Democrats want to tweak HOPE Scholarship again. Give full HOPE to top 3 percent of class

The Democrats in the Senate are getting busy on education issues.

One of their chief targets is the Zell Miller Scholarship, the top tier HOPE award that goes to high school graduates who perform well in both GPA and SAT. Democrats want to expand the scholarship to students who graduate in the top 3 percent, regardless of their SAT score.

Zell Miller scholars must graduate high school as the valedictorian or salutatorian, or with at least a 3.7 grade-point average and a 1200 on the SAT’s math and reading sections. While in college they must maintain a 3.3 GPA. HOPE scholars must maintain a 3.0. So far, 11,600 Zell Miller scholars receive payments through the program.

Most high school grads in the state don’t meet that higher bar but qualify for HOPE Lite if they have a 3.0 grade point average. HOPE Lite is based on available lottery funds and thus subject to fluctuations. The governor created two tiers of HOPE awards in 2011 to cut down on the scholarship program’s escalating costs.

In its first year, Zell Miller Scholarships went largely to suburban Atlanta students, according to an AJC investigation. That has been a point of contention for rural areas of the state where students face great economic challenges in affording college. Those rural students post similar GPAs to their suburban counterparts, but trail them in SAT performance, which knocks them out of the running for a Zell Miller scholarship.

The AJC found:

● Schools in the five most populous metro Atlanta counties — Cobb, DeKalb, Fayette, Fulton and Gwinnett — graduated almost half of the students eligible for the Zell Miller award. The proportion tipped beyond when a smaller metro county, Forsyth, was added, even though those six counties account for just one-third of the state’s high school seniors.

● Metro Atlanta students from seven ZIP codes, including those for Alpharetta, Marietta and Lawrenceville, received a total of $8 million in Zell Miller Scholarships. That’s about 15 percent of the money in the program awarded by mid-January. The average award for ZIP codes was $75,566, with some receiving far less.

● All of the 15 high schools graduating the most Zell Miller scholars are within about 45 miles of Atlanta.

Democrats will have a struggle in the Republican-run Statehouse making any changes to the Zell Miller program but here is their statement on some of their goals this session:

Sens. Steve Henson, D-Tucker, Lester Jackson, D-Savannah, Jason Carter, D-Decatur, Freddie Powell Sims, D-Albany, Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, introduced vital higher education legislation aimed at increasing access to the HOPE Scholarship and other higher education options across the state in order to help boost Georgia’s economy.

Senate Democratic leader Henson appointed Sens. Carter and Sims as co-chairs to a special Senate Task Force on Education. The task force will gather information on K-12 and higher education, with a special emphasis on the challenges faced by rural Georgians.

“Under the current administration, we simply have less actual educating going on, from beginning to end. In K-12, we have fewer school days and larger class sizes. In higher education, we have seen a massive reduction in the number of students in technical colleges, and for the first time in recent memory, we saw a drop in the number of students going to our colleges and universities,” said Carter.

“And these issues are hitting rural Georgia the hardest. Georgia’s current leadership has ignored South Georgia for long enough. It’s time to find some real solutions,” he said.

Sens. Carter and Sims will pursue those solutions while on a rural Georgia listening tour. They, along with other senators, House members and education officials, will seek input from school boards, local elected officials, parents, and students regarding the challenges facing their schools and families.

Sen. Sims introduced a bill that would improve access to the Zell Miller Scholarship for students from across the state. It calls for merit to be judged based upon performance in school, rather than performance on the SAT.

Sen. Jackson introduced two resolutions intended to grow and diversify the HOPE scholarship program.

One resolution calls for expansion of the Zell Miller scholarship, a product of the 2011 attempt to reform HOPE, by extending full tuition eligibility to the top three percent of all graduating public school students in Georgia. Jackson said this measure would not only ensure the award reaches more students, but would also make the program more cost-effective.

“The purpose of the HOPE Scholarship program is to make college affordable to all deserving Georgia students, but past reform coupled with devastating cuts to higher education funding have steered the program off this course. Only by obtaining information on the current health HOPE can we more forward with full restoration,” Jackson said.

