Senate Republicans offer full HOPE ride for top two grads from each high school

The debate continues, but Senate Republicans are attempting to forge a bipartisan passage of Gov. Nathan Deal’s HOPE scholarship legislation by adding language to guarantee full-ride scholarships for the valedictorian and salutatorian – the No. 1 and No. 2 graduates — in every high school in Georgia.

Debate on the bill began more than an hour ago.

“Let’s keep these people at home – the first and second person in each class. Let’s keep them in Georgia society,” said state Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens. Cowsert gave credit for the idea to state Sen. Lester Jackson, a Democrat from Savannah.

Cowsert said that, in committee Jackson raised the “possible unintended racial bias” that would result from restrict what is to become the Zell Miller Scholarship to those students with a 3.7 grade point average and a 1200 SAT score.

A spokesman for the governor said Deal was in favor of the alteration.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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86 comments Add your comment

Common Since

March 8th, 2011
3:32 pm

Funny… this reminds me of a little known scholarship called the Governor’s Scholarship that Purdon’t eviscerated when he was Governor. Also, shouldn’t the valedictorian and salutatorian already qualify for the Zell Miller Scholarship? What kind of school can’t even produce 2 students with 3.7+ and 1200+?

Carl

March 8th, 2011
3:35 pm

I understand that the hope needs to be adjusted, however, why are we taking such a big swing at it right away? Going from a 3.0 to a 3.7 is to drastic. Never mind that kids who are in their final year of high school have been thinking that they are fine with a 3.6. How many lawmakers got a 3.6 in high school? My daughter graduates with a 3.8ish this year and had to really bust it. Too big a swing folks….

TB

March 8th, 2011
3:36 pm

Wow! Talk about give a dog a bone! The top 2 already qualify according to the proposed changes. Regarding the comment, “Let’s keep these people at home,”…what about everyone else…the hell with ‘em, I guess!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

March 8th, 2011
3:44 pm

Rewarding excellence …a refreshing notion !

Tom

March 8th, 2011
3:46 pm

Isn’t Cowsert one of the GOP senators opposing SB10 on Sunday sales?

td

March 8th, 2011
3:54 pm

The kids that work hard deserve to be rewarded. If you have worked hard in HS (3.0 to 3.5 is not working hard) then you deserve more than the kids who did not work as hard.

GaBlue

March 8th, 2011
4:02 pm

Kids that don’t work hard should be rewarded too, if they’re born to the right people. For example, if a young woman and her husband want to open a sporting goods store, they should not have to work hard, learn the business from the ground up, save their money, find some empty retail space, then apply for a loan to get started. They should just ask Daddy to co-sign for them after he gets his banker friends to approve a loan that regular, hard-working folks with similar collateral could never get. Then they can make the big, fancy, beautiful store in their minds a reality! So what if their business plan sucks as bad as the economy? The important thing is that important people are rewarded, not kids who work hard in school who think they’re going to climb out of humble beginnings for the right to attend college in Georgia. They should be proud to be humble, and go with it.

Pompano

March 8th, 2011
4:03 pm

Gotta agree with Common Since on this one. How can you be the top 1 & 2 students at a school and not meet the 3.7/1200 criteria??

And just wait until Grade inflation catches up again. We’ll soon be graduating 1000’s of students each year with +3.7 GPA’s and with 800 SAT scores.

Double Zero Eight

March 8th, 2011
4:04 pm

@ Common Since
I concur. The top two graduates should easily
qualify. If not, they are not true “scholars”.

Centrist

March 8th, 2011
4:15 pm

Of course the Hope should be based on objective SAT or ACT scores instead of subjective grades that vary with teachers, schools, and grade inflation pressure that overcame the ability to fund the increasing “qualification” threshold.

Michael

March 8th, 2011
4:17 pm

Even the professors at Ga Tech cannot get a 3.5 in the classes they teach.

