Archive for the ‘HOPE Scholarship’ Category

Legislators lower bar to earn HOPE Grant for technical colleges

More technical college students will now receive the HOPE Grant.

The General Assembly passed a bill tonight that lowers the GPA necessary to win the lottery-funded grant, which applies to technical colleges.

House Bill 372 qualifies students for the grant if they maintain a 2.0 grade-point average. The current mandate is 3.0, but the change would reinstate the rule that existed before lawmakers overhauled HOPE two years ago.

The change reflects concerns that too many technical college students dropped out or chose not to enroll because they couldn’t meet the higher bar. The new standard is estimated to allow between 2, 500 and 5,000 students to re-enroll in the grant program.

The HOPE Scholarship, which is used by University System of Georgia students, would keep its 3.0 GPA requirement. Both awards cover most of the in-state tuition.

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled  blog

Continue reading Legislators lower bar to earn HOPE Grant for technical colleges »

More HOPE to go around this year because fewer students earned it in the first place. Time to consider need-based HOPE?

AJC reporter Laura Diamond is reporting that the slight rise in HOPE payouts this year is a result of fewer Georgia students receiving the scholarship as a result of state lawmakers making the award harder to earn and harder to keep.

I stand nearly alone on this issue here on the blog, but still contend that Georgia has to consider a need component to HOPE. On a personal level, I would love to see HOPE remain fully merit-based as I have twins who will be college bound in 2017.

But on a public policy level, I understand that Georgia must produce many more college graduates to remain economically competitive. And that means finding ways to prod more teens to consider going to college by making it economically feasible for them. (Research shows that finances play a significant role in preventing qualified kids from attending college.)

As it stands now, HOPE has a greater influence on where kids go to college rather than whether they go. Every economic forecast says that Georgia …

Continue reading More HOPE to go around this year because fewer students earned it in the first place. Time to consider need-based HOPE? »

Nearly nine out of 10 Zell Miller Scholars attend UGA or Tech

If you want to find a Zell Miller Scholar, go to UGA or Tech.  (AJC file)

If you want to find a Zell Miller Scholar, go to UGA or Tech. (AJC file)

Interesting data out of today’s joint House and Senate hearing on the shrinking HOPE Scholarship.

The only speaker was Timothy A. Connell, president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, which manages HOPE. The Georgia Lottery funds HOPE and pre-k.

With lottery revenues failing to keep pace with rising tuition and growing demand, Gov. Nathan Deal last year made drastic and controversial changes to HOPE, and those changes were retrofitted to students already in college.

For most recipients, HOPE tuition payments fell 10 to 15 percent. The payments could fluctuate each year based on how much money the lottery raises and how much students must also pay for mandatory fees.

Only one group of college students — those who graduated high school with a 3.7 or higher GPA  and scored at least 1200 on the math and reading portions of the SAT test or a 26 on the ACT –  earn the assurance of full tuition …

Continue reading Nearly nine out of 10 Zell Miller Scholars attend UGA or Tech »

So who did get into UGA this year? Here’s a profile.

Freshmen will walk through these arches next week when UGA resumes classes.

Freshmen will walk past these arches next week when UGA resumes classes.

If you are wondering who was admitted to the University of Georgia this year, here is a detailed report from the school on its incoming freshman class:

According to data from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, more than 5,500 freshmen—an increase of more than 10 percent over last year—will be enrolled. The number of new transfer students remains stable at around 1,400.

“This year’s class will set new benchmarks for the institution in many aspects while maintaining the academic excellence that has become associated with UGA on both state and national levels,” said Nancy McDuff, associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management.

Those benchmarks include:

  • The largest number of Georgia residents enrolled at UGA, with close to 4,900 new in-state freshmen and more than 1,300 in-state transfer students. Based on the projected number of high school graduates in Georgia in 2011, one …

Continue reading So who did get into UGA this year? Here’s a profile. »

Holding onto the last shreds of full HOPE in summer school

After the Legislature approved reductions to the HOPE Scholarship this session, a father asked me what he could do to minimize the financial loss since his child only had a few courses to go to graduate. My suggestion was that the student consider summer courses that would be under the old HOPE rules, which would mean full reimbursement.

I am not sure if the dad took my advice, but apparently other people came to the same conclusion as the AJC is reporting a possible spike in summer enrollment at the state colleges.

According to the AJC:

Beginning in August, the scholarship will provide less money to all but the highest-performing students.

The change means Boone would need a loan to pay for fall semester. Instead, he’s taking a full load of classes this summer, while HOPE still covers all tuition, so he can graduate early and most importantly, without any debt.

