Claims of a painless HOPE fix with income caps don’t hold up

One way to gauge a government program’s popularity is by how far politicians are willing to stretch the truth to argue they are that program’s strongest defenders. By that measure, the HOPE scholarship must be the most beloved program in all of Georgia.

A year after a broad reform of HOPE — one that accepted lottery revenues had plateaued while tuition levels soared — the scholarship suddenly is being hotly debated again. The apparent impetus is a state agency’s report forecasting falling HOPE award levels during the next several years.

Given that such forecasts accompanied last year’s reform, however, one can’t help but sense political opportunism. And some truth-stretching.

Democrats in the state Senate are agitating to re-revamp HOPE. (House Democrats have little leg to stand on here, because they were very public participants in crafting last year’s legislation.) Their pitch is that the “old” HOPE — covering 100 percent of tuition costs — could be restored, if only the state implemented an income cap.

A not-too-low income cap, mind you. Just a little ol’ income cap that would only affect the highest-earning Georgia households.

The Democrats’ chief claim is that, by imposing a household income cap of $140,000 on HOPE recipients, about 92 percent of eligible students this fall could have their tuition at state universities fully covered. (They sometimes say 94 percent, but the audit report they cite actually puts it at 92 percent.) Under the 2011 reform, most of those HOPE scholars will have less than 70 percent of their tuition covered unless they qualify for the new Zell Miller Scholarship, which covers it completely.

The Democrats’ claim is correct — if, that is, we include HOPE students at the state’s technical schools and private colleges. But at the 35 schools in the University System of Georgia, from Georgia Tech to Georgia Perimeter, a cap of $140,000 would have meant cutting out one in six HOPE scholars in 2010, according to the most recent state audit (which you can download here). That includes one in three HOPE recipients at Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia.

Worse, even those figures wouldn’t hold up very long. Within three years — assuming current trends about lottery revenues and the growth of eligible students and tuition, as well as assuming all of HOPE’s available financial reserves were used — the cap would fall to $120,000.

A year later, it would fall still further, to $100,000.

Before the end of the decade, it could sit as low as $80,000.

A cap of $140,000 might include the vast majority of HOPE recipients, but here’s an idea of who in metro Atlanta would be excluded by a cap of $100,000, according to the most recent wage statistics compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • a household with one registered nurse ($58,540) and one police officer ($43,096);
  • a household with two public school teachers ($52,165 apiece).

If the cap were at $80,000, it would be too low for:

  • a household with one firefighter ($48,777) and one secretary ($38,724);
  • a household with two social workers ($40,241 apiece).

Neither these average wages nor the income caps are adjusted for inflation. So the effect of an income cap would only grow in the future.

In fact, with a $100,000 cap, about one-third of all HOPE students in public colleges in 2010 — including half at Tech and UGA — would have lost the scholarship.

At $80,000, we’d have been talking about two in five at all state colleges and universities. Lest anyone think the impact is only great at the state’s most selective colleges: About 20 percent of students at Georgia’s two-year schools, would have lost HOPE with such a cap.

No matter how you rearrange the program, the math is brutally unyielding.

Again, it’s true that current law also means reductions, in the proportion of tuition a HOPE scholarship will cover. And again, that reality was known when the reform passed last year.

Democrats are free to argue HOPE should cover everything for fewer and fewer people, rather than covering less and less for everyone. But they at least ought to acknowledge that’s what their proposal would do.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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66 comments Add your comment

ragnar danneskjold

February 23rd, 2012
5:57 am

Public subsidies for any product ensure the price of the product will rise. The problem is not the insufficiency of subsidy. That market truth proved in the late unlamented housing bubble, and will also prove in ObamaCare, if not repealed. Every government effort to screw with the market screws up the market.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

February 23rd, 2012
6:02 am

Amen to that, ragnar.

But if we must keep the lottery and HOPE, we should have an income FLOOR, not an income cap. This will ensure that the poor continue to pay their fair share in some way, and give back to the people who pay most of the state’s bills.

Road Scholar

February 23rd, 2012
7:02 am

LBB: How do you suppose those low income people pay for their educaion after you have them pay more income taxes and more for their education? Not eat? Live with adequate shelter? Remember they can’t even buy the boots that they are supposedly pulling themselves up on their bootstaps?

Kyle: Why is lottery income reducing ? Economic times since more have less disposable income? Will the economy continue to tank? Who buys the majority of the lottery tickets?