As currently implemented, the Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility requirements allow for a grossly inequitable distribution of funds. Only 10,016 of the 26,000 eligible students were recipients last year with suburban counties having significantly more Zell Miller Scholars than their rural counterparts, most of whom attend the states most expensive institutions at a time when tuition cost are skyrocketing.

{I asked for clarity on why 26,000 students met Zell Miller eligibility but only 10,016 were getting the scholarship. That meant 16,000 Georgia high school grads chose not to attend Georgia colleges despite a full tuition ride. According to the spokeswoman for the Senate Democrats, “That 26,000 represents the total number of students around the state eligible for the program. The 10,016 who took the scholarship is a compilation; the reasons for the disparity comes from a range of issues, including: some students moving out of state, attending schools out of state, etc. Because the HOPE requirements are now so high — between SAT and GPA — many students who qualify for HOPE may also qualify for other institutions (maybe even some Ivy League schools, in the case of Zell Miller.) While this number is shocking, the number most shocking is the disparity between north Fulton suburbs and rural student recipients.”}

Jackson’s second resolution urges the Georgia Student Finance Commission, a state agency the oversees lottery disbursement funds for HOPE, make available pertinent demographic data needed to initiate comprehensive reform of the program to ensure its future sustainability.

According to Jackson, GSFC current refusal to release information on the scholarship program will only put it in further jeopardy.

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

76 comments Add your comment

Mountain Man

February 6th, 2013
4:20 pm

Just another way to try to make HOPE a need-based rather than a merit-based scholarship. So the student from East Cobb, with a 2200 SAT score doesn’t get full HOPE, but the student from East Bumpkinsville, with a SAT score of 1800, gets full HOPE.

I Teach Writing

February 6th, 2013
4:22 pm

I’ve previously said that I favor an overhaul of the HOPE system to integrate a need-based component in addition to the current HOPE academic requirements.

But I’ve also said that I like the way the Miller Scholars program is set up because it rewards truly high-achieving students regardless of family income, so there’s no way I would support this proposal. Retool HOPE completely? Sure. But keep the Zell Miller in place to reward the best of the best.

I might even suggest, based on the percentage of Miller awardees who are declining the scholarship, that it would be a good idea to tweak the requirements one notch higher and offer awardees a stipend toward room and board. All full-tuition rides are created equal, in terms of cost to the student, so they’d need an extra incentive to pick, say, UGA over of top-tier academic school out of state. If we want to keep the very best young Georgians in Georgia, let’s not compromise on that part of the plan.

Mom of 3

February 6th, 2013
4:23 pm

“All of the 15 high schools graduating the most Zell Miller scholars are within about 45 miles of Atlanta.”- This constitutes a very large part of the population of Georgia. The rural areas may cover a lot of miles, but they do not have the density of people the metro Atlanta has. I would love to see these comparisons along side the population comparisons.

I Teach Writing

February 6th, 2013
4:23 pm

*over top-tier schools (not sure where the “of” came from)

Mr. Georgia

February 6th, 2013
4:29 pm

When are our politicians going to get a clue? Georgia students who are high academic achievers and come from middle class families don’t need scholarships or more aid to incentivise them to attend college! This is ignorant! Scholarship funds need to be allocated to low-income and first generation college students. By supporting this segment of students the return on the investment is much and quite remarkable! It contributes to the revitilization of the economy because we have a more educated workforce and can assist in breaking the cycle of poverty. The money that is saved from the reduction in inmates incarcerated could easily assist int he effort and make Georgia a more desirable place to live, invest in and grow a business. WAKE UP!!!


February 6th, 2013
4:39 pm

So, Democrats don’t believe in equal standards for everyone? Instead, they want subsidies for low-income communities, rather than rewards for those who earn the scholarship.

Just Sayin.....

February 6th, 2013
4:42 pm

” Those rural students post similar GPAs to their suburban counterparts, but trail them in SAT performance, which knocks them out of the running for a Zell Miller scholarship.”

Can you say, “Grade Inflation?”

The SAT performance is what is going to normalize the otherwise arbitrary grades give out by different teachers. I graduated in the top 10 in my class. Neither the valedictorian or salutatorian took a course load as hard as mine, nor did they score as well on the SAT. Fair? No.

There is something wrong when a valedictorian or salutatorian score 200 pts less on the SAT than the 4th, 5th or 6th place guy. There is something wrong when the top performers of a rural school score significantly less on the SAT than their counterparts in the suburban schools. And that “something wrong” has to do with the level of courses taken, and grade inflation.

