Fixing HOPE: What would we do if we could just start over?

Imagine you could take the wayback machine to 1993 and try to shape the HOPE scholarship based on what we know now about its growth and the state of its finances, but before public expectations were set.

You could report to the governor at the time, Zell Miller, that his brainchild would become wildly popular. You could tell him it would help lower-income students further their education and would keep many of Georgia’s brightest high school graduates in the state for college and beyond.

But you’d also have to tell Miller that HOPE’s promises would, within two decades, far exceed his lottery’s ability to pay for them. You would have to explain that having the Legislature write a blank check from its lottery account, for an ever-increasing amount set by the Board of Regents, had become as unsustainable as third-party-payer health care (another topic of contemporary interest).

And you could offer Miller your services in constructing HOPE to avoid those problems.

You could tell him of a proposal about to be made by one of his successors, a man with whom he worked for years in the state Senate, Nathan Deal. You could tell him the meat of Deal’s plan, as reported by the AJC, is to cap tuition payments at 90 percent of their 2011 levels and stop raising them in tandem with tuition.

You could tell him that this “decoupling” of HOPE and tuition, while painful, was necessary because of the third-party-payer dynamic. You could tell him that HOPE was so popular that across-the-board cuts might be the only politically feasible option in 2011.

Miller, who had won five statewide elections by 1993 and may have foreseen that removing HOPE’s income cap would help him win a sixth in 1994, may have understood that future political dilemma. But he also may have asked: Will Deal’s plan fix HOPE for very long?

You’d tell him you didn’t know, but that chances were good. Then he might ask: What effect would the plan have on those lower-income students and those brightest grads?

Again, you wouldn’t be able to say for sure, but it probably would depend on how high tuition rose — and that yet another increase likely lay ahead.

And then you might speculate that, over time, some of the lowest-income and highest-achieving students might disappear from Georgia’s colleges. And when he frowned, you could offer this alternative, an idea of how you’d design HOPE in 2011 if time and politics would allow for a do-over:

What if Georgia promised “B” students that it would pay the amount of tuition charged by the state’s two-year colleges, such as Georgia Perimeter, and those four-year schools known as “state colleges,” such as Gainesville State? Students could use the money at any college in Georgia, but they would only get as much money as those schools charged for tuition. In 2011, that’s less than $2,700 a year (compared with $7,070 at, say, Georgia Tech).

You could make the promise subject to review if those schools’ tuition rose faster than inflation over, say, five years.

That would leave the state with a good bit of money. After putting some in reserve, you could award extra money to students with, for example, a 3.5 GPA in high school and a set score on the SAT or ACT (you’d have to explain to Miller the grade inflation HOPE caused).

The college GPA requirement would remain a 3.0, so as not to discourage students from pursuing the more difficult majors.

It wouldn’t exactly fit Miller’s vision, but it would provide access to college and help retain the best students.

I wonder what he’d have said.

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook

154 comments Add your comment

Legend of Len Barker

February 18th, 2011
7:17 pm

The state’s universities have increased their tuition to ridiculous amounts.

While in editorial writing last fall, Fink polled us to see how many of us would be graduating in debt. Out of the 15, I was the only one who wasn’t. From what I recall, nearly all the students were Georgia natives, with only two of us not qualifying for HOPE (age restrictions). The reason I’m not in debt is because in between degrees, I had a low-paying job but had little living expenses as I was at home.

Cutting back the amount of HOPE payments would cut even more students out of college. As much as I loved ABAC and Valdosta State, only two institutions in this state have a journalism program: UGA and Georgia Highlands. If you want a very specific degree, you’re not going to find it at at VSU, Albany State, or Gainesville State. UGA is just now launching an engineering program.

I’d like to see more things become part of the HOPE program. Every few months, I hear of the GBI busting convenience stores for payouts on video gambling machines. Legalize them and use it towards HOPE. Bring in the horse racing and share some profits with HOPE. There are endless possibilities, but only if the pork is removed from the barrel.

