HOPE Scholarship could shrink even more in 2014 as lottery funds fail to meet demand

Yikes. The AJC is reporting possible deeper cuts to HOPE starting with the fall semester in 2014. While HOPE once covered all tuition costs and some books and fees, it now covers 80 to 90 percent of tuition and no books and fees.

As I said in my first blogs about HOPE Lite last year: Start doubling up on those college savings as HOPE may eventually only cover the gas to Athens.

Earlier today, Tim Connell, president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, gave legislators a grim outlook.  To prevent further erosion of HOPE in 2014,  Connell said the state would need an additional $107 million for the 2014 fiscal year.

According to the AJC:

The gap is expected to increase to $163 million by 2016, Connell told a joint economic development committee of the Legislature on Monday.  Lottery revenue is projected to remain flat, and more students are expected to be entering colleges and be eligible for awards through HOPE.

Gov. Nathan Deal and lawmakers overhauled the popular scholarship last year, reducing payouts to prevent the program from running out of money. While Connell said those changes helped, the new rules include a provision over the use of reserves that would lead to a drop in the scholarship amount. The new rules require reserves to remain at a certain level, but the commission uses this money to supplement the funding provided by the Georgia Lottery. Reserves are large enough now that the commission can tap into that money to keep scholarship payments at the same level for the 2013 fiscal year. But starting in 2014, HOPE will have to rely just on lottery revenue, Connell said.

A drop in award payouts combined with expected increases in tuition and fees will result in students having a larger out-of-pocket expense for college.S While Georgia’s lottery is considered one of the most successful in the nation, it can’t keep up with soaring enrollment and tuition. More than 256,000 students received HOPE last year, while fewer than 200,000 received it a decade ago. “I’m not sure we can ever meet the demand doing what we’re doing currently,” said Margaret DeFrancisco, CEO of the Georgia Lottery.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

92 comments Add your comment


January 9th, 2012
8:20 pm

It looks as though eventually only the rich will be able to send their children to college. This just adds to the perception that the middle-class is under an all-out assault from the rich. One way or another money will always win.

teacher reader

January 9th, 2012
8:24 pm

No other state that I know of has HOPE. It has become an entitlement program, with parents demanding grades for their high school students to receive this money, whether the students deserve the grades or not. It’s lead parents to call college professors demanding grades for their students and for students to down grade professors who actually make them work for their grade. In my eyes HOPE is part of what has ruined the education system in Georgia. It should be scraped and let parents and children pay for their own child’s education. An education is not a right and is a true privilege, something that many in America have forgotten.


January 9th, 2012
8:54 pm

jettison Bright From the Start and return the funds to HOPE which was the original design.


January 9th, 2012
9:09 pm

The core of the problem is the out of control tuition costs which have escalated beyond reason at our four year schools. Time for the regents to rein in the expenses.


January 9th, 2012
9:30 pm

The core of the problem is that the students’ tuition doesn’t pay the full cost of their education, and the state legislature keeps cutting the funding they allot to the USG schools. Next year there will be at least a 2% cut…again. What are the schools supposed to do, but raise tuition? Don”t blame the faculty—we haven’t had a raise for 4, going on 5 years. And each year the student enrollments rise. The schools are expected to do more on less money than the year before.

EC Mom

January 9th, 2012
9:33 pm

@teacher reader…I don’t know about other states, but Florida has a similar lottery funded program, the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. They have two scholarship levels and a vo-tech program, if I recall correctly. The top level award requires a 3.5 GPA, plus 1270 SAT or 28 ACT. B level students can still earn a scholarship, but it is not as much money as the top students get. I think with HOPE too many people want the best of both worlds – 100% tuition and not very high standards to qualify (3.0 GPA and no min SAT or ACT) as far as merit scholarships go – and the funds to do that are just not there. Personally, I would like to see HOPE set up more like Florida’s program. Florida’s program has faced cuts, too, though, because tuition there is also rising.

Free in-state tuition is not an entitlement. Parents and students do indeed need to plan ahead in case HOPE is cut or eliminated. My children are not in college yet. We are not counting on HOPE, but if it helps reduce our college expenses we will be grateful whatever the amount.