If their is an income cap, it needs to be graduated with a reducing lottery proceed as the income goes up.

Will

February 23rd, 2012
7:07 am

As Obama has released the dogs of envy in his class warfare, we will hearm more and more demands that Government achieve equity for all. Of course equity has the unintended consequence of lowering the effort and risk level for everyone too, thus making the country worse off. But the demands for equity, won’t stop. Confiscatory taxes might promise a short term fix to the problem of bloat in government but they are not a long term solution. A few years of “targeted tax cuts” resulted in 49% of Americans paying zero income taxes and thus having no stake at all in restricting the size and scope of goverment.

In the same way, the desperate democrats and their flacks at the AJC are pushing HOPE to means testing and away from being a true merit scholarship. The real intention is to push a wedge issue but the policy effect will be ultimately to push the best students out of state (again) but to subsidize lower performance.

Nothing about the HOPE or the ZM scholarships keeps any student high or low income from achieving academically and qualifying. While we are at it, how about a little pressure on the university system to keep its costs under control?

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

February 23rd, 2012
7:11 am

Road, the lottery is one of the very few ways in which the poor can make a meaningful contribution to the future of our state. Frankly, I’m shocked that you would deny them that opportunity, and engage in such a shrill attack on the higher education of our best and brightest.

Ronnie Raygun

February 23rd, 2012
7:12 am

Considering that the poor and middle class are the ones who pay over 90% of the HOPE money, shouldn’t they be getting the biggest benefit from it? Oh, I forgot, income redistribution is good when it goes from the poor to the wealthy. It’s only bad when it goes from the wealthy to the poor.

As the Dead Kennedy’s once said, “Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill the poor.”

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

February 23rd, 2012
7:21 am

The poor are also the biggest users of Peachcare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and free housing. The lottery is a convenient way for them to pay their fair share, and in any case is completely voluntary.

Independent

February 23rd, 2012
7:24 am

Here is how to fix HOPE in two easy steps:

1) Add a SAT Requirement of 1100 or equivalent ACT score (math and verbal)

and

2) Make the HOPE award a fixed sum based on lottery revenues. HOPE nowhere near covers the entire expense of college, nor has it ever (it never covered room and board). Making it a fixed sum also negates the pressure to increase tuition.

Independent

February 23rd, 2012
7:26 am

I am sorry, probably a third step should also be added:

3) Make the first year of HOPE a student loan, to be forgiven if college GPA exceedes 3.0

ragnar danneskjold

February 23rd, 2012
7:26 am

WSJ has a magnificent quote today, on point here, and it is wisdom from a most unlikely source:

From John Stuart Mill, “Of the Influence of Consumption on Production” (1844):

“Among the [economic] mistakes which were most pernicious in their direct consequences . . . was the immense importance attached to consumption. The great end of legislation in matters of national wealth, according to the prevalent opinion, was to create consumers. . . . It is not necessary, in the present state of the science, to contest this doctrine in the most flagrantly absurd of its forms or of its applications. The utility of a large government expenditure, for the purpose of encouraging industry, is no longer maintained.

“Taxes are not now esteemed to be “like the dews of heaven, which return again in prolific showers.” It is no longer supposed that you benefit the producer by taking his money, provided you give it to him again in exchange for his goods. There is nothing which impresses a person of reflection with a stronger sense of the shallowness of the political reasonings of the last two centuries, than the general reception so long given to a doctrine which, if it proves anything, proves that the more you take from the pockets of the people to spend on your own pleasures, the richer they grow; that the man who steals money out of a shop, provided he expends it all again at the same shop, is a benefactor to the tradesman whom he robs, and that the same operation, repeated sufficiently often, would make the tradesman’s fortune. . . .

“What a country wants to make it richer, is never consumption, but production.”

Independent

February 23rd, 2012
7:30 am

Try it again:

“If their is an income cap”

Grammar is the difference between knowing your sh*t, and knowing you’re sh*t.

Profanity police got me.

Ayn Rant

February 23rd, 2012
7:30 am

In politics, the obvious answer can never be considered: limit HOPE to those students who study subjects applicable to the needs of the state and the nation, withdraw HOPE support to students with grades lower than the 60th percentile, then raise taxes on those with excess income (high earners) to cover any shortfall from lottery proceeds.

Means testing requires a bureaucracy to administer, and is rife with cheating. We don’t need more lawyers, politicians, and lobbyists. We don’t need any “business management” graduates, since successful business managers and entrepreneurs don’t study “business administration” in college. We need graduates in science, technology, medicine, and teaching.