Legend of Len Barker

February 18th, 2011
7:18 pm

EDIT: Georgia Southern has a journalism program, too.

Road Scholar

February 18th, 2011
8:22 pm

“The state’s universities have increased their tuition to ridiculous amounts.”

How do you know trhat it is “ridiculous”? Costs have been going up for the best teachers, classrooms (how’s that trailer classrooms working for Georgia education?), and administrators, esp for Georgia’s best colleges. Prices had also been held down by the legislature on purpose so that it didn’t cover the real cost; that is why there are so many fees and those fees have grown with time. They put off the decision on raising tuition levels, esp for in state students. The tuition for out of state at GT ($25 K)is about average with the rest of the country; MIT is about at $35K a year. Instate was about $6K but has risen to over $8K; this is what fueled the HOPE dilemna. Instate costs in other states are $10-12K.

Solution

February 18th, 2011
8:25 pm

How about we approve some casinos and use the money to supplement HOPE. Oh wait, that would be too smart and the holy rollers won’t allow it.

James West

February 18th, 2011
8:33 pm

Personally, I like Jay Bookman’s idea better:

“For more affluent Georgia families, the availability of HOPE does not determine whether their children will go to college. It is a nice financial benefit and a reward for hard work, but it is not a necessity. In fact, as the HOPE program was originally designed, only students from households with incomes of $100,000 or less were eligible for scholarships. (That would be about $150,000 in today’s dollars, or roughly three times the median household income in Georgia.) That limit was dropped once the program began generating more money than expected.

However, rather than impose a hard income cap, as the original plan did, it would be more fair and practical to save money by instituting a sliding scale, with HOPE support diminishing as income rises. Depending how the numbers work out, it might even be possible to guarantee a minimum HOPE benefit for even for the most affluent students, as a reward for academic achievement.”

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2011/02/04/with-money-short-time-to-honor-hopes-original-intent/

Tony Smith

February 18th, 2011
9:13 pm

I have often wondered why no one in the Legislature ever asked the Board of Regents why there were 7, 8, 9 and 10% tutition increases in times of almost no inflation. That is where this problem began.

Puddin Tain

February 18th, 2011
9:31 pm

Legend is correct. There are other ways to collect gambling money other than the lottery. And Tony is correct. Why should there be a 10% tuition hike every year?

Dr. M

February 18th, 2011
9:37 pm

I agree with Tony….When are we going to start holding higher ed to the same level of fiscal and academic accountability as we do K-12 ed?

catlady

February 18th, 2011
9:42 pm

My lengthy, well-considered, knowledgeable post has disappeared.

Drifter

February 18th, 2011
9:45 pm

Cutting the “rich” out of government programs is always the answer…and as the money diminishes, the scale slides downward in what the government calls “rich”. Eventually, the “rich” won’t get their Social Security either.

Progressive Humanist

February 18th, 2011
9:55 pm

HOPE should be tied to need, whether it’s a cap or a sliding scale. Many capable students come from home environments that have offered them a wealth academic advantages throughout their lives, and many of those environments were also bolstered by monetary wealth. After HOPE went into effect there was a noticeable change on the UGA campus- all of a sudden there was an explosion of 19-year-olds driving BMWs and Mercedes (that was never a rarity but it became ubiquitous). The money that their well-off parents had saved for college now went to expensive toys because their college was free. Housing costs in Athens also doubled because students could easily afford it since they didn’t have to pay for anything else. But the majority of these students didn’t need the assistance and neither did their parents.

I’m planning for my daughter’s college expenses, and I hope by that time tuition hasn’t outpaced her 429 plan, but I would also hope that by then by we don’t need the tuition assistance and it could go to a less-advantaged student. My daughter won’t need a BMW, and I expect her to have a job during college just like I did. Households making over 100k a year shouldn’t be eligible or should get less assistance. Let that money go to the children of single mothers and working class parents as long as they make the grades.

catlady

February 18th, 2011
9:55 pm

My erudite recap of my post has disappeared.