January 9th, 2012
9:51 pm


January 9th, 2012
8:20 pm

Who is the middleclass? What is their salary range? Why have they not put away some money for their children to go to college? What is wrong with a child going to a local college with a job to help pay for the cost?


January 9th, 2012
10:01 pm

I’m not buying any more lottery tickets until the Lottery Corporation is required to pay its full percentage to education.

I don’t know how many people feel that way, but I think many people are disgusted because the money is supposed to go to education, but it hasn’t been.


January 9th, 2012
10:28 pm

As a college instructor (and grad student), I partially agree with teacher reader. Yes, HOPE is partially responsible for grade inflation; however, that’s no reason to entirely jettison the program. Rather, take measures to fight the grade inflation. It should be possible for students to work for HOPE and receive it, emphasis on *work*. If coasting students were eliminated from the program and grade inflation reined in, then far fewer students would be taking advantage of it–and those who did could get the free rides they’ve earned.


January 9th, 2012
10:29 pm

* Disclaimer: I never bought all that many lottery tickets to start with, but when I did, I rationalized that at least the money was going for education. NOW I know it’s mostly going to pay bonuses for GLC personnel.

A reader

January 10th, 2012
12:28 am

My daughter will go to college. I have always planned for that. HOPE would be nice, but I always viewed it like social security — nice to have but don’t count on it or you will be eating cat food.

One positive about the reduction in HOPE is that it will makes me feel better when my daughter chooses to go to an out of state college.


January 10th, 2012
3:02 am

As a professor in the University System I have personally had the experience of teaching entering freshmen and other underclassmen. Over the years, it has been my business to judge the quality of achievement of these students as part of my position. Much has changed in just the last ten years, mostly not for the better, and HOPE has much to do with it here in Georgia. And the main problem is not low-income students coming from poorly-performing public high schools.

My observation is that many of University System students, at least as the mid-sized school with which I am familiar, will never make it to graduation. The graduation data clearly shows this is true. Students often do not know what to do with themselves after high school but face a very bad labor market and need somewhere to tap dance until something turns up for them. Many admit this as the truth. But poorly motivated students are not at the heart of the problem, either.

The professors I work with know this but we teach and fail an alarming number especially in foundation courses. Why does this go on?

The failure-bound students churn through a pile of HOPE funds for a couple of years and then leave, disappointed and effectively abused by the System. The dirty truth is that the University System schools are simply greedy for the HOPE funds. Look at the schools that have added expensive football teams in the past 2 years; Georgia State and the West Georgia among them. You can buy a lot of hoopla with the taxpayer’s money.

Here’s a thought. Make the mission of the HOPE program be to allow students who otherwise might not be able to afford a college education go and require the higher income family’s students to fend for themselves. Rich and poor get to have a shot at going to school this way. None of this unnecessary 50% HOPE cut by 2015 business. Make it a needs-based program for lower income students instead of a “warm-body” program for upper and high-income families. It’s a tragedy that much of the taxpayer’s money has gone to supplement the income of higher income families. Many low-income students will not be able to go to school if severe cuts happen but the rich never needed HOPE and will still go to college.

The politics of this are tough and account for how HOPE got the way it is. Too many dysfunctional compromises to get a broad political consensus have been made. Throwing money at the problem is bankrupting HOPE, wasting many hundreds of millions of dollars over time, and not serving most students well.

The University System schools should acknowledge this terrible problem which is bringing the HOPE program to its knees and then do something about it. Stop grade inflation just to keep students in school long enough to pick their financial bones clean. Retention is an acknowledged problem but let’s stop pretending it’s all the fault of poor high schools or somehow we must teach them better by holding their interests with technology or more entertaining classes. Motivated students do not need those gimmicks.

HOPE costs are skyrocketing because the program intentionally fleeces the families of unprepared, and often unmotivated, students. HOPE funds have allowed too many silly rockwalls to be built just so schools can be more competitive at luring new students, many of them paying higher out-of-state fees without the HOPE funds. Instead, focus HOPE money on helping the low-income students, at least the motivated ones, graduate. There’s a multigenerational payoff that will recoup the State’s investment and more. Currently, HOPE has a poor return on investment and the future looks worse.

I know it’s very, very difficult to distinguish the students who care enough about getting a degree to overcome any education deficits they may have and then work to really learn and earn the degree. Give students 1, maybe 2, semesters to get with it and then do the painful task of helping them to redirect their life efforts to something more suitable for them. But don’t just keep them around 2-3 years just to soak up their HOPE bucks and then let them down with no degree.


January 10th, 2012
5:08 am

As a student of the Georgia Institute of Technology, I see the HOPE scholarship as an excellent program which rewards hard work with financial benefits. Statistically speaking, the students that can keep HOPE will earn more in their lifetime and hopefully bring more revenue for the state. The primary reason that HOPE funds need to be spread more thinly is that there are more eligible candidates due to grade inflation. Its not that GT gives out high grades, but there has been school-wide GPA increase since the initiation of the HOPE. This will require a restructuring of the program. I’d suggest a raise in the GPA requirements. With this policy, HOPE is guaranteed; it just might require a bit more work :) . I assume that this is the case with other schools in Georgia, but I’m not sure.

Note: I am an out of state student.

parent with HS senior

January 10th, 2012
7:04 am

If the retention rates are ao low as MM says, why not recoup the funds if the student fails? Upon dropout, the failed student gets an automatically generated student loan that repays the Hope funds. This would make the unmotivated and unfocused students(and there parents) think twice before entering college. The current system promotes a low cost trail period before realizing the kid is not cut out for college. If the child graduates then the hope funds stand. If they drop out, then they have student loans that must be repaid. Using this method, Hope will not be wasting good money on the non focused kids that are using it as an almost free ride.


January 10th, 2012
7:05 am

What? Yet another government sponsored program that is failing? Shocker.

How many times has it been suggested...

January 10th, 2012
7:15 am

Make HOPE a loan-forgiveness program. Students make good grades, then the loan is paid off. Students don’t make the grades, they have to pay back a low interest student loan.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

January 10th, 2012
7:21 am

Loan Forgiveness? I like that. So if Dr NO takes out a 72 month loan on a Porsche Carrera and I make the first 36 payments on time could I be forgiven for the remainder?

I like, I really like it? Same would apply to houses, YOUR Rooms to go furniture, fish bowls etc.

Someone has on their thinking cap this a.m.

Old School

January 10th, 2012
7:54 am

Why not have HOPE kick in when students are in their junior and senior years in college. That’s when the majority are taking courses in their majors and not the core classes (or whatever they’re called these days). That might separate the serious degree-seeking from the not so serious. HOPE could still pay for technical courses as they are usually 2 year programs anyway. I’d also like to see lottery funding of technology in elementary schools cut WAY back and in middle schools cut in half. Our kids don’t even master the basics but boy howdy! can they ever google!


January 10th, 2012
7:56 am

This program was doomed from the onset.
Why didn’t people see that?
We opened this program wide to all who would like to go to school and gave limitless amounts of money.
The pre-k program grew without check- even shabby houses were turned into worlds of learning under the auspices of PRE-K.
Then, the golf hall of fame was purchased with these funds.
So, why is anyone surprised?
I heard Sonny Perdue speak to this issue before he was ever governor and he said it would become an entitlement program in Ga that we would all end up having to pay for.
This program has hurt schools, teaching, and kids. With the pressures of having to maintain a certain GPA, teachers have been strong-armed into giving grades.
Kids are no smarter having gone through the HOPE paid college program than they were before.


January 10th, 2012
8:06 am

MM, for someone who purports to be from a University System school, you are remarkably poorly informed.

TAXPAYERS DO NOT FUND THE HOPE PROGRAM. No “taxpayer’s [sic] has gone to supplement the income of higher income families.” HOPE is entirely lottery-funded, and was approved by Georgia voters as a means of upgrading technology and teacher training for K12 schools, funding universal PreK and providing college scholarships to Georgia schools for every resident student who had a minimum 3.0 high school GPA and maintained it in college.