Across the state, some students, such as Boone, are rushing to get as many credits as they can during the …

Continue reading Holding onto the last shreds of full HOPE in summer school »

Got HOPE?: Could these be the faces of the 2012 election?

Here is a well done parody of the “Got Milk” campaign that is making the e-mail rounds. Not sure if my reproduction shows it clearly, but the line under the photo is “Remember November 2012.” This spoof is the work of political activist Jan Selman.

HOPE.GOP.NOPE.h[1]

Continue reading Got HOPE?: Could these be the faces of the 2012 election? »

Lottery defends its percentage going to HOPE, pre-k, saying more prizes ensure more players

The lottery cannot keep up with the costs of HOPE and pre-k. Should it start giving more of its proceeds to the programs?

The lottery cannot keep up with the costs of HOPE and pre-k. Should it start giving more of its proceeds to the programs?

Many of you have complained that the lottery is giving a smaller slice of the pie to HOPE and pre-k than was originally intended and urged the AJC to write about it.

The paper has a good story today on the issue of why the lottery is returning less than the third that voters approved in the statewide referendum that legalized lottery sales in Georgia. In a nutshell, the lottery officials maintain that new games and more prizes attract more players and the cite Georgia Lottery sales and earnings as their evidence.

The AJC reports that a state audit found the Georgia Lottery is fifth-highest among 42 lotteries in the nation for jackpots and still ranked seventh in total money transferred to the state because it had maintained high overall sales. The auditors found the correlation between the higher or more-frequent jackpots and better sales benefited the …

Continue reading Lottery defends its percentage going to HOPE, pre-k, saying more prizes ensure more players »

Gov. Deal: One step closer to protecting HOPE

Here is Gov. Nathan Deal’s official statement on the House vote today on his HOPE bill:

In an overwhelming and bipartisan 152-22 vote, the Georgia House today passed Gov. Nathan Deal’s HOPE bill after including the governor’s amendment that would make it easier for Zell Miller Scholars to keep their full benefit package.

“Members of the House have worked with me in a bipartisan way to strengthen this bill even further,” Deal said. “The legislative process is working effectively. We’ve put together the right piece of legislation that keeps our programs among the most generous in the nation while placing them on firm financial footing. Today, we are one step closer to ensuring that HOPE endures for Georgia’s best and brightest and pre-k continues to prepare 4-year-old Georgians for educational excellence.”

Deal credited Speaker David Ralston’s leadership for building a broad coalition of support for the legislation. Nearly every Republican in the …

Continue reading Gov. Deal: One step closer to protecting HOPE »

UGA or Duke? Do elite schools reap greater returns?

Studies suggest graduates of elite schools like Duke earn more over their lifetimes.

Studies suggest graduates of elite schools like Duke earn more over their lifetimes.

Many Georgia parents of high school seniors are debating whether to push their child to attend UGA or Tech or go broke sending them to Duke or Emory.

Are those select colleges worth the thousands more that they charge in tuition?

That’s a question that you will hear discussed at almost every high school PTA meeting these days. With elite colleges costing $50,000 a year for tuition, room and board, many parents reason that their children should go the HOPE route and attend UGA , GSU or Valdosta for undergraduate and save their money for a top tier graduate school.

But will that $50,000 a year at a Princeton or Yale lead to higher salaries and more opportunities down the road?

A New York Times story explores that issue — one that we have discussed here at length in the past –  in a news story this week.

According to the Times:

Among the most cited research on the subject — a paper by …

Continue reading UGA or Duke? Do elite schools reap greater returns? »

Should HOPE pay only 75 percent of college tuition?

The lottery cannot keep up with the costs of HOPE and pre-k. Something has to give, but what?

The lottery cannot keep up with the costs of HOPE and pre-k. Something has to give, but what?

I attended the General Assembly committee hearing this summer on revamping HOPE, which is running out of money despite what some posters here insist.  With  rising tuition and improved college attendance, the Georgia Lottery — which funds both HOPE and pre-k — cannot keep up with demand.

Many bad ideas were floated at the hearing. One was reducing the amount of HOPE to cover 75  or 80 percent of the tuition tab. My argument against that measure is that HOPE succeeded because it was so straightfoward — attain a  B average in high school, maintain a B average in college and the taxpayers of Georgia will pay your full tuition at a public college.

Start diluting that brilliant concept — thank you Zell Miller for the simplicity of the idea — and HOPE gets murky.

I would prefer that we raise the bar on keeping HOPE, no more losing it and regaining it. We eliminate the smaller HOPE funds …

Continue reading Should HOPE pay only 75 percent of college tuition? »