HOPE should NOT be “needs based”. The high performing truly needy students have ample grants and scholarships available to them. The high performing middle class do not.

bootney farnsworth

February 6th, 2013
4:57 pm

here we go again….
the democrats are not gonna stop until its just another social program.

bootney farnsworth

February 6th, 2013
5:00 pm

@ mr georgia

do you have any idea how much it costs to send a child to college?
any at all?

for most middle class people who you think don’t need it, it can cost more than they take home in a year.

‘course, the rest of you post is straight out of, with little base in real world realities. so….


February 6th, 2013
5:01 pm

While those supporting this change “mean well,” it ignores the whole idea of rigor of high school classes. A child taking basic level courses can have a higher GPA than a child taking more rigorous or gifted or AP courses, but who should we really reward with scholarships?

Our high school does not rank students for precisely that reason.

I think the more interesting thing is that more than half of those eligible for Zell Miller scholarships chose not to take them.

bootney farnsworth

February 6th, 2013
5:03 pm

I can promise you at some districts the top 3% are still gonna be well under the GPA.


February 6th, 2013
5:05 pm

Why waste time on a dead end issue?

The Governor, legislature, and the majority of the electorate are satisfied with the Hope Scholarship. Liberals trying to revert to a means testing entitlement from being merit based are not going to have their way this decade.

bootney farnsworth

February 6th, 2013
5:05 pm

@ Anonymous,

you’re much kinder than I am. this is a blatant attempt at class warfare. funny thing is, the ones pushing it aren’t hurting for money themselves.

I’ve yet to encounter a Carter who didn’t have one eye on my wallet and the other on who they want to give it to.

bootney farnsworth

February 6th, 2013
5:07 pm

its time to put and end to this false HOPE. that’s the fastest way to bring the cost of college in Georgia


February 6th, 2013
5:10 pm

Don’t do it. Bad idea.

Atlanta Mom

February 6th, 2013
5:33 pm

So, if my child attends a rural school where physics and calculus are not even offered, you believe he should score as high on the SAT as the child who has been in AP classes since sophomore year? Really?

Mary Elizabeth

February 6th, 2013
5:37 pm

In my 16 years in supervising that the Nelson Reading Test was administered to all incoming 9th grade students in my suburban high school, of approximately 1,800 African-American students, I found that curriculum teachers were invariably surprised to learn of the range of reading scores of their students. Approximately 500 students were tested yearly in 9th grade. The range of test scores for those students, yearly, was from 4th grade reading level (in vocabulary and comprehension) to grade level 16 (senior in college level). Approximately half of the 500 students were reading on 6th grade level, or below, in 9th grade, annually. Teachers were not aware of the extent of the range of reading variances among their students until they received this precise data for each of their students. They were able to more effectively address the wide range of differences among their students once they had this knowledge. I encouraged each teacher to record the grade level equivalent in reading comprehension scores (Ex.: 5.2 or 13.4) beside each student’s name on their class rosters in their grade books, so that they could see, at a glance, where each student was functioning in reading, at that point in time. I believe that that knowledge, of precise reading functioning, would help many more teachers to adjust their instruction in order effectively to help many more students within their curriculum areas, especially if teachers were to be trained in reading-in-the-content-area techniques.

In that most high schools do not give annual Nelson Reading Tests to all of their students, administering a yearly standardized test, in which reading (and mathematics) grade level equivalents, or percentile levels, are determined and recorded for each student, could serve the same insightful instructional purpose as did the administration of the Nelson Reading Tests, in my experiences, if those standardized test results are properly utilized for instructional purposes.

I agree, however, that testing should not overwhelm the school’s agenda, nor redirect curriculum to make it more mundane, nor place undue stress on students or teachers. I, also, believe that testing should be done for diagnostic purposes and not for punitive purposes that would effect a teacher’s job security.


February 6th, 2013
5:42 pm

I could be wrong, They need to remember that the 1800 sat scores parents are the ones that buys the lottery scam tickets.

Georgia 50th in political ethics

Georgia 48th + in education.