The first of these missions was jettisoned early on. The second, universal PreK, does in fact subsidize the dependent children of middle and upper income Georgians, but political pressure last spring spared it from the level of cuts that the college scholarship component suffered and it has become a de facto daycare entitlement.

The third, the scholarships, go to resident college students who may or may not be supported to some degree by their parents. There are many, many scholarships and loan programs that are directed to lower-income students and which are not available to students from more affluent homes (regardless of whether their parents pay their expenses). HOPE was specifically designed to be available to all high-achieving students regardless of their parents’ financial resources, and was approved by the voters as such.

The problem with HOPE is, as you suggest, that far too many students qualify academically (grade inflation has boosted this number astronomically) but not from a social or character perspective. It has become a funding source for a year of goofing off before being forced out of college to figure something else out. In addition, legislators have depended upon HOPE providing funding for secondary education in the state and have slashed their support drastically over the past decade, re-directing money to pet projects and leaving it to the Regents to raise tuition and a raft of bogus “fees” (which are actually tuition but called something else so that tuition increases do not look as horrific as they are) which were conveniently covered by HOPE.

The bills have come due, and – as you demonstrate – students are being blamed for the profligacy of others. Deal’s changes to the program were wrongheaded and unfair in nearly every respect.

First, the program should be changed to a reimbursement format, with low-interest loans available to lower-income students to help cover the first semester. If students (and their parents, if their parents financially participate) were required to show academic achievement before their tuition bills were paid, rather than after, they would be much more likely to approach their classwork seriously and address the motivation issue you find so crucial. The students who want to party would not be able to do so on the HOPE dime, and would no longer drain the resources of the program.

Second, funding for the University System should be restored to a sustainable level. Legislators and Regents should be held to strict limits on tuition and fee increases – no more routine 15% hikes plus hidden costs – so that students can plan costs and our lawmakers can no longer treat HOPE as a slush fund.

Third, a realistic minimum score on the SAT or ACT should be added for HOPE eligibility. A nationallly-normed test cannot be inflated the way that high school GPAs now routinely are, and there must be an objective measure of mastery to reserve program funding for those students who are truly ready to excel in college-level classes.

Finally, as so many on this blog have said, the Lottery Corporation must be held to the return that was originally mandated by the Legislature. They have never come close to turning over the percentage that they are legally supposed to provide, instead spending far more on bonuses and other incentives to fight off alleged personnel raiding by other lotteries. This is a hollow excuse that the Legislature has permitted to go on and on, and needs to stop immediately.

There is no evidence that the lower-income students you espouse will make more effective use of HOPE funds than do students from more affluent homes – in fact, there is a significant body of evidence that refutes that assertion. The answer is not favoring one group over the other. HOPE should be reserved for students who are smart, prepared and motivated to work hard, and who are willing to prove it before they receive funds. It should be fully funded to the level mandated by the voters and their representatives and it should be protected from encroachment by a Legislature hungry for funding their separate priorities.


January 10th, 2012
8:17 am

I remember reading several stories (unrelated to HOPE) where a successful student had only spent his/her senior H.S. year in Georgia. One foreign student was living with an aunt, who suddenly had legal guardianship at 17 years old. The parents were mentioned in the story–so they were still living. Has the system left itself open for this kind of abuse?

Get rid of Pre K funding

January 10th, 2012
8:35 am

I never understood why Pre K 4 was included in the Lottery. Pre K 4 is nothing but a baby sitting job. I had two childern and we did not use the funding for our kids. Get rid of the funding for Pre K


January 10th, 2012
8:56 am

No one here is really discussing one of the main culprits, which is the spiraling cost of higher education.

Student loans cannot be excused under bankruptcy. One of the few items that can’t. So there is no risk to lenders to make loans to students. Its quite crazy. So student loan money is relatively easy to get, so universities know that and prices go up, then loan amounts go up, and its a big circle jerk.

If bankruptcy laws were changed so that student loan debt was now discharged, student loans would be priced based on market forces and the risk of the borrower paying back the money. You want a loan for med school? We know there is a good chance you’ll make money and be a good credit risk. You want to study art history? Well, the job market isn’t that great so we will loan you the money but at 15% a year. Right now money is loaned with no risk of failure to repay; the universities know that so rates go up.

Don’t blame the playa, blame the game.

God Bless the Teacher!

January 10th, 2012
9:07 am

parent with HS senior hit it on the head! How hard is it for the Legislature to see the HOPE “loan” option is the best way to go? Heck, with as many students who drop out of college when they lose HOPE, the HOPE-L program would generate enough money to pay full costs for those taking college seriously. Maybe enough to pay for some to go through graduate school.

Scotland doesn’t charge for students to go to college at all. However, they have to pass A-level exams to get there. What do the NAEP countries do financially for their post-secondary students? Again, those students have been weeded out earlier so the best ones actually advance to university level.

To Teacher Reader from Good Mother

January 10th, 2012
9:08 am

Teacher Reader, you claim Hope is an entitlement program? REALLY?
You think it is welfare? You are comparing earning good grades and scholarly activities with welfare?

Teacher Reader, you need a lesson. I had a merit scholarship. It paid for my tuition. I still had to live so I had jobs and worked my butt off in order to graduate…in six years. I also had a grant and student loans that took me ten years to pay off.

…and this was back in the days before tuition skyrocketed.

The real injustice here is the skyrocketed and skyrocketing cost of a college education. The cost increases make no sense. They aren’t tied to anything like fuel prices.

What is at fault here is the government allowing state schools to become unaffordable to those who can do the work. Every American citizen who works hard and makes the grade deserves a college education, not just for the rich who can afford it.

Teacher Reader, you are way out of line. I am appalled at the very suggestion that you want to prevent kids from getting an education. You need to go crawl back under that moldy, nasty rock you’ve been living under and stay away from innocent children.

To Get Rid of Pre K from Good Mother

January 10th, 2012
9:16 am

Hi Get Rid,
You say Pre K is just a babysitting job and you didn’t use it. It is very obvious you didn’t use it. It’s also wise to shut your pie hole when you don’t know what you are talking about.

My children attended a GA lottery funded preK. The curriculum was identical to my children’s APS kindergarten curriculum. The only difference between Pre K and Kindergarten is that in Pre K you get a nap and the school day ends one hour earlier.

My children leanred their letters, numbers, the calendar, social studies, coins and so on.

Studies have shown over and over ad nauseum that EARLY intervention is the key to academic success. We don’t want to wait until third grade to address the reason Sally or Sammy can’t read.

You can spend $500 for pre K or spend $50,000 for a jail. Think long and hard before you make your decision.


January 10th, 2012
9:36 am

To Teacher Reader from Good Mother — The state government isn’t “allowing” the universities to become unaffordable, it is forcing them to become unaffordable. The per student funding from the state is at early 1990s levels now, and that is not adjusted for inflation. Add in the effects of inflation, and tuition/fees have to go up substantially just to stay even. Legislators will acknowledge that it’s easier to cut higher ed than other areas, because the universities have the ability to raise tuition. Add that fact to the huge drop in tax revenue because of the recession, and this is what you get. It’s really an indirect privatization of the universities.


January 10th, 2012
9:37 am

Shar, taxpayers DO subsidize the kids on HOPE. HOPE pays only a small percentage of the actual cost of putting on the classes–something like a third. The other 2 thirds of the costs are borne by the taxpayers for ever kid, HOPE or not, in college. So if HOPE causes unprepared kids to go to “try it out”, taxpayers lose.

I think it is Past High Time for a mandatory SAT/ACT score to get HOPE. THAT would separate the ready from the hopeful. You can’t pressure a teacher to “give” you a 1000/1600 SAT (math and reading only). It would address the uneven nature of grading from high school to high school.

Get rid of the HOPE payments to private colleges.

I think turning HOPE into a loan afte the fact would be difficult, legally.

Since the lottery isn’t doing so well, CUT OUT ALL bonuses to lottery staff immediately. After all, that was the “reason” they get such ungodly high pay and bonuses.

Finally, the lottery corp must pay ALL the percentage of money to HOPE, and start repaying the millions over the years that it shorted the program.


January 10th, 2012
9:54 am

I heard the Lottery Commission is far behind in HOPE payments. They don’t care about education. (Just another shameful situation in the state bureaucracy.) ” PLAY ON GEORGIA ! “


January 10th, 2012
9:56 am

Shar, SCAP supports your efforts !


January 10th, 2012
10:18 am

One other thing, Shar. HOPE was NOT originally designed to be available to any income high achieving student. Originally, there was an income limit on the top AND on the BOTTOM! “Everyone” knows about the cap on the higher-income families, but few seem to realize that initially poor kids could not get HOPE. If they got full Pell, no HOPE. So a poor kid might have had a 4.0 but not gotten HOPE, and a middle class kid (~$80,000 income) with a 3.0 did get HOPE. Do we want to go back to the original?


January 10th, 2012
10:23 am

Cat Lady – Sending academically “gifted” kids to private colleges actually SAVES the state money. Yes, SAVES the state money. Let me use my son as an example. He graduated 5th in his class and qualified for Zell Miller. He had his pick of state schools and chose a small private institution instead. He gets only $4,000 dollars a year from the lottery funds. Had he picked UGA the bill for the taxpayers of Georgia would have been over double that. We keep talented students in state. And at a reduced rate. It is a MYTH that cutting Hope funds to private colleges saves the the state money.


January 10th, 2012
10:23 am

If not for the Lottery program sending thousands of students to college we would be one of the poorest States in the country. Most professional jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree and well over 50% new graduates that work in hospitals, clincs, banks, Schools, etc in this state all received some portion of Hope or another scholarship. I’m sure less than 10% of parents can afford to pay out of their pockets. Tuition is way too high. especially with so many notherners migrating here.


January 10th, 2012
10:27 am

My wife is going to a local 2 yr college and hope doesnt pay not much of the freight.When you add books and the “fees”. She is nickle and dimed to death. Like paying a lab fee but you have to bring your own latex gloves and goggles, having to bring your own scantron sheets. Its like now they know school is the needed the path to a job and they are going to make it hurt.
This is the first year college loan debt is greater than credit card debt. FYI all the countries we are competing with in the global market, college is close to free or it is free.


January 10th, 2012
10:34 am

I believe in the HOPE Scholarship, but what it has become now is a big disappointment. Not EVERY parent can afford to send their child(ren) to college, WHY? Because they are to busy spending money only little things like FOOD, SHELTER, HEALTHCARE, UTILITIES, ETC. For the parent that are able to afford to pay for their child’s education, GOOD FOR YOU. But, DON’T put other parents down that aren’t as fortunate. I hate nothing more than an arrogant rich person rubbing the noses of those that are NOT as fortunate in the ground. You must remember, though, those that go must eventually come down. And if you happen to be a WEALTHY parent, me & other hardworking parents are paying YOUR taxes. The State would rather spend more money on sending kids to prison than to college. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?


January 10th, 2012
10:36 am

The Lottery is breaking records with all of the money it is making, but who benefits, the employees of the GA. State Lottery Commmission, WHY? Because we are in a recession & more people are playing the lottery. There is NOTHING the employees have done to deserve a raise, GIVE THAT MONEY TO THE KIDS TRYING TO GET IN COLLEGE LIKE IT WAS MEANT TO BE!!!


January 10th, 2012
10:40 am

HOPE was doomed from the beginning. The available funding created a larger supply of students and greater demand for services. When services are in demand, price goes up. The increase in college tuition has increased multiples of inflation, yet people continue to flock to higher education because of the long standing myth, unless you have a college degree, you can’t be successful.

The college education system is just another business model that requires funding and creates more jobs to keep people busy. The sad fact is, much of the information taught in college should be learned in k-12 classes.

Dr. Ron Paul 2012

January 10th, 2012
10:43 am

This is your HOPE…

…and Change…

L O L !