You're either for us, or against us

March 8th, 2011
4:21 pm

So let me get this straight, when its your kid getting a 3.5+ they’re busting their butt and deserve HOPE. But when its someone else’s kid its grade inflation, and they shouldn’t qualify it??

tammy L

March 8th, 2011
4:24 pm

we need to said no to the cuts. we need to go ahead not go back in the old ages of school. this will not help children to do better in school. hope is some poeple dreams to start over in thier life time. so do not do any cuts in our school. sorry about any mistake i am type this is my first time on computers

chewyandrw

March 8th, 2011
4:24 pm

Easy to say Common Sense from your perch in Alpharetta or Johns Creek. Its easy to say that the top 2 at every school should qualify but in reality, they do not. There are many schools where the top 2 have a 3.7, thats no problem. But the 1200 SAT gets a lot of students. There are many “at-risk” school districts across this state where there may not be a 1200 SAT person at that school. I agree with having to have a standardized test element to part of the HOPE but to say “What kind of school can’t even produce 2 students with 3.7+ and 1200+?” is a little harsh. Not every public school in Georgia has 200+ Seniors to choose from.

GaBlue

March 8th, 2011
4:27 pm

They dragged a few of these delusional kids protesting HOPE cuts out of the Capitol today, some of them in handcuffs. They actually believed the garbage they learned in Georgia public schools about the government being of the people, by the people, and for the people, and of course, all that first amendment cr@p. Well, better they learn the truth now.

chewyandrw

March 8th, 2011
4:28 pm

@Carl..please man. People like you forgot that there was once a time when there was no HOPE. Not everyone, including those with amazing grades, should just be handed money to goto school. College is not for everyone and it is not a right. People like you who entitle their children is one of the biggest problems that higher education runs into today. What the heck is wrong with going out and getting a job to pay your way through school? or getting loans? or considering another track of life? Higher education keeps taking a beating from overprotective and under informed parents like yourself. Give me a break.

chewyandrw

March 8th, 2011
4:30 pm

GaBlue….just because you have the right to free speech doesnt give you the right to be ignorant or protest anywhere and everywhere you want.

GASouthernMom

March 8th, 2011
4:30 pm

As for the offering “full rides” to the #1 and #2 in the graduating class it still doesn’t mean that they will stay in the state of Georgia for college. I know that when my older son graduated in 2005 from Pope in Cobb, their #1 graduate was going to go to Princeton. Which would you choose – “full ride” to UGA or partial ride to Princeton? And no, I do not know how much, if any, fin aid she got from Princeton. I do know that she would have qualified for HOPE as it was then and would today with the changes being talked about.

John

March 8th, 2011
4:31 pm

A 3.7 in high school is not hard to achieve with even minimal effort and a 1200 SAT score isn’t much of a hurdle. Keeping the HOPE scholarship in college is where problems will arise.

Aquagirl

March 8th, 2011
4:32 pm

Common Since
March 8th, 2011
3:32 pm

What kind of school can’t even produce 2 students with 3.7+ and 1200+?

I totally agree— if that’s the cream of the crop, there is a horrific mental drought in that school. Those alleged valedictorians and salutatorians should be encouraged to LEAVE Georgia, not stay. We have enough stupid people in this state already.

student

March 8th, 2011
4:32 pm

@td Excuse me but you don’t know what you are talking about. I graduated last year with a 3.3 and I worked my butt off. I took 13 AP classes and the rest was all honors/gifted. I received a couple 3’s and mostly 4’s and 5’s on the AP tests (which are national) so there was no grade inflation of my scores. Because of my scores I started UGA with 38 credit hours (sophomore level). I also had 1310 on math/verbal sections of the SAT. I did this while playing in the marching band, softball team and swim team. Now at UGA because of all the courses I have taken (while being a member of the Redcoat Band) I will finish my first year of college with 70 hours (junior is 60+). I currently have a 3.6 GPA but if this bill passes I will never get more than HOPE lite because I can’t go back to school and improve my high school GPA. For you to say getting a 3.0 to 3.5 isn’t working hard is a huge over generalization. Not everyone takes the easy way out by only taking CP classes.

chewyandrw

March 8th, 2011
4:33 pm

Tammy L….do you realize that the “old age” was when a college degree actually meant something. Yeah before HOPE no one could change their economic status or where they lived. Christ, quit expecting handouts and put in the work. Plenty of poorer people went to college, paid their own way, and were successful without the HOPE scholarship. In fact, those people appreciated the end result way more than College graduates do now. There is nothing wrong with a little hard work.