Atlanta Mom

February 6th, 2013
5:52 pm

” Liberals trying to revert to a means testing entitlement from being merit based’
How about liberals trying to revert the HOPE to the original intent of the program?
The lottery passed with a 100,000 vote margin, 2 million votes cast.
It’s quite possible, had the program been proposed as it is currently being operated, it would have never passed.

Pardon My Blog

February 6th, 2013
5:56 pm

There are plenty of need based “scholarships” especially for minority students but not so much for a white male. We are a middle class family who, without HOPE (that my son worked hard to get the grades), would not be able to afford to send him to college irregardless of his high GPA, scores, etc. Keep the HOPE merit based and encourage the kids to work hard to achieve their goals! Forget these left wing Dems who want everyone dependent on them for a hand out, they are just enslaving you to the whims of the Government!


February 6th, 2013
6:17 pm

Mr. Georgia,

To put it nicely, you are a freakin moron. Really? Middle class kids don’t need any scholarships or financial aid. This is unbelievable. I guess you really can’t fix stupid. This is the only country in the world where “poor” people are given every incentive in the world to stay poor.


February 6th, 2013
6:19 pm

How about quality affordable college education for all who meet required admissions standards? No need for a tuition scholarship if you eliminate tuition.


February 6th, 2013
6:19 pm

So a student with poor SAT scores but a grade inflated GPA who comes from a wealthy family in small town Georgia would get preferential treatment to middle class kid who came from the “wrong” suburban county. The democrats are just blowing smoke to fire up their base with the injustice of the moment.

They can’t stand the idea of a true merit based anything. Democrats depend on an angry electorate, wronged by life for their political life.


February 6th, 2013
6:22 pm

Pardon – Irregardless isn’t a word. Stop the name calling and check out the dictionary.

Maureen Downey

February 6th, 2013
6:32 pm

@Wilbur, My thinking on this issue was altered after I read the book “Crossing the Finishing Line” and interviewed the author. Here is part the story I wrote about it:

The expectation is that A’s from rural or urban schools are easier to attain, that good grades in those schools are handed out like Skittles.

However, it turns out that those A’s do stand for something. Those impressive grades, regardless of the high school that issued them, are the most powerful predictor of college completion rates.

They signify that the students are disciplined, hard working and likely to do well in college, according to the new book “Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities.”

The book stresses the importance of not only starting college but graduating, maintaining that the real payoff from higher education comes from running the last mile and crossing the finishing line.

Yet fewer than 60 percent of college freshmen graduate in four years, a tremendous waste of money and productivity.

In sifting through data from 200,000 students at 68 colleges, the book’s authors unravel several myths, beginning with the one that the A’s in poor urban and rural high schools come easier and mean less than those awarded in tony suburban campuses.

“An ‘A’ from the fancy, affluent school is worth a little bit more, but that ‘A’ average still means something,” says Harvard research fellow Matthew M. Chingos, who co-wrote “Crossing the Finish Line” with William Bowen and Michael McPherson. Bowen is a former president of Princeton University; McPherson is past president of Macalester College.

In their research, the authors found that students with exemplary grades from weak high schools still graduate at a high rate from whatever college they attend. Whether it comes from a struggling urban school, a sparkling suburban campus or a lackluster rural one, it seems that “a grade is a grade is a grade,” conclude the authors.

That finding is supported by research into the contentious 1997 Texas Automatic Admissions Law, which guaranteed high school graduates in the top 10 percent of their class that they could attend the state school of their choice.

The law was designed to broaden opportunities for students from rural Texas schools at the premier public institutions, which had been oversubscribed with middle-class suburban kids.

After a decade, the law continues to rankle suburban Texas parents who maintain that their bright graduates of high schools with stiff competition lose out in admissions to the state’s flagships to less qualified peers from less rigorous high schools.

However, at both the University of Texas and Texas A&M, those admitted under the top-10-percent guarantee produced higher grade-point averages, higher retention rates and higher graduation rates than those not admitted under the 10 percent plan.

“Crossing the Finish Line” also debunks another widespread myth, that minority students with good grades from poor high schools are often out of their league in demanding colleges.

Not so, says the book. “Our research indicates the black male students who went to more selective institutions graduated at higher, not lower, rates than did similarly prepared black students who went to less selective institutions.”

