarships.ua.edu/
Auburn (click for freshman resident / non resident): http://www.auburn.edu/scholarship/
Clemson (academic recruiting section): http://www.clemson.edu/financial-aid/types/scholarships/cu-schol.html
USC: http://www.sc.edu/financialaid/academic.html
Miss State http://admissions.msstate.edu/scholarships/academic/index.php
Ole Miss (page down for academic excellence) :http://www.olemiss.edu/finaid/scholarshiptypes.html

MannyT

November 18th, 2011
10:57 am

Colleges need to work better with employers to enhance the value they provide. If more graduates are seen as employable, they will have better success. Recent college graduates are usually toward the lower end of the pay scale. They are a good investment if they have the right skills.

High schools need to work better with colleges (and the skilled trades) to improve the capabilities of HS graduates. If more HS graduates are seen as ready for college or the trades, they will have better success. Middle schools should work with high schools in a similar way. The same is true for elementary to middle school relationship.

Better HS students should decrease the need for college remediation.

On the HOPE end, if it is truly a reward for doing the right things in HS, base the award on how you do relative to your HS. Drop the fixed GPA requirements (3.8 or B avg) and provide HOPE based on the percentage the state can afford for that graduating class. If you can afford the top 10%, that’s who gets HOPE. If it’s top 20%, that’s who gets HOPE. If the best kids in Ringgold, Acworth, Valdosta, or Enigma are better or worse than your neighborhood HS, they are still the top students in those communities. If they can get into a state college, give them HOPE. They are more likely to return the favor to their communities (and make them better) than it is for someone else to move there and encourage education & growth.

The students get the education & everyone gets their political piece of the pie. :-)

catlady

November 18th, 2011
11:18 am

Justjanny: Hope/student tuition pays a little more than 1/3 the cost of the classes. The rest is subsidized by the taxpayers. And this does not include housing, room and board, etc, which the student must pay. So for every “nonperformer” at UGA, YOU are paying about 12,000 per year.

Tip of the Iceberg

November 18th, 2011
11:19 am

If most students quickly lose the HOPE and later drop out, maybe it’s time to close some of the University “Drop Out Factories” in GA. They screen applicants with SAT and GPA and still have dismal grad rates.
What are the grad rates of GA’s universities?
If university professors had to post grades and attendance online for parent viewing a few times each semester, grad rates would go up 10%.

nelson

November 18th, 2011
11:22 am

Under the current system the HOPE grants continues to finance partying for a full year after they receive a 0.0 GPA. in their first semester.
2ndly, why should state financing go towards funding private colleges?

It is my opinion that the only worthy education comes from the student paying for it themselves and “Honest Abe” would agree.

catlady

November 18th, 2011
11:25 am

Shar: I agree with you mostly except about the “poor college preparation.” Largely, I agree students are poorly prepared for college. For those for whom that is true, it doesn’t point back to the schools as much as it does the student and parent.

I live in a poor community (75% free lunch) yet the kids in the schools have so many opportunities to get the preparation they need for success in college. They just fail to take advantage of the chances they have, and then act surprised when they “aren’t ready.”

DawgDad

November 18th, 2011
11:30 am

Thanks to HOPE the lottery players put one of my children through college, saving me a bundle. Now, Georgia taxpayers are fully funding a post-graduate degree for another member of our family (and it’s not an engineering degree, get the gist?). We love Georgia, but I have deep concerns about where all this nonsense leads us as a society.

Once Again

November 18th, 2011
11:39 am

Already WAY too many kids going to college who shouldn’t. If this is a scholarship program than a more appropriate way to stretch the funding is to raise the GPA requirement or make kids compete directly for the money. If the program is not self-sustainable, then end it. Frankly the HOPE money is part of the reason why college costs have skyrocketted, not the other way around as the economically ignorant believe. If colleges had to compete for kids’ money instead of having this automatic guarantee they would lower the costs or lose business.

HOPE was always a joke and just a way to make gambling paletable for the moral vice squad that infests this state.

Prof

November 18th, 2011
11:46 am

I agree with Frank, Yankee Prof, Shar, and catlady here. I’d only add that what happened to HOPE seems inevitable, given that broadening its original restrictions along with K-12 grade inflation made it so easy to get this supposed “merit fellowship.” The K-12 cheating scandal from 2001-2010, evidently not just restricted to APS, I think doomed HOPE for our state legislators since it seemed to accompany the increasing need for college/University remedial courses by our fair “HOPE scholars.”

All I know is that for the last 4-5 years a lot of students claiming to need a B in my classes to “keep their HOPE scholarship” really were C-caliber students.

DawgDad

November 18th, 2011
11:48 am

Once Again: Good point. If and when HOPE goes away the lottery had better go away with it. When provided the opportunity, I have never, ever supported government involvement in gambling for any purpose, and I never will. I have no objection to gambling per se, as long as it is a free personal choice, but government has NO business being in the gaming business.

yuzeyurbrane

November 18th, 2011
12:06 pm

Amen. Also, the state continues to violate the Lottery Statute by not transferring the required % of revenues to HOPE (20% instead of 30%). This has gone on many years thru both Dem and Rep admin. If the law were followed, HOPE would be in much better fiscal shape. Also, you can’t gut BILLIONS of dollars from state educ. budgets over span of just a few years w/o negative impacts, like dramatic increase of illegal “fees” by universities in struggle to maintain academic standards. Average “fee” and tuition increase has been close to $2,000 per yr. But what do you expect when you have governor who has stated he considers HOPE to be an entitlement program rather than an investment in the state’s kids and future?

gojackets

November 18th, 2011
12:09 pm

Inman Park Boy,

You couldn’t be further from the truth. The top universities in Georgia and Florida (another state with a HOPE-like system) have the lowest in-state tuition among other top universities in the nation. HOPE actually keeps tuition DOWN because it basically involves the state just paying itself money.

As an aside, I am not a Georgia resident, but I find it stupid that a Tech physics major needs to keep the same GPA as a creative writing student at U[sic]GA to keep HOPE. The intro science/math classes at Tech are actually curved to be BELOW 3.0. BY DESIGN. Plug in any course into here to see what I mean: http://www.sga.gatech.edu/critique/

jd

November 18th, 2011
12:11 pm

HOPE grants pay for plumbers to go to school — and until this year — you didn’t need a B or a C avg an d hundreds of millions were wasted.

If grade inflation were not so rampant in K12 — a lot of money could be saved from those who don’t have B avgs…

Atlanta mom

November 18th, 2011
12:22 pm

“If university professors had to post grades and attendance online for parent viewing a few times each semester, grad rates would go up 10%.”
Oh my. And are you going to your child’s work interview when they graduate from college too?

gojackets

November 18th, 2011
12:23 pm

Here’s a link from 2009 showing tuition and fees at top universities. UF, U[sic]GA, Tech are 1st, 3rd and 5th of 33 for in-state, while they’re all middle-of-the-road for out of state. HOPE kept tuition down for in-state residents.

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/793989-college-comparison-ixx-tuition-fees.html

BOB FROM ACCOUNT TEMPS

November 18th, 2011
12:27 pm

SORRY, BUT REP. EVANS IS WRONG!! the purpose of HOPE is to reward those that made the grade to be able to continue on with college for 4 years and to keep the brain talent in georgia.

HS Public Teacher

November 18th, 2011
12:57 pm

Too many are attending college when they are not ready for college and/or they really don’t want to be there. Why do we need to push them to go? Why do they need to go in to debt?

There is simply nothing wrong with learning a trade or skill for a career. Why should our government tell us otherwise?

Dekalb taxpayer

November 18th, 2011
12:57 pm

Rep. Evans is talking about highly motivated students who come from poor families. There are tons of scholarship dollars available for students who can demonstrate financial need. It is the middle-students whose parents make too much to qualify for need-based aid but who don’t make enough to sock any away for college who most need HOPE. There are a lot of parents and students in this category.

dform

November 18th, 2011
1:04 pm

Rep. Evans, You are wrong in your way of thinking. HOPE should be paid after students have shown that they have earned the GPA each semester and not before. I went to college by paying for it myself. I paid for both the tuition, housing, and books. I worked my tail off in my classes and also outside of school to have money to spend and pay my bills. My parents, the state, the government gave me nothing, but subsidizing the student loans that I was given. I believe that our children will take advantage of their education opportunities when they have worked for them. This is why, I will not pay for all of my son’s education. I believe that he must put forth some effort in working and paying for his college degree.

Also, many of the state universities are not very good. They are not institutions that I would personally send my child to and expect them to come out of college with a degree that will lead to a job. Our students in elementary and high school are not challenged and held accountable for their learning, and it continues with kids being accepted into diploma factories needing remedial help to make it in mediocre universities. Raising the education offered in high school and elementary schools would help our children be better prepared for the world.

Also, college isn’t for everyone. I have many friends from high school who do very well for themselves having learned a trade.

If HOPE can’t be funded by the lottery, than it doesn’t need to be in existence. Our tax dollars should not be putting people through college. Our children need to learn that they need to work for what they want and that nothing is free.

Jeff

November 18th, 2011
1:09 pm

I’m all for that. Right AFTER you give me a detailed accounting of where all of the lottery money went and where all of the regular eductional budget money went since the beginning of the lottery.

Deal? Didn’t think so.

dc

November 18th, 2011
1:10 pm

Seems like the issue is more with rising tuition (which of course the Hope enables) than more people getting it. The “cap” on what it covers should help put pressure on the colleges not just to keep jacking up tuition.

Does it amaze anyone else that we’ve heard little to nothing about large layoffs in the non-teaching staff of colleges? Do they exist in some surreal world not affected by the economy?