Bill

March 8th, 2011
4:37 pm

Those currently on Hope should be grandfathered. They relied on promises from the state in making their college choices. Going forward, the state can do what it wants as long as students and their families are given notice.

GaBlue

March 8th, 2011
4:37 pm

chewy,

Yeah, I GET it, Dude. What part of my post led you to believe that I don’t GET that this is not a free country, and that we don’t have the rights we think we do? Here’s what YOU don’t get: the cost of college for my children is about 19 times what it was for me, in a time when jobs are scarce and wages are systematically suppressed. Further, the “just go into debt” mantra is a big part our nation’s problems, so what kind of ignorant azzwipe recommends THAT for an 18 year old? Talk about your BAD advice!!!!

BTW, you’re wrong about one thing @4:30. You DO have the right to be ignorant if you live in Georgia. It’s pretty much a requirement now. Geebus.

get out your little box and see the bigger picture

March 8th, 2011
4:39 pm

I see many of the individuals making comments didn’t attend an inner city school….and exactly how many kids graduate with a 3.5 or higher…3 out of 10 high school students don’t even graduate. Yes i graduated with a 3.1 and yes i recieved hope n yes i graduated from Ga.Tech so having a gpa below a 3.7 or 3.5 doesn’t mean you don’t deserve HOPE!!!!! and td!! you try working part time, while taking care of an elderly grandparent n tell me a 3.0-3.5 is not working hard enough when your still in high school. Get out your little box and see the bigger picture.

Rik Roberts

March 8th, 2011
4:39 pm

This idea is fine if all things were equal. My son and daughter both were full time joint enrolled at colleges for their Jr and/or Sr year. They took actual college classes for actual credit, yet the student that took AP classes in high school were awarded honors points both for class placement AND for HOPE. Not equal = Not Fair = Bad Idea.

get out your little box and see the bigger picture

March 8th, 2011
4:44 pm

chewyandrw!!! FYI college is a right for every citizen of the United States!!! you have the right to walk around with a gun!!! you have the right to open up your mouth!!! so y shouldnt you have the right to a college EDu. or is it just the Brits who are smart enough to allow kids to go to college for FREE!!!!

Travis McGee

March 8th, 2011
4:46 pm

This is horse hocky! The two highest ranked grads from any high school will have all the scholarships they need unless HOPE will provide a little beer money.

get out your little box and see the bigger picture

March 8th, 2011
4:47 pm

Everyone is talking about #1 and #2 what about everyone else… COLLEGE SHOULD BE FREE!!! the BRIts GOT it RIGHT its time for America to get it right too

jon p

March 8th, 2011
4:49 pm

i have an Ideal , what if all those family who play the Lottery stop playing and start using those 50.00 or more and put it to their kids schooling how much would the lottery lose to give to those 3.7 grade

chewyandrw

March 8th, 2011
4:52 pm

GoBlue….first off DUDE, its hard to take you serious when you start a rant that begins with childish name calling.

Second off, I get more than any of you the high costs of Higher Education. But the price of gas has gone up tremendously, so has milk, break. Its called inflation. Yeah education costs have taken off but what do most parents and students look for in a school these days? Lower class sizes…oh yeah, those come with more faculty. New residential facilities bc your babies cant share a room or bathroom anymore. That costs money. Up to date technology. Yeah more money. I bet you have no idea how little people in higher education get paid do you?

If you dont want to take a loan, aka make an investment in yourself, then get a job. Goto a school you can afford. There are tons of options. Not everyone can goto the top schools. 30 years ago, how many people came out of school debt-free? Not many I promise. There is a huge difference in student loans and car/house/credit card loans.

And there are plenty of jobs available. But you dont think your child should dig ditches, operate machinery or learn a trade. And THAT is the problem with parents and America today.