The book’s advice: Students from all backgrounds should enroll in the most challenging university that will accept them.

Unfortunately, a surprising number of academically talented minority and low-income students bypass the better schools, often not even applying, in favor of less prestigious campuses.

“We call it undermatching,” Chingos says. “These students are not applying to a selective college that would surely admit them and where they would be more likely to graduate.”

More selective colleges provide a peer environment where graduation is the norm, says Chingos.

“If you go to one of those schools, there’s a stigma if you don’t graduate. But if you go to a place where half the kids don’t graduate, then you don’t stick out.”


February 6th, 2013
6:47 pm

I don’t get that somehow, because a child happens to live with parents who give a damn about their education should be penalized for that fact when a choice is made as to who gets a scholarship and who doesn’t. One child isn’t more or less deserving of a scholarship than any other except for merit and merit alone. You can never get class warfare to end as long as you continue to benefit one at the expense of the other. As to the person who wants to know when our politicians are going to get a clue? They’re not. They’re going to do whatever they have to do to get re-elected and maintain the power that comes with that position.

Mary Elizabeth

February 6th, 2013
6:49 pm

My 5:37 pm post, above, was actually meant for the previous thread, “. . .Two views of the growing anti-testing campaign among teachers. . .” – where I have now posted it. My apologies.

Truth in Moderation

February 6th, 2013
7:05 pm

The Democrats will do ANYTHING to make you forget about the growing Dominican Republic/ Senator Menendez/Dr. Melgen SCANDAL!

Private Citizen

February 6th, 2013
7:09 pm

i think everyone should pay the same tuition, and also that the state should not (emphasis) be in the gaming business.


February 6th, 2013
7:12 pm

Is anyone in the legislature going to do something about the Lottery Corporation thumbing its nose at the legislature, its authorizers? Such as, continuing to give bonuses (just calling it something else) and still not giving the full percentage to the HOPE?

THOSE are the most pressing questions.


February 6th, 2013
7:14 pm

I hold that the legislature should remove the authorization from the current Georgia Lottery Corporation, and put out requests for bids from other entities!

Private Citizen

February 6th, 2013
7:18 pm

Yet fewer than 60 percent of college freshmen graduate in four years, a tremendous waste of money and productivity.

Where does the state or anyone else have any business telling people what time frame they should attend / complete a college degree in? A lot of people need to take a break, stop and recharge for reasons of sanity, re-connecting to the real world, or simply earning money to make ends meet. Or who knows, maybe they want to travel and gain perspective? Where did this doctrine of “continuous college until completion” come from, much this doctrine is cost / loss, etc. I don’t buy into it and I think it is nanny-state manipulation where adults are treated as something other than adults. Colleges set the time frames on how long students can take a break and return to their degree programs and that is the college’s business and based on some reasonable norms (5-8-10 years?) not some loss/efficiency scenario. Why are people being treated as objects in this manner, as if they do not have lives, needs, and their own rightful ability to make decisions? This is especially pertinent considering the cost of tuition, etc. for those who do not wish to be debt slaves. Is the point of this to line up the subject-people to be objects of debt? This can not be ignored in the country with a trillion dollars in education debt where practically every other country charges a registration fee, not tuition. The USA is the only country with the three-pronged fork for tuition cost.


February 6th, 2013
7:21 pm

Many high school diplomas today are not worth the paper the’re printed on.

So, let’s keep the SAT requirements. Otherwise, you’ll have “graduates” getting scholarships who, like so many of the HS football signees today, can’t even speak a grammatically correct sentence.


February 6th, 2013
7:21 pm

Difficult to calculate this. The top 3% in one school does not compare to the top 3% in another. Also, one program of study is not equal to another. No way to do this.

Private Citizen

February 6th, 2013
7:22 pm

The state should NOT be in the gaming business. If people want gaming, then bring in / license private business. The state should NOT be in any business that belongs in the business sector / caste. No state citizen should by affiliation of their citizenship automatically be party to a gaming business.


February 6th, 2013
7:32 pm

I think the fact that Georgia SAT scores are consistently scraping the bottom — the average SAT score in Georgia in 2012 was a miserable 1452 — what was that, 48th in the country — is more of an indictment on Georgia education in total than it is of rural vs. suburban. Yeah, yeah, I know, in some states, only competitive college bound students take the test, blah, blah, blah. The fact remains — people seldom take the SAT unless they had some idea that they might want to go to college — it’s a lot of money to shell out for a test that usually demands at least some preparation in terms of review, etc. I think the help with room and board would help students look seriously at flagship colleges instead of local, less selective schools — many students have the choice made for them to stay at home and go to the local state school because of the expenses involved with room and board going away to school. A shared dorm room at UGA is around $6,000 per year — add food to that. So, do you take your HOPE and stay at home and commute to Augusta? Or do you splurge and spend the extra $6-9K a year to live in a dorm?


February 6th, 2013
8:20 pm


That’s an interesting comment. I’m going to have to read that book. Those findings directly parallel what we see at Florida A & M University here in Tallahassee. That school is a poster child for institutional incompetence at the university level. They were also just put on probation by SACS. Ironically, many observers of that action feel the same as those watching it play out in Dekalb. The accreditation boogey-man is brought in to address all kinds of institutional failings, with the glaring exception of academic achievement.

FAMU has a 4-year graduation rate of 12%! They were called out at a Board of Regents meeting last summer for “pretty much just admitting anyone into the school”. Over 50% of incoming students are ‘profile’ admissions. That means they waived the already low admission criteria for these students. The ‘profile’ admission average for other Florida universities? Less than 0.5%. FAMU students that do graduate, leave with more student debt than students attending any other state university.

It’s downright criminal. This is dark side of “do-gooder” policy making. I’ve tutored many of these kids over the years. Quite a few of them are from your neck of the woods. And many of them are NOT prepared for college. Not even remedial college courses. They struggle and they languish and they drop out. No degree, yet they are now tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

The ‘everyone should go to college” theme so popular in today’s school systems is so misguided. Tinkering with academic standards & eligibility requirements to further facilitate that unreasonable goal is going to cause more harm.

Btw, a 1200 math/reading score doesn’t seem to be an unreasonably high bar for a full-ride scholarship. A score of 1200 equated to an 80th percentile ranking in 2012. Add another 600 points for the writing portion of the test and you’re still at the low end of admission criteria for good state colleges.

Jerry Eads

February 6th, 2013
8:29 pm

The statistician likes this. Qualifying the top 3% from any high school at least wouuld enable kids from the inner city and rural schools a shot at what Zell wanted in the first place, which was to help poor as well as rich kids prepare for something else besides farm and mill labor. We KNOW that SAT scores predict little more than how much mommy and daddy make.

There are those who are beholden to having the low-income folks who are suckered into buying lottery tickets pay for rich kids’ tuition so mommy and daddy can also buy the kid’s European car toy. Seems to me it’d be nice to let the less well-off help their own kids too.

bootney farnsworth

February 6th, 2013
8:32 pm

it’ll never happen, but I still favor making the first two years at a two year school mandatory for all HOPE recipients. keeps costs down and lets us weed out who belongs and who doesn’t more cheaply.

bootney farnsworth

February 6th, 2013
8:38 pm

@ Jerry

bitter much? wow. class warfare on display.

no one is forced to play the lottery. nobody. the lottery in many ways is a stupidity tax. anybody plunking more than the occasional dollar into it deserves to lose their money.

if the “less well off” are really interested in helping their own kids, save your stinkin’ money, make sure your kids study, and teach them the value of hard work in class and out.

oh yeah. don’t have more kids than you can afford.

all that the “less well off” can do without spending a dime which might go anywhere other than their pockets.

bootney farnsworth

February 6th, 2013
8:43 pm

@ jerry

one of my kids will need a car soon. can you tell me where the poor slobs are who are dumping out hundreds at a time in the lottery? I’m just gonna go and have them give me their money directly.
cut out the middle man


February 6th, 2013
9:24 pm

It’s called scholarship, of course it should be based on academics and achievement. 3.0 is barely a “B”, raising that to a 3.5 gpa makes more sense with all the grade inflation that occurs. Of course rigorous courses and good SAT/ACT scores should be required, that way remedial subjects in college shouldn’t be needed. We are suppose to be sending the best and brightest to our universities and not the barely literate or mediocre students who probably won’t graduated in 4 years, lets make sure we send the students who apply themselves and not the ones who just want to coast along. It should be about the challenge and not the ease.