Cosby

February 23rd, 2012
7:32 am

First..take out the Pre K babysitting crap…that is not waht the original idea behind Hope was….second…challange the universities as to why their fees, tuition outstrip inflation and why do they need to continue to raise the cost….third…do not make it another social, poor pitiful poor, program. Time to cut the class warfare out and get serious about telling the american citizen nothing is guranteed. Get your rear end out of bed and go do something constructive.

Independent

February 23rd, 2012
7:34 am

Hey Ragnar-

What are you going to do with all that stuff you “produce” if there is no “consumption”.

ragnar danneskjold

February 23rd, 2012
7:40 am

Dear Independent @ 7:34, amazingly enough, people buy without government subsidies. “Keeping up with the Joneses” needs no stimulus, contrary to leftist operating theory.

SEE

February 23rd, 2012
7:43 am

Colleges are raising tuition at an alarming rate and not in keeping with inflation. My question is why? Will the AJC please examine why colleges feel they need to raise tuition by 6% every year? What’s driving these upward rates? How does the student benefit from these increased moneys? I have yet to see any report on why colleges keep increasing tuition out of proportion to inflation, wage increases, etc.

Independent

February 23rd, 2012
7:51 am

“Colleges are raising tuition at an alarming rate and not in keeping with inflation. My question is why?”

So they can build nice new buidings and increase their President’s salary, why else?

Seriously, though, the other reason is because the State of Georgia keeps cutting the amounts that they subsidize these schools, so they have to raise tuition to make up for the loss.

Independent

February 23rd, 2012
7:57 am

Ragnar – people can’t buy things when they don’t have jobs. Didn’t you notice that last recession?

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

February 23rd, 2012
8:19 am

The only way HOPE will be fixed is to have the Mafia-skim evidenced by the billions of dollars “won” by transparently obvious Organized Crime lawyers, politicians, housekeepers and “money managers” returned, and the Rhode Island lottery-running company whose CEO was convicted of felony bribery replaced by an actually legitimate entity of probity.

Don’t let’s hold our breath.

Don

February 23rd, 2012
8:35 am

College is the new high school. 100 years ago, an 8th grade education was enough for many people.They could get and hold jobs with that level of schooling. Publicly funded high school was available for free, but not all opted for it.

In today’s world, post-high school education is a must for nearly everyone. It is good for the individuals that pursue it and good for society as a whole.

Since it is as important for society as a whole today as high school was 100 years ago, then why don’t we publicly fund post-high school education? Are we too stingy? Are we too self-centered?

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

February 23rd, 2012
8:38 am

raise taxes on those with excess income (high earners)
———-

Libtards believe the productive should be converted to socialist beliefs, killed, or taxed. Sounds a lot like the “religion of peace”.

atlmom

February 23rd, 2012
8:40 am

easy peasy. don’t do it at the income end.
Rank everyone, figure out how many scholarships you have, and give it to the top XXX students on your list.
Then you’ll never have to ‘rearrange’ again.

1961_Xer

February 23rd, 2012
8:48 am

Worse, even those figures wouldn’t hold up very long. Within three years — assuming current trends about lottery revenues and the growth of eligible students and tuition, as well as assuming all of HOPE’s available financial reserves were used — the cap would fall to $120,000.

A year later, it would fall still further, to $100,000.

Before the end of the decade, it could sit as low as $80,000.

And that is the crux and the format of generally all Democrat legislation of any kind… a constant small ratcheting to the left.

Lets look at a family of four with two kids in college making $80,000. After tax earning would be about $62,000. Fully paying for two kids in college would reduce their spending to sub $40k. But if the same family only made $45k, their after tax earnings would be about $40k, their kids would children would get free Hope, and the family making $45k would actually be better off than the family making $80k. And all of this says NOTHING about merit… about the kids who worked hard but may get nothing.

Hope can’t pay a full ride for everyone, and should not attempt to pay a full ride for a select few based on need rather than merit. All Georgians play the lottery, and all of Georgia’s children should benefit from HOPE dollars based on merit.