Rik Roberts

March 8th, 2011
4:53 pm

No. College is not a right. It is something that should be earned and not everyone needs to go. And no one needs to pay tens of thousands for an education, with loans or otherwise, and end up with a degree that pays less than a waiter or DOT worker makes. Talk about dumb math. Listen to Dave Ramsey some time and hear about the people that call in owing more than $100K in student loans and make less than $30K. I earned a free academic ride years before HOPE. With a 1430 SAT and 3rd in my class out of 400, I could have gone to almost any college. But the reality of paying so much and burdening myself and my parents with that kind of debt was unthinkable. My daughter got into George Washington, but at over $50K per year she opted for HOPE and GT. She will graduate with a marketable degree from a fine institution AND be debt free.

3.2

March 8th, 2011
4:54 pm

How could you say a 3.0-3.5 isnt deserving? Is it because you encourage your kids to be nerds and not do anything to grow as human beings. I received a 3.2 and was a drum major in the band, took all AP classes, and was captain for track and field, in top of the occasional community service.
I busted my tail every day. Its those 3.8 kids who don’t do anything that grow into stingy human beings who aren’t cultured enough to make a decision….
But it makes sense…Seeing as how i just identified half of the ignorant self absorbed people in GA…who pick horrible leadership because all they care about is themselves…

chewyandrw

March 8th, 2011
4:55 pm

Get Out of Your Box…You have confused this way beyond how I can help you.

You HAVE THE RIGHT to goto school but its not your RIGHT just bc you were born and went to high school to attend a college. You arent owed Higher Education in this country. Just because you have the RIGHT to own a gun doesnt mean that the taxpayers should give you one without you paying for it. Get it? Probably not but thats the best I can explain it.

samiam

March 8th, 2011
4:56 pm

Another dumbass idea from the idiots in the legislature.I’ll double dog guarantee you that 85% of the valedictorian and salutatorians haven’t taken a single AP class.It’s the old comparing apples to oranges thing.Idiots!!!!

chewyandrw

March 8th, 2011
4:56 pm

Rik Roberts…you are my best friend dear sir. Thank you. You understand what I am saying.

Rik Roberts

March 8th, 2011
4:58 pm

Thanks Chewy. I do.

Samiam – that is hardly the case. These days AP students get extra points added to their GPA. It is to their advantage to take as many AP classes as they can.

chewyandrw

March 8th, 2011
4:58 pm

Samiam…just bc you take AP classes doesnt make you better than anyone else. Whoa I am in AP classes. They serve their purpose but too many kids get suckered into taking those classes by their counselors. Oh and you say why would the counselors do that? Bc the schools get more money by the amount of kids in AP classes. Most students in AP courses should not be in those. And just bc you arent in AP courses does not mean you are dumb.

3.2

March 8th, 2011
5:00 pm

RIK ROBERTS-
You’re right AP students do get extra points adding to their grades…Their taking college level classes…and have the potential to earn college credit.
Compare my Macroeconomics/Microeconomics class to regular economics…I better get an extra point for getting a B

GaBlue

March 8th, 2011
5:03 pm

Clearly, some of the people posting on this forum don’t give a rat’s fuzzy whether the children of this state get educated or not. I have to wonder why they’re here discussing this at all. It’s as if their only purpose is to say, “Nyah nyah, losers!” and throw dirt clods at people’s hopes, dreams, and efforts. I hope they feel like they accomplished something today. Bless their hearts.

Rik Roberts

March 8th, 2011
5:05 pm

You are right 3.2. They should get the extra points. However, my kid is at Southern Poly and is taking economics. He is guaranteed college credit without taking an AP test. He WILL NOT get the extra points added into his high school GPA for HOPE. He is projected to finish with a 3.6 and has a 1290 SAT. He will miss the Zell Miller Scholarship only because the calculation system is not equal.

TheNumbersDontLie

March 8th, 2011
5:06 pm

Regardless if this is good or bad to anyone, the facts are that HOPE is UNSUSTAINABLE for everyone if no cuts are made. The problem cannot be ignored forever. The kids that work hard will continue to be rewarded with a full ride, the ones that work hard and don’t quite get the full ride will still have a substantial portion of their education paid for. If not having the FULL amount of your education paid for is your reason for not going to college, then is the degree you are going for really worth it? If it is, you should be thankful some of your education is being paid for at least. Maybe this will scale back on the number of students getting out of college with degrees they can’t afