Archive for the ‘Admissions’ 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

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The top HOPE Scholarships: Are the best and the brightest in Fulton and Gwinnett? Is rural Georgia shortchanged?

artchangeThe Georgia Senate debated the qualifications to become a Zell Miller scholar this afternoon while discussing House Bill 131, which accords high school students who take dual enrollment college classes the same .5 boost in their final grade that Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate students now earn.

Ultimately, the Senate approved the grade boost for dual enrollment, but voted 33-15 against against an amendment  to change how the Zell Miller Scholarship is calculated so that more rural Georgia students would qualify.

Only one group of Georgia 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 –   now earn full tuition under the changes made to the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship. These students are known as Zell Miller Scholars. Zell Miller is also extended to all high school valedictorians and salutatorians.

State Sen. Jason Carter, …

Continue reading The top HOPE Scholarships: Are the best and the brightest in Fulton and Gwinnett? Is rural Georgia shortchanged? »

President of Agnes Scott and college trustee: Cutting aid to private college students will cost more than it saves

Here is a guest column on the planned cut to tuition assistance given by the state to Georgia students who attend private in-state colleges. The authors are Beth Holder, a trustee and alumna of Agnes Scott College, and Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott.

According to the AJC:

House budget writers reduced the  Tuition Equalization Grant — money paid to all private college students — from $700 to $500. The subsidy program has been around for about 40 years and is meant to help private college students pay tuition.

The $6 million saved by reducing the grant would be plowed into the Technical College System of Georgia. Deal proposed a $24 million cut in technical college funding because of an enrollment drop at the schools. Technical colleges, like University System of Georgia schools, are funded largely based on enrollment.

The cut has alarmed private colleges, which contend that the money is often a factor in a student’s ability to enroll.

By Beth Holder and …

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New research: Too many college students routed into costly remedial courses when they only need a refresher

Education Week has a fascinating story this week on emerging research showing that many college students testing into remedial classes don’t need to be there.

A challenge in writing about education is the assumption factor. In Georgia, 70,000 students take remedial classes each year at our public colleges at an annual cost of $55 million. Nationally, the price tag is $7 billion.

We all despair that so many students are showing up at college unprepared and conclude that high schools aren’t doing their jobs.

But we never ask: Are these students being correctly identified?

Could it be that all some of them need are short-term refresher courses? Consider that many students are not entering college directly from high school and may have forgotten some of their math. According to Ed Week, close to a third of all entering college students are not coming directly from high school.

One study cited in the Ed Week story found that 20 percent of students in remedial math and 25 percent …

Continue reading New research: Too many college students routed into costly remedial courses when they only need a refresher »

Feds release College Scorecard announced by President Obama during State of the Union address

As promised by President Obama last night, here is the info on and link to the new federal College Scorecard.

The easy-to-use site provides basic information — the tuition costs, the grad rate,  average loan amount, repayment rate and some employment information.

From the U.S. DOE:

Following President Obama’s State of the Union address, today the U.S. Department of Education released an interactive College Scorecard, which provides students and families the critical information they need to make smart decisions about where to enroll for higher education.

The College Scorecard – as part of President Obama’s continued efforts to hold colleges accountable for cost, value and quality – highlights key indicators about the cost and value of institutions across the country to help students choose a school that is well-suited to meet their needs, priced affordably, and is consistent with their educational and career goals.

“Through tax credits, grants and better loans, we’ve made …

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Democrats: Governor’s changes to HOPE Grant still leave students “out in the cold.”

The Senate Democrats offered this response to the governor’s plan to lower the GPA for HOPE grants for students in technical colleges, which have reported a steep decline since Nathan Deal imposed a 3.0 GPA requirement.

Senate Democrats said Gov. Deal’s proposal to lower the grade point average requirement in Georgia’s HOPE Grant for students in the technical college system is a reasonable first step, but doesn’t go far enough to repair the broken HOPE Grant and Scholarship programs.

Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, whip of the Senate Democratic Caucus, is an author of Senate Bill 59 that would reduce the GPA from 3.0 to 2.0 for a HOPE Grant recipient. The measure is similar to the Gov. Deal’s recent HOPE Grant proposal. But Fort said real HOPE reform is a multi-prong approach that requires the state’s leadership to account for all current and future students and requires changes across the grant and scholarship spectrum.

“The purpose of the HOPE Grant and the HOPE Scholarship …

Continue reading Democrats: Governor’s changes to HOPE Grant still leave students “out in the cold.” »

Gov. Deal responds to concerns about HOPE Grant and lowers GPA requirement to 2.0

Gov. Nathan Deal has apparently heard some of the protests about the changes he made two years ago to HOPE, reversing his decision to require that even students going to the state’s technical colleges on HOPE Grants also have a 3.0 GPA.

The AJC reported that nearly 9,000 technical college students lost the award last year because they couldn’t meet the higher standard. Ron Jackson, the commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia, told legislators last month that thousands of other students dropped out of the technical colleges or didn’t enroll because they couldn’t afford to pay what HOPE no longer covered.

The system’s enrollment dropped by about 24,500 students to 170,860 last year. Historically, nearly 75 percent of technical college students receive HOPE.

The change needs the Legislature’s approval, but has bi-partisan support and is expected to pass.

Now, the question is: Will Deal respond to complaints about how few rural students are getting the Zell …

Continue reading Gov. Deal responds to concerns about HOPE Grant and lowers GPA requirement to 2.0 »

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 …

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

Good advice from educator: Let your kids choose own path, in college and life

downeyart (Medium)Here is a thoughtful guest column by Stan Beiner, head of the Epstein School:

By Stan Beiner

At The Epstein School, a private K-8 program, we prepare students to excel in high school and beyond.  If we do not maintain standards of academic excellence, we would not have the opportunity to fulfill our other mission which is creating well-balanced individuals who will continue in the traditions of our people.

With a deep sigh, we turn our innocent, middle school graduates over to high schools who will prepare them for colleges that don’t exist.  You can translate that as heavy homework loads, AP courses, honors classes, multiple extra-curricular activities, and the stretch for the highest GPA possible.

I have listened to countless teens talk about holding down jobs, staying up endless hours, falling asleep at their desks, padding their resumes, and trying to figure out HOW to get into their preferred STATE school.

Flash forward to the “perils” of university life …

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Emory president introduces new provost and explains why it’s wiser to be in the online pack rather than leading it



Emory President Jim Wagner (Emory)
Emory President Jim Wagner (Emory)

Emory President James Wagner visited the AJC on Tuesday to introduce new provost Claire E. Sterk. Among the topics on the table: Emory’s ventures into the online world.

Emory is participating in Coursera, a consortium of universities offering free MOOCs or massive open online course.  But closer to home, it’s launching Semester Online, which Sterk and Wagner described as “the modern-day version of a semester abroad.”

Launching in a year, Semester Online will offer far smaller classes than MOOCs and likely be limited to students from Emory and other top-tier schools, such as Duke, Northwestern and Tufts. Undergrads will earn credits for their courses, which is not the case with the free MOOCs.  Semester Online will cover the same information and be taught by the same faculty at the brick-and-mortar colleges.

And students will pay the same tuition, which surprised me. Isn’t lower costs one of the chief selling …

Continue reading Emory president introduces new provost and explains why it’s wiser to be in the online pack rather than leading it »