Bobby

February 23rd, 2012
8:51 am

Just make Hope a fixed amount. It doesn’t need to cover everything. People (including myself GT ‘93) got through school without Hope, so can others. Hope is not the only method to pay for school. The poor and middle class still have other options (Pell, Loans, other scholarships) to make up any Hope shortfalls.
Hope covering everything is what caused schools in the University System to keep raising tuition more than in other States.
An income cap is not justified either, as Hope is a Merit based scholarship, not Needs based. And it’s purpose is to keep Georgia’s best in Georgia. Besides, the poor have more access to free money (non-loans) than middle & upper class students.

JF McNamara

February 23rd, 2012
8:59 am

HOPE was started with an income cap ($100K) with the express purpose of helping poor and middle class students get into college to help our total economic output. A higher number of collge graduates is better for everyone, and we really wanted to increase the number of overall grads.

It no longer serves that purpose. Its become a program providing scholarships for students who can already get private scholarships and those who are wealthy anyway.

It’s time to abolish both the lottery and the HOPE scholarship program. Either that or spend the lottery money expressly on pre-K and high school programs. Helping those who don’t need help doesn’t help Georgia overall. It’s just a money giveaway.

Bobby

February 23rd, 2012
9:14 am

The reason Hope wasn’t used for school programs in the first place is because of what happened in Florida. What money the Florida lottery poured into the school budget, the Legislature took out from the general fund. That’s why Zell set it up for Pre-K & Hope, because they were New programs, and if cut completely for whatever reason do not affect the public school system.

Why can’t poor kids get private scolarships? I was poor (single parent home), and still managed to get scholarships.

UIC

February 23rd, 2012
9:34 am

“First..take out the Pre K babysitting crap” What an ignorant comment.

Bobby

February 23rd, 2012
9:40 am

Just took a look at the Georgia Consitution:

“The educational programs and educational purposes for which proceeds may be so appropriated shall include only the following:

(1) Tuition grants, scholarships, or loans to citizens of this state to enable such citizens to attend colleges and universities located within this state, regardless of whether such colleges or universities are operated by the board of regents, or to attend institutions operated under the authority of the Department of Technical and Adult Education;

(2) Voluntary pre-kindergarten;

(3) One or more educational shortfall reserves in a total amount of not less than 10 percent of the net proceeds of the lottery for the preceding fiscal year;

(4) Costs of providing to teachers at accredited public institutions who teach levels K-12, personnel at public postsecondary technical institutes under the authority of the Department of Technical and Adult Education, and professors and instructors within the University System of Georgia the necessary training in the use and application of computers and advanced electronic instructional technology to implement interactive learning environments in the classroom and to access the state-wide distance learning network; and

(5) Capital outlay projects for educational facilities; provided, however, that no funds shall be appropriated for the items listed in paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection until all persons eligible for and applying for assistance as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection have received such assistance, all approved pre-kindergarten programs provided for in paragraph (2) of this subsection have been fully funded, and the education shortfall reserve or reserves provided for in paragraph (3) of this subsection have been fully funded”

Seeing how Pre-K funding is included in the State Consitution, and General Funding of schools is banned, it will take a Statewide Referendom to change that, Not to mention that funding anything besides Hope & Pre-K is banned unless those 2 programs are fully funded. Good luck convincing the the voters of Georgia to do that.

Bart Abel

February 23rd, 2012
9:46 am

Where are the proposals for stopping the ridiculous and inexplicable growth in tuition and fees? Georgia’s universities is operating like a Wall Street firm seeking to maximize revenues rather than the non-profit, mission-oriented organizations that they are.

We shouldn’t be trying to solve the problem of finding enough money to pay for continually escalating tuition. We should be trying to solve the problem of continually escalating tuition. College should be affordable for anybody who wants to go, with or without HOPE.

Sarah Coulter

February 23rd, 2012
9:46 am

UIC thanks for beating me to it. Cosby, it is not babysitting. Pre-K is a good program to start kids off, and have them ready for kindergarten. That is where the money should be sent to increase the program, and start on the front end instead of the back end.

And if you really want to reform HOPE, go back to the original agreement that was made when the lottery program was started. Are they really paying the amount they agreed to pay towards HOPE, etc. or are they using the extra to give themselves big bonuses for showing up to work?

Jefferson

February 23rd, 2012
9:57 am

Many of you, like the eventual GOP nominee Romney don’t care about poor folks so this should be no suprise. Tuition hikes have killed the golden goose, as easy gov’t money can’t be left laying on the table. Too bad for middle class folks with young kids as their future depends on the ablilty to borrow.

MiltonMan

February 23rd, 2012
9:59 am

The democratic clown pushing this garbage is none other than Jimmy Carter’s grandson Jason.

Democratic game plan: Let’s penalize those evil rich people of North Fulton not because their kids work their butts off but simply because their parents are part of the evil rich.

Please, oh please, Jason run for state office so we can throw you out & maybe you can join your grand-daddy is defending terrorists around the world.

And Democrats in this state wonder why they have been regulated to nothing more than a second-tier party with “pockets of power” in the dumps like DeKalb, South Fulton, Clayton.

resno2

February 23rd, 2012
10:03 am

Ronnie: there is a little bit of difference between the redistribution of tax revenue and lottery ticket sales. Tax revenue – rich to poor, isn’t voluntary. Buying a lottery ticket – poor to rich as you put it, is voluntary. The government isn’t forcing anyone to buy lottery tickets.

jconservative

February 23rd, 2012
10:04 am

As all know the lottery is not a state imposed tax. So lets not treat it as revenue from a tax.

The goal should be to have the highest possible percentage of state residents with a post secondary degree.

How do we best use the limited lottery revenue to each that goal?

MiltonMan

February 23rd, 2012
10:05 am

Good to see the lib logic in full ignorance mode today:

(1) Since the “poor” are the ones who buy the most lottery tickets, shouldn’t they get most of the money? Ask the libs to use this same logic about proper distribution of property taxes – headds spin like that tea-cup ride you see at amusement parks.
(2) Libs: Lottery purchases are voluntary
(3) Most scholarships now are need based not merit based. So when you hear a lib saying taht we need more, more, more need based scholarships, remind them of this simple fact.
(4) How about pulling any HOPE for those educated by the APS??? The APS had to cheat to get their students “promoted” out of high school.

Junior Samples

February 23rd, 2012
10:11 am

HOPE isn’t a bad idea, it’s just the way it’s funded is the problem. For people of means to exploit those without isn’t very Christian at all. You can state ‘voluntary’ all you’d like, but the fact is the lottery is regressive.

If you’re serious about higher education in Georgia for all, pay for it through taxes.

jj

February 23rd, 2012
10:14 am

1)The dirty little secret the state legislature never divulges is that state university tuitions keep going up because the state continues to reduce funding to universities, a vicious circle!
2) Correct me if I am wrong but at the inception of the lottery there was a guarantee the Lottery Corporation would only take x percentage of the total. I believe the AJC has run articles showing the Lottery Corp now takes considerably more than the original deal??
3) Lastly is the HOPE a reward for acedemic excellence or a social program. How you answer this question is really the answer in how the funds are spent.

Gail

February 23rd, 2012
10:32 am

The income cap needs to be on the pre-k program, not the HOPE program.

There are multitudes of needs based scholarships. My daughter has a chronic, incurable disease and we looked into scholarships related to it. Guess what? Not only did you have to have the disease, but you had to prove financial need. Almost every scholarship we have looked at either requires being a genius or financially needier than we are.

Small Business Owner

February 23rd, 2012
10:40 am

Students from families who earn less than $500K/year shouldn’t be allowed to go to college, since they’ve obviously inherited inferior genes. We need the future job creators going to school to sharpen their job-creating skills and the rest of kids learning HVAC repair and plumbing. I’m sick of it! Get a job and shut up, SOCIALISTS!

jms

February 23rd, 2012
10:49 am

I was going to comment but Will has already said it brilliantly…

“As Obama has released the dogs of envy in his class warfare, we will hearm more and more demands that Government achieve equity for all. Of course equity has the unintended consequence of lowering the effort and risk level for everyone too, thus making the country worse off. But the demands for equity, won’t stop. Confiscatory taxes might promise a short term fix to the problem of bloat in government but they are not a long term solution. A few years of “targeted tax cuts” resulted in 49% of Americans paying zero income taxes and thus having no stake at all in restricting the size and scope of goverment.

In the same way, the desperate democrats and their flacks at the AJC are pushing HOPE to means testing and away from being a true merit scholarship. The real intention is to push a wedge issue but the policy effect will be ultimately to push the best students out of state (again) but to subsidize lower performance.

Nothing about the HOPE or the ZM scholarships keeps any student high or low income from achieving academically and qualifying. While we are at it, how about a little pressure on the university system to keep its costs under control?”

When instituted, the HOPE did a great job of keeping our brightest and best in-state and raising the quality of our schools of higher education. Add that cap and you will see a reversal of both.