MWilk

February 18th, 2011
10:07 pm

I have to agree with James West. Let’s go back to the original intent. If HOPE was originally designed with a family income cap of $100K, and if the cap was only removed once the fund was raising “too much money,” let’s bring back the cap.

I know that it is important not to lose sight of purpose. And I believe JOB #1 in the redesign is to make the program solvent WITHOUT making it more difficult for families that can’t afford it. The lame idea of impacting all families equally confuses the concept of equal with fair. I treat my daughters fairly NOT equally. One gets $1 with every A. While the other gets a $1 for every B. It’s certainly not equal. But it is fair because of their different skills.

Let us not confuse fair with equal.

Fran

February 18th, 2011
10:16 pm

Many parents, no matter how rich, will not contribute to their children’s education or will set a bunch of hurdles that the kids have to jump. Therefore, I do not think Hope should be means-tested – allowing each student who meets the requirements to know that college is in the future. I used to buy $20 worth of tickets every week and still would if I could buy them on-line. One more thing – even for those “rich” families with incomes above $100K – staying in-state becomes less attractive if the Hope is removed and, whenever a student leaves the state, there is always a good chance that they are gone forever.

db2783

February 18th, 2011
10:24 pm

Come on people cut the needs based crap. Everything in this country is needs based. We don’t reward achievement in anything. Low income people already get AFDC, WIC, PeachCare, EBT cards, home heating assistance, free lunch, and Pell Grants. Shall i go on? For once, reward someone for strictly their achievement rather than “socializing” a great program and making it like every other entitlement we have in this country.

WAW

February 18th, 2011
10:29 pm

HOPE is like many good government programs, it works fine until the politicians see dollar marks. A little twist here and there and suddenly HOPE is broke. Fix it! Undo the giveaways and pay for smart kids who can’t afford college and kids who can’t afford kindergarten an education. Go back to what is was in the beginning and leave it the heck alone.

Its politics that’s broken in this country and HOPE is just one of many examples of the elephant in the room or donkey braying that nobody will admit is the real problem. Neither speak for the “American People” as they claim because they are so far out in never never land that they don’t realize what fools the both are.

db2783

February 18th, 2011
10:31 pm

Make HOPE a reimbursement program rather than just a hand out. Changing it to a reimbursement program would stop all of the freshmen who never intend to succeed at college from going for a year for free, just because they don’t know what else to do and don’t want to get a job. At the end of each year, those that have maintained a B average would get reimbursement for their expenses. That way, those that had no intention of continuing after that first “free” year would not be there, thus saving HOPE hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Legend of Len Barker

February 18th, 2011
10:43 pm

@db2783:

Would you recommend the same for athletics scholarships?

PR8184

February 18th, 2011
10:50 pm

What happened to that tuition freeze? Remember–you would pay the same freshman through senior year. Maybe we should put a freeze on the Board of Regents–that would help HOPE. I keep reading that it won’t be allowed to pay for remedial programs anymore. Are they sure it ever did? Remedial classes do not count as hours toward graduation, so I’m not sure the cost is HOPE eligible.

db2783

February 18th, 2011
10:52 pm

Athletic scholarships have nothing to do with HOPE. We are talking about paying for college expenses for ANYONE who can maintain a B average. Athletic scholarships impact a very limited number of individuals. You’re trying to compare apples to oranges.

gtcivil

February 18th, 2011
11:18 pm

A Modest Proposal for Solving the HOPE Crisis:
Require all students, in all majors, in all public colleges in Georgia to take Calculus 2 (MATH1502) and Physics 1 (PHYS2211) during their freshman year. It’s a sure fire way to reduce the number of students who keep the HOPE after year 1. Lord knows this method is used quite effectively at the North Avenue Trade School.

In all seriousness, why not make the required HOPE GPA in college equal to that college’s Dean’s List? How many people at UGA and Kennesaw State would continue to receive the HOPE if they were required to maintain a 3.5 instead of a 3.0?