February 6th, 2013
9:33 pm

Is a shame hat the rigor of the curriculum isn’t taken into account. Someone with 3.0 in AP classes is more likely to graduate college tan someone with 4.0 in underwater basket weaving.


February 6th, 2013
9:33 pm

Oops -that, not hat.


February 6th, 2013
9:34 pm

Could it also be that 26,000 was the number of students who had the 3.7 GPA & SAT or
ACT score when graduating high school so they were technically eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship until college grades were checked? Maybe many did not have the 3.3 college GPA. The classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014 had already started college when the HOPE changes were made.

Private Citizen

February 6th, 2013
9:43 pm

The people I know who exploit the “hope” monies are from intellectually sophisticated middle class homes. That’s what grinds me about it, it is supplementing the prosperity of those who already have a leg up. It also removes these and their families from giving any concern to those who pay tuition and actual traditional costs. Imma talking real life. The “hope” recipients I know are incredibly arrogant toward the greater good and reality for those who struggle. I am not generalising about all “hope” recipients, however this is what I have personally seen.

Georgia is sooOOOOooo full of this, different public schools with different funding schemes based on local property values, and then the upper tier families that can exploit “hope” monies. I am so totally against this type of carrot and stick funding. Can not anyone see that this type funding discriminates against those from the lower tier who seek to better themselves through college education?

Private Citizen

February 6th, 2013
9:55 pm

Not to mention the situation this creates for teachers when politically connected “concerned parents” have a shark-plan for their baby(ies) to save thousands in family money and are determined that their grades are crispy and starched. This is wholly in opposition to a serious teacher being able to teach their children with political interference and spending their valuable teacher-time to be called out to make sure the politically connected are taken care of, and in a manner that might as well push the other students to the side, since power is removed from the teacher and these kids of the power elite are made to suffer the force of their parent’s interference and suffer the underlying embarrassment and humiliation from their parents being well into teacher’s business on their behalf. Ever had a kid completely break down and cry because of power parent is in their business? I have. These kids have no island and get run into the ground with formula activities. And it is really all in the service of greed and formula. And HOPE sets up this paradigm. It is unwholesome from three different sides: 1) gambling money that is fundamentally predatory. 2) serves the already sophisticated successful families. 3) makes for an unfair financial playing field for regular autonomous students 4) creates a situation where the capable do not have to pay their way and are therefore removed from the share/care/relate that is civilisation / relevance / society, the very values of what a college education should represent. 5) creates a stimulus / reward system for certain parents to interfere with teachers and overtly use interference and political power to the exclusion of other students. 6) Co-opts citizens to be party to a chance / gaming / gambling enterprise without their consent.

Make that six ways to hell. I don’t know who thought it up or why anyone thinks it is legitimate or clever. And let’s not forget the polluting influence upon the mission of government.

Private Citizen

February 6th, 2013
9:59 pm

bootney, does the term “ill gotten gain” mean anything to you? what about “two wrongs don’t make a right?”


February 6th, 2013
10:18 pm

Maybe the HOPE Scholarship should devote a portion of the lottery money
to encourage more people to save funds in a 529 allocating a
small portion to the account much like UPromise. The state should subsidize
the cost of college attendance, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the
parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student. A student who has excellent grades
and SAT scores should be able to get financial help to achieve his, or her
academic and career goals, but that student should also be understanding
of other students seeking funding for their educational goals. Neither student
is entitled to receive funding based on merit,or need-It is given out of the
benevolence of policy makers,tax payers, and voters. Attitudes toward
the Hope Scholarship are important, and more people need to show gratitude
that the scholarship exist instead of expressing an entitlement for something
that they think they are owed .


February 6th, 2013
10:32 pm

I’d like to see the research as to how many “rural/urban” HOPE recipients keep HOPE and graduate from college as opposed to how many from those 45 high schools concentrated the metro Atlanta area graduate from college regardless of keeping the scholarship or not. It’s not supposed to be a gift–it’s a privilege and if it matters to your family–they will help you keep going no matter where you live in the state. It’s not up to anyone to pave the way just because Jason Carter and the Democrats thinks you are too poor to be responsible for your own future. Live your life and raise your kids as if you CARE.