Hillbilly D

February 23rd, 2012
11:05 am

This subject has been discussed many times on the Get Schooled blog. It’s interesting how many of the people who are usually against entitlements, don’t want an income cap for HOPE. It’s become its own entitlement program.

Georgia’s universities is operating like a Wall Street firm seeking to maximize revenues rather than the non-profit, mission-oriented organizations that they are.

In spite of all their high minded rhetoric, colleges and universities are first and foremost a business. They’re going to protect their turf and do it what it takes to perpetuate themselves.

the rest of kids learning HVAC repair and plumbing.

It’d be a very small number of people in the general public who could pass the test to get a journeyman plumber’s license. Do you know what fixture units are? How many fixture units can you put on each size of waste line? Do you know why nothing goes below a commode without its own vent? Do you know which type of fitting to use when you go from horizontal to vertical and vice versa? Can you calculate how much water pressure it takes to feed the top floor of a multi-story building. You have to know all that and a lot more to pass the test. Just sayin’……

Why do people call a plumber? Because they don’t know how to do it theirself. So the plumber is smarter than people who look down on them, want to admit.

Kyle Wingfield

February 23rd, 2012
11:06 am

Road @ 7:02: Revenues have been leveling off for awhile, in part because neighboring states created lotteries. Revenue growth has been slower than inflation, and if that continues, the reductions are going to be unavoidable, however those reductions are made.

Thulsa Doom

February 23rd, 2012
11:07 am

Same ole crap from the Dems. Penalize the wealthy and the achievers who scored high enough in high school to win a hope scholarship. Dems do loves their class envy games they do!

Kyle Wingfield

February 23rd, 2012
11:10 am

Ayn Rant @ 7:30: And deciding which majors were needed wouldn’t require a bureaucracy? Who decides? I understand the underlying sentiment, and I don’t disagree with it completely, but I don’t see a practical way to implement that.

Kyle Wingfield

February 23rd, 2012
11:11 am

Independent @ 7:51: The tuition hikes predate budget cuts and are not proportional to them (not always, anyway).

curious

February 23rd, 2012
11:13 am

Have any of you visited UGA lately?

What is the percentage of students driving late model, high dollar cars?

HOPE is indirectly stimulating the automobile industry because we’re paying for those cars. Think any parents are laughing behind our back? They probably don’t even buy lottery tickets.

JF McNamara

February 23rd, 2012
11:17 am

jms,

Initally HOPE had a cap. The number one goal was to get a higher number of college graduates in the State of Georgia. With Zell Miller, the entire original intent is a failure.

If the scholarship largely goes to those financially well off, then we haven’t increased our overall number of Georgia graduates. They would have graduated college anyway. Adding the SAT as criteria also makes it difficult to increase the overall number of students because the best schools, primarily heavily wealthy, have the best scores. That is an inhibitor to low income students.

At its core, the SAT is not a judge of raw intellect. It is a judge of the combination of raw intellect and knowledge. Those in the best schools have the most knowledge and are therefore at a huge advantage.

For instance, you can’t do well on verbal if you have never seen many of the words. You can’t figure out a math concept that you’ve never come across. That knowledge gap is why SAT was never used before, and why its unfair today.

Bobby

February 23rd, 2012
11:20 am

curious: Most university students don’t have cars (especially since UGA has a decent bus system), so saying most of the cars there are high dollar cars means nothing.

Hillbilly D

February 23rd, 2012
11:24 am

Initally HOPE had a cap.

That is very true. Why was the cap lifted? Because the money was rolling in, and as the Legislature always does, they had to spend it, never having enough foresight to see that good times don’t last forever. They expanded it A) because they had more money than they knew what to do with and B) to help get themselves re-elected. As always, it’s a lot more difficult to put the genie back in the bottle, than to just leave it there to start with.

As Bill Shipp used to say, the Lottery is lower class people sending middle class kids to college.

For all the columns and discussions I’ve seen about this, I’ve yet to see anyone talk to Zell and see what he thinks about this. It was originally his idea, after all.

Bobby

February 23rd, 2012
11:24 am

The Hope Scholarship had an income limit for only 2 of it’s 19 years in existance. And the only reason it had one at the start was the State was unsure of how much revenue the lottery would bring in. When it brought in plenty, the same General Assembly and Governor removed the cap.
It’s hard to keep saying “the original intent” when the same people who put it there quickly removed it and kept it away for 80% of it’s existence.