Tired of reading Ignorance

January 10th, 2012
10:59 am

@Shar and others on this comment page! Check your sources and check them well. The Georgia Lottery Corporation NO LONGER RECEIVE BONUSES OR INCENTIVES! It has been over a YEAR SINCE BONUSES WERE DISTRIBUTED! Now What!

What's Best for Kids???

January 10th, 2012
11:05 am

Once again, we could do something like make it a reimbursement program. Kid gets a 3.9, kid gets the next semester paid for…Wait. That’s too easy. No government official would go for THAT!

What's Best for Kids???

January 10th, 2012
11:06 am

Kid gets a 3.0 not a 3.9..


January 10th, 2012
11:07 am

re:One way or another money will always win.
And there we are preaching JUSTICE FOR ALL to the rest of the orld!!!!

Really amazed

January 10th, 2012
11:21 am

Their is a min SAT score now to receive FULL HOPE. It is 1200 combined math and reading only. This was implemented, starting this fall 2011. Where have you all been?????

EC Mom

January 10th, 2012
11:29 am

@THE LOTTERY IS MAKING A KILLING…You’re right, not every parent can afford to send their child(ren) to college. Mine couldn’t, however they were not so poor for me to qualify for need based grants. Yet here I am, a college graduate. I chose an in-state university. I earned a scholarship. I worked part time. No sorority since I had neither the time or money for it. No fancy car or apartment. I did resort to borrowing a few thousand dollars, but that was it for loans. There are kids all over the country who find a way to pay for college without much help from their parents, and without borrowing enormous amounts of money.


January 10th, 2012
11:36 am

Steve, two of my kids had HOPE at private colleges. I don’t disagree with its usefulness. HOWEVER, if your son had not had HOPE, his private college could have either upped its grant/scholarship/loan offer, or not. At a public college, he would have gotten more money from the scholarship, BUT would have had more expected from him via work/study or loans (Public colleges have less free money to give.) I know the private colleges have lobbied hard to keep it.


January 10th, 2012
11:41 am

“Tired of reading Ignorance” – 10:59 am

So you are the expert ? In your opinion, how much does the Lottery Commission owe HOPE Scholarship ?


January 10th, 2012
11:46 am

The biggest waste is the students that earn the scholarship then drop out. Maybe it’s the grade inflation problem and then giving those kids something they really didn’t earn is coming back to bite the program. Not entirely the problem, but a big part of it.

I say make students pay back what they wasted if they drop out, or better yet make it a pay as you go type program. Kind of like making a bonus for doing a good job. Start treating the funds they get like they are living in a grown up world. No wonder our economy and so many folks can’t handle their personal finances.

Sending my kids out of state may be a better and less expensive option. People across the country think of GA and education in the ame thought bubble and it is not a flattering picture.

Sadly, I think it’s too late to try and save HOPE from it’s eventual demise.


January 10th, 2012
11:54 am

there are many companies that offer tuition assistance to their employees. tell the students to take advantage of that perk and stop crying…if you want a college education NOTHING will stand in your way!


January 10th, 2012
12:08 pm

Tired of ignorance–one year, no bonus, but 17 years of generous bonuses.

Really amazed: I advocate a minimum score for ANY HOPE. Maybe 1000/1600.

Entitlement Society

January 10th, 2012
12:16 pm

@Teacher Reader – You have it right. HOPE has become an entitlement program. I really have to bite my tongue when I hear my neighbor whine when they talk about raising the GPA requirements, saying that isn’t fair & that “no one can afford college anymore”. Fair? What does “free money” have to do with fair? If someone is giving you something for free, they can set the rules anyway they’d like to and certainly can change them at any point along the way. If the rules change, maybe your son just needs to actually study to achieve that GPA and EARN the money from HOPE. It’s not a conspiracy. The HOPE scholarship is a reward, not an entitlement. If you want a college education, there are grants, loans, scholarships, jobs (yes, some people even work several jobs to put themselves through school!) to get you there. Stop whining about a handout, suck it up and be responsible for your own children and teach them to be responsible for themselves. No wonder we have so many Americans living off of welfare programs…