Progressive Humanist

February 18th, 2011
11:44 pm

Fran @ 10:16- If parents make a great deal of money, but are not wise enough to save for their children’s college or don’t value education enough, then that’s on them. That means they chose to spend their money on something other than their children’s future. What ever happened to personal responsibility? HOPE should be reserved for those people who don’t have the means to save for their children’s education but still raise smart, industrious kids who would have no other means to advance their education.

db2783- You seem to be a binary thinker, as if there are only two options- 1) the poor get everything for free or 2) the most advantaged get first dibs at everything they want. The simple fact is that the money is not there for HOPE to continue as is. Cuts must be made. The most logical route is for that money to go to the students who need it most. Do you mean to tell me that you think that the people who buy lottery tickets, the vast majority of whom are inordinately poor, should be funding the college tuition of students whose parents could easily pay for their kids’ college without putting a dent in their summer vacation plans? Really? Please give us a solution to the Hope problem that doesn’t include giving entitlements to the well-to-do.

db2783

February 19th, 2011
12:41 am

give me a break progressive humanist. Nobody forces anybody to buy a lottery ticket, regardless of what the proceeds pay for. Poor, Poor, Poor. the consequence of poor life decisions. HOPE is NOT an entitlement to the, as you say, “well to do”. HOPE is a reward for hard work and achievement. AFDC, WIC, PeachCare, EBT cards, home heating assistance, free lunch, and Pell Grants are entitlements.

Rod

February 19th, 2011
1:10 am

People need to realize there is no HOPE. If you can’t afford to pay for school you need to go to work as whatever(janitor, cook, constuction, lawn maintenance etc). These are jobs that Americans can do. It is time the Tea Party brewed some tea and made the Republicans use e-verify and start daily raids on construction crews, kitchen staff and lawn firms!!This will put Americans to work in GA and elsewhere fast!! Signed a Democratic that wants Americans to work!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by State Radios, Bertromavich Reibold. Bertromavich Reibold said: Fixing HOPE: What would we do if we could just start over?: Imagine you could take the wayback machine to 1993 a… http://bit.ly/eUHLla [...]

OTOH

February 19th, 2011
1:25 am

Two of the foreseeable but ignored consequences of the Hope Scholarship were inflated tuition and HS grades. Another was middle class dependency/entitlement. The increased tuition has not gone to better teachers or learning, it has gone to excessive administration and grand extras to entice students for whom a spa, a social worker, or flashy rock climbing walls are more important than academics.

Hope should not pay for remedial classes. Anyone on Hope who needs to take a remedial class can pay for those hours of pocket.

Since one of the purposes of the Hope Scholarship was to keep the best and brightest in GA, how about a sliding scale linking parental income and grade point average. The more your parents make the higher the grade point needed to get Hope. Since we are interfering in the market anyway, we should also promote math and science majors by making it easier for those students to get and keep Hope (and by supporting an engineering school at UGA.)

Legend of Len Barker

February 19th, 2011
1:26 am

To a lot of athletes, the point of athletics scholarships are the same as what you accuse a lot of students of doing. A.J. Green used Georgia to get him to the NFL. He has little to no intention of finishing his degree. Only those, like Fred Gibson, who realize they have few options remaining come back and complete their programs. (With the NBA’s current rules, this is the case quite often. John Wall would have gone straight to the pros had it not been for the rules. Thus, Kentucky spends crazy recruiting and scholarship money on him to bolt in a year. Everybody, including Kentucky, knew this would be the case.)

A.J. Green gave us plenty of enjoyment and made Georgia plenty of money, but the money spent on him could have easily gone to a mid-range athlete with fewer pro prospects and who actually will earn a degree.

