Archive for the ‘HOPE Scholarship’ Category

Good advice on college for teens: Your dream campus may change. Apply to more safety schools.

I get almost daily e-mails about new college-focused web sites launched by industrious and creative young entrepreneurs. HerCampus.com is one of them. Started by three ambitious young women from Harvard, the site is aimed at college and high school students and offers practical advice on admissions and adjustments to college.

It has a lot of advice on the social aspects of college — “A Freshman Girl’s Guide to Frat Parties” — and what to wear –  “20 Ways to Wear a Plain White T.”

But I thought this list of “Ten Things No One Told You About The College Application Process,” reminiscent of the advice I shared here a few weeks ago from the author of a well-known college guide, was useful to share with teens. I am not sure it’s true that no one has ever told students these 10 things, but they are worth repeating.

So here is the list — edited a bit –  from Her Campus:

10 – The application process can put a strain on friendships and relationships. Even though you and your best …

Continue reading Good advice on college for teens: Your dream campus may change. Apply to more safety schools. »

College costs: Debt or investment? Get into the best college you can afford?

A reader says a good college provides more than a good education. It upgrades your life and your social circle. (Dean Rohrer art)

A reader says a good college provides more than a good education. It upgrades your life and your social circle. (Dean Rohrer art)

Today, the AJC has a story reporting that the cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000, an all-time high. The story says the average list price for a state school now runs more than $17,000 a year, according to the twin annual reports on college costs and student aid published Wednesday by the College Board.

Earlier, the AJC reported hat student debt now exceeds credit card debt.  With my older two children at colleges that rank among the nation’s costliest, I worry about the debt that they will carry. But I also understand that college costs can be viewed as a debt or as an investment.

A reader sent me this note, which I thought provided great food for thought on this topic. Most of us evaluate a college’s  value based on the classes, but the reader notes that better colleges place you in better milieus and expose you to a brighter class …

Continue reading College costs: Debt or investment? Get into the best college you can afford? »

Funding Georgia public colleges not only on how many students start, but how many finish

Should we fund colleges not only on how many kids enroll, but how many graduate? (AJC/file photo)

Should we fund colleges not only on how many kids enroll, but how many graduate? (AJC/file photo)

We discussed the issue of linking college funding to completion rates a while back after I saw a presentation on the Tennessee higher ed reform plan that uses completion as a funding criteria for its public campuses.

Now, Gov. Nathan Deal wants to bring that strategy to Georgia in hopes of boosting the attention colleges pay to helping students finish.

Held to that new standard, I suspect that colleges will start echoing the complaint of high schools: They can’t be held responsible for individual choices or failings of students and that the students at Georgia Tech start college at a more advanced level than the students at Clayton State and gaps in grad rates reflect those different starting points.

According to the AJC:

Deal is in the final process of selecting members to serve on a commission that will recommend changes that would allow Georgia to join a growing number of …

Continue reading Funding Georgia public colleges not only on how many students start, but how many finish »

Technical college in Georgia enrollment dips. Is reduced HOPE the reason?

The consequences of reducing HOPE Scholarship awards are being felt at the state’s technical colleges, according to this AJC news story.

It will be interesting to see the long-term impact of the cuts to HOPE across all campuses in the state.  I am not sure anybody is monitoring in a cohesive fashion, but it would be helpful in future debates to know the outcomes.

The story reports:

After three years of record enrollment, the number of students attending Georgia’s technical colleges dropped by more than 12,000 this fall and leaders say a reduced HOPE scholarship is partly to blame. Technical College System of Georgia officials are still analyzing the data. But with about 75 percent of the system’s students receiving HOPE, the state-funded scholarship program’s influence can not be underestimated.

Lawmakers overhauled HOPE last spring, decreasing the aid students receive to keep the program viable for future recipients. Tens of thousands of 4-year college students …

Continue reading Technical college in Georgia enrollment dips. Is reduced HOPE the reason? »

Did Gov. Deal complicate HOPE in a way that penalizes UGA, Tech and Georgia College?

I continue to get weekly e-mails from parents either baffled or angered over the changes to the HOPE Scholarship by Gov. Nathan Deal, who maintains that his reductions saved the popular scholarship program.

But what parents are telling me is that Deal also complicated it.

Here is one such e-mail about how Georgia Tech, UGA and Georgia College students are discovering some of the quirks to the changes the hard way:

This weekend, one of my daughters told me that a friend had dropped a class during drop-add, leaving her with 12 hours.  Then she got a tuition bill.  She called Financial Aid and they said it was because they bill a flat rate for seven or more hours and HOPE  pays on a credit-hour rate now.  I had seen the HOPE payment schedule by college and had wrongfully assumed that since UGA’s schedule was by credit hour that they had changed their tuition schedule from a flat rate to a credit hour rate.  As far as I know, the HOPE students were not told of these …

Continue reading Did Gov. Deal complicate HOPE in a way that penalizes UGA, Tech and Georgia College? »

Want to get into UGA or Tech? Start planning in middle school.

The competition to get into Tech and UGA will not subside any time soon.  (AJC file)

The competition to get into Tech and UGA will not subside any time soon. (AJC file)

Parents of current high school students will not be surprised by today’s AJC story on the rising caliber of  students admitted to Georgia’s top public campuses. Most parents have a story about a great candidate from their local high school who was rejected by UGA or Tech. And there are many alums of both schools who admit they would never be admitted under today’s tougher standards.

Applications for UGA’s freshman class have increased by more than 50 percent since 2003. Tech’s applications have increased by 48 percent over the last four years.

As the competition for spots at the premier campuses has intensified, students are upping their academic games, enrolling in more AP classes. Parents of high school freshmen and sophomores ought to advise their children to read today’s AJC story so they better understand the risks of waiting until their junior year to get serious about their high …

Continue reading Want to get into UGA or Tech? Start planning in middle school. »

Deal wants more college graduates, but are we pricing kids out of school?

I am not sure the timing was ideal for Gov. Nathan Deal to talk about prodding Georgia’s public colleges to raise student completion rates. Research shows that a major obstacle to college completion is affordability, and the steps taken by Deal to preserve the long-term viability of the HOPE Scholarship have made college more expensive for thousands of students.

As we have been discussing here on the blog, the cuts to higher education by the Legislature have led to dramatic increases in student fees as colleges look for new sources of revenue. While the University System raised about $221 million from student fees five years ago, it will raise $500 million this year because of rising enrollment and higher fees.

Research suggests that costs are a major reason why low-income students fail to finish college.

But Deal wasn’t talking about higher ed funding or HOPE today. He announced that Georgia was one of 10 states to received a million dollar grant from the Bill and …

Continue reading Deal wants more college graduates, but are we pricing kids out of school? »

Pell Grants under fire: Welfare or way to boost college graduates?

On the issue of college affordability — which arose in an earlier blog this week — there is mounting concern over proposed congressional cuts to Pell Grants, the nation’s largest financial aid program for college students and the most costly. Pell Grants are expected to cost nearly $40 billion for next year.

Republicans in Congress want to slash the amount of the awards or the number of eligible recipients. The budget passed by the House cuts maximum grant by 45 percent and ousts about 1.5 million students from the eligibility rolls.

Advocates counter that Pell Grants are already failing to keep up with actual college costs. Thirty years ago, the maximum Pell award covered about three-fourths of the college costs. Now it covers only about one-third. The need-based grants — which are not repaid  –  help 10 million low-income students pay for college.  The amount awarded to a student each year is based on need and school costs, but is never more than $5,550, the current …

Continue reading Pell Grants under fire: Welfare or way to boost college graduates? »

Sticker shock over college costs from HOPE cuts? AJC wants to hear about it.

As Georgia posts college bills, many families are stunned at the increases from the reductions in HOPE. (AP Images)

As Georgia posts college bills, many families are stunned at the increases from the reductions in HOPE. (AP Images)

As Georgia families receive their college bills for Georgia public universities, many of them are reporting dismay  over the higher-than-expected totals as a result of the reductions in the HOPE Scholarship and the big jump in special fees and other costs, which we discussed here recently.

One parent wrote:

I know there are probably more pressing educational topics with the APS mess, but I wanted to let you know that the UGA Bursar’s  department has posted their fees for the fall. We owe $1,095 per child per semester WITH the Zell Miller Scholarship compared to $248 per semester, per child last year.

I have one on Fixed for Four (Class of 2012) and one not (Class of 2013). Tuition for the older is $2428; the younger is $3641, luckily covered by Zell Miller Scholarship. However, the institutional fee went up to $450. I don’t remember reading about that. Good …

Continue reading Sticker shock over college costs from HOPE cuts? AJC wants to hear about it. »

Colleges mask de facto tuition increases as special fees

Public college students including those at UGA are paying more in something known as "institutional fees." (AJC file photo)

Public college students including those at UGA are paying more in something known as "institutional fees." (AJC file photo)

In need of a break from discussing the woes at APS, I want to share another set of woes — escalating costs facing college students in Georgia as a result of the reductions in the HOPE Scholarship this year by the Legislature and ongoing higher education cuts by lawmakers over the last several years.

Georgia’s public colleges and universities are attempting to recoup  some of their lost funding by  increases in the fees paid by students.

A mom sent me this note:

My daughter, a senior at UGA,  just got off the phone with the financial aid office and learned that her previously free ride is going to cost her $1,000 for the upcoming semester, plus books.  She did not lose the scholarship, but the changes are dramatic.  Considering how many students lose the scholarship after the first year, it seems the limited funds could have been more wisely …

Continue reading Colleges mask de facto tuition increases as special fees »