Michael

February 19th, 2011
7:11 am

It seems to me there are a few things in this state we don’t do to raise revenue that would be reasonable and that would raise a good bit of revenue to solve many of our money problems. Among them, in my view, are the following:

1. Legalize Sunday alcohol sales.
2. Tax alcohol, tobacco and gasoline at a slightly higher rate than is currently in force–the exact rate to be determined by the legislature, but say 2 or 3 per cent, and use the tax money for education and infrastructure.
3. Institute a toll road system to (among other things) enlist the many long-haul drivers who use and tear up our roads but don’t pay for them.
4. Regarding HOPE–put a straightforward, reasonable income cap on it, for goodness’ sake. A family of millionaires needs help paying for their children’s tuition? I don’t think so. And consider putting in place a requirement that, if you fall off HOPE because of grades, you have to wait a year before re-applying.

Some of Gov. Deal’s other points make sense–don’t pay for remedial courses, for example. Of the suggestions I have read about, the one basically excluding flagship institutions from HOPE recipients’ options does not make sense–it means some really smart kids are going to look out of state, and I don’t know that the state can afford to lose them. The second-tier schools like Georgia Perimeter College are already handling a good many more students than they were designed to handle, so I don’t know how successful the state will be in the long run if it tries to funnel more students towards those schools without also investing in a major building campaign to accommodate the additional students. Where would the money for such a building campaign come from? The president of GPC recently sent an email to all students, faculty, and staff, asking for ideas about where to save money. This doesn’t suggest to me that the school’s management has any really potent ideas about where to go to solve money problems.

Cutty

February 19th, 2011
7:17 am

Again, Kyle is in favor of supporting the rich while those intended to benefit from HOPE get the shaft. The rich are able ro send their kids to tutorials for standardized tests, and usually have higher scores. So yeah, let’s make that a factor so lil Suzie can get a BMW as she heads off to UGA.

And stop screaming about socialism, since the poor have been subsidizing HOPE for the rich since it began. Two year colleges for B students? Is this what its come too?

RETNAV

February 19th, 2011
7:22 am

Hope is a great program that got my son through college without him having to get loans. I think a cap on the parents income is a good idea. This program was developed because of one of our greatest govenors Zell Miller. He saw it as a way to help the lower income students get a chance to go to college. When I hear people saying that if they don’t get Hope to cover all of thier school they will not be able to get a college education makes me laugh. True college prices are rising, but even if the Hope does not cover it all you still have a good chunk of money to put toward your education. This would keep your student loans very low. Be happy you have this because back in my day if your parents couldn’t afford to send you to college you either got loans or joined the military for the GI Bill.

RETNAV

February 19th, 2011
7:37 am

One other thing I forgot to add to my comment. I also think that they should tie in your SAT score into the equation. Hope should require that your SAT be higher than what will get you into college. Lets face it a lot of these students have inflated grads from high school and barly get by the SAT to get into school. Or even better make all the students get government loans for thier freshmen year and if they get by with the 3.0 to keep getting Hope then reenburse them for that year. I am sure that there is a study out there that shows how much of the Hope money is wasted the first year on students who should not even be in college.

Dawg Dad

February 19th, 2011
7:37 am

I don’t need a way-back machine, I told my wife at the time what would happen: colleges will realize they no longer need to compete for students because the HOPE (aka Cash Cow) would cover their RIDICULOUS cost increases every year.

And to those that think HOPE should only go to those with incomes under $100K, all that would do is force people like me to send my 4.0 GPA student out of state where there are better schools anyway.

DeborahinAthens

February 19th, 2011
7:39 am

The first year my older son was in college, there was an income cap on Hope, and we made too much money. But he got a job while at Georgia Southern, and we had saved some money, so we muddled through the way we had always PLANNED. The next year the income cap was dropped, so for the rest of his college career, we had that help. It was good, but the original vision of HOPE was to help talented, lower middle class and poor kids get an education. We should go back to that vision. Also, there should be an SAT requirement or some other evaluation, so that these unqualified students can’t get the assistance. Letting anyone and everyone get “free” money to go to college serves no one. Most of those kids flunk out eventually because, even with remedial programs, they don’t have the necessary education. As a country we have got to stop this lowering of the bar. I read the other day that Dayton, Ohio was told by the Justice Department that they had to drop their current test for police officers because not enough black and hispanic people could make the grade. This is insanity! Keep the test, make the black and hispanic kids rise to the level needed to pass the test. I encourage everyone to watch a movie titled Idiocracy. This is what we are devolving to…a democracy of idiots. By the way, when my son got the Hope scholarship, he still kept driving his ancient Toyota Corolla. We didn’t buy him a BMW.

Dawg Dad

February 19th, 2011
7:47 am

How to fix HOPE:

1. Don’t even think about capping it based on income. It will only cause fewer students to go to Georgia colleges, thus raising the tuition and other costs for those that do, thus not fixing the problem.

2. Make HOPE pro-rated based on several factors such as: how many years of high school attended, GPA scale (3.0 gets 75%, 3.25 gets 80%, etc.)

3. Monitor and regulate college tuitions and other expenses. If a college is raising costs by an excessive amount compared to others, cap their HOPE benefit. They will see that they won’t be attracting the best, brightest, and wealthiest students and have to learn how to compete.

4. Stop listening to dumb comments like some of the ones above that say things like “the poor are subsidizing HOPE.” First, nobody is forcing ANYBODY to buy a lottery ticket. Besides, my kid went to private school all her life and my tax dollars (also known as FORCED contribution) for public education ($3K a year) most definitely subsidized “your” kid’s education.

Lee Howell

February 19th, 2011
7:51 am

If I had a wayback machine, the very first thing I would do is MANDATE rather than SUGGEST that the lottery corporation pay 35% of profits to education each year.

I might look at tuition, too. Some of these colleges appear to have built a lot of very nice buildings using HOPE money.

Ozzy

February 19th, 2011
8:06 am

Amen Lee.

I’m not surprised, but it really ticks me off that nobody mentions the fact that it was set up to contribute 35% of the proceeds, but they don’t do that. I saw a report a couple of weeks ago that said it only contributes 28% of the proceeds. Someone needs to take a really close look at the Lottery Corporation, and find out where that other 7% is being spent. I bet I know the answer.

Last Man Standing

February 19th, 2011
8:14 am

James West:

“However, rather than impose a hard income cap, as the original plan did, it would be more fair and practical to save money by instituting a sliding scale, with HOPE support diminishing as income rises.”

Would this not equate to yet another “entitlement” program? One student with a 3.9 GPA whose family is more affluent would receive nothing or less than a student with a 3.0 GPA whose family are less affluent.

Looks like a duck, . . .

Lee Howell

February 19th, 2011
8:17 am

Ozzy, bonuses for employees? …just guessing…

yeah

February 19th, 2011
8:24 am

i put two children through 12 years of private school before they enrolled in university system schools. to me, HOPE is payback for over $20,000 in government school property taxes. (havent’ calculated the prsent value of those taxes).

Bill

February 19th, 2011
8:34 am

It is important to review the original purpose of HOPE. As I understand it, there were two objectives. 1) Make college accessible to high achieving, low-income students. 2) Encourage other high achieving students to stay in Georgia.

Funding low-income, high achieving students at a community college level, when they qualify for GT, is a sure recipe for getting them to move out of state. An income cap seems to rigid, but a sliding scale would offer incentive for most other high achievers to stay in state.

Those at the top of the income scale are likely to send their kids to the best schools they qualify for regardless of HOPE. For those who might be affected by a sliding scale, starting at $100k to $150k, It should still offer a reasonable incentive. I have a son who will be a Freshman next year, and I would be affected by this sliding scale. However, if he chooses to go to a state school, it would still be the best deal by a wide margin.

I don't get it

February 19th, 2011
8:35 am

I don’t get why so many posters think that higher income citizens should be excluded from the HOPE program. Nothing against lower-income folks, but why would we punish successful, hard-working, or innovative parents of students simply because they make more money than others? To add insult to injury, the higher income folks are the ones who are footing the vast majority of the funding for nearly everythng else in government due to the higher tax rates they pay,

Do we really want to continue our slide toward a world where “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is the rule? Karl Marx would love that…

Bill

February 19th, 2011
8:38 am

I think Ozzy is right. It does seem that employee bonuses are excessive, but they are a small part of the picture. What about a bonus system based on hitting the targeted proportions. Originally, I believe the idea was 35% to education, 45% to prizes, and the balance to promotion and management. I also believe that most of the “lost” 7% goes, not to bonuses, but to prize payouts. That should be easy enough to fix. This alone would fix HOPE at least for the near future.

Bill

February 19th, 2011
8:40 am

Don’t get it,

Consider it this way: Those who have benefited disproportionally from living in this great country should contribute disproportionally. I consider it a patriotic duty.

@ Bill

February 19th, 2011
8:42 am

Respectfully, my take is that most (although certainly not all) people who have benefitted more than others have done so because they worked harder, worked smarter, were more responsible, or were willing to take risks that others weren’t. Doesn’t seem that that means they should continue to pick up the tab for the other group.

Bill

February 19th, 2011
8:43 am

Don’t get it,
“Do we really want to continue our slide toward a world where “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is the rule? Karl Marx would love that…”\

We are on an alternate path right now. It is more like = I got mine. If you didn’t get yours, that clearly indicates that you are not as (pick one or more of the following), hard working, deserving, moral, intelligent, christian, etc. as I am. It is clearly your own fault. Therefore, your kids can fend for themselves.

carlosgvv

February 19th, 2011
8:45 am

The Hope Scholarship problem is just the latest in a long list of things we need but just don’t have the money for. This list will get even longer as time goes by.

Bill

February 19th, 2011
8:47 am

@Bill
“Respectfully, my take is that most (although certainly not all) people who have benefitted more than others have done so because they worked harder, worked smarter, were more responsible, or were willing to take risks that others weren’t. Doesn’t seem that that means they should continue to pick up the tab for the other group”

Thank you for the respectful response. I do appreciate it, and we don’t see enough of it. I am not arguing that these people worked hard and took risks. There are also lots of people who have worked hard an took risks that did not enjoy this success. We greatly underestimate the role that luck, timing and circumstance have in success. Again, this is not to say that these people are not hard working. For additional insight, read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”

I would like to add, that I don’t see how paying for your child’s education when you can afford it is punishment for being successful. The reward for being successful is that you have more choices, not that you don’t have to pay for them.

Bill

February 19th, 2011
8:51 am

Many people have noted the expensive facilities built at state universities. I agree that the “country clubification” of universities is a huge problem, and a contributor to higher costs. From an accounting standpoint, the cost of these amenities does not come directly from tuition (paid by HOPE), but it drives up costs nonetheless. It also undermines some fundamental values in higher education, but that is for another discussion.

Although this accounts for at least some of the increase in costs, it is not something we can fix at a state level. State universities compete at some level with universities in other states. This is a national problem.

@ Bill

February 19th, 2011
8:53 am

Some greedy people do feel that “I got mine, so the heck with you”, but that is not reason to go to a “I didn’t get mine, so therefore I’m entitled to yours” world. There needs to be a safety net for people who really need it through no fault of their own (I know-I have an adult son with autism), but there needs to be personal responsibility and consequences for the rest of us.

A guy that works 40 hours a week at a low-stress job and gets a pension should not receive more than the guy that works 60+ hours a week in a high-stress demanding field without a pension. The second guy deserves more and should not be penalized for his harder work.

Gail

February 19th, 2011
9:00 am

Lee, you are so right about those nice buildings HOPE has funded. Look at UGA. Now they are expanding their engineering program with “existing money,” yet in-state tuition increased about 16% from Fall 2009 to 2010 and since 2008 in-state tuition has risen 41.47%. I guess its been “existing” since 2009. Plus there were many fee increases as well.

And I don’t buy Road Scholar’s “Costs have been going up for the best teachers, classrooms (how’s that trailer classrooms working for Georgia education?), and administrators, esp for Georgia’s best colleges.”

And I agree, HOPE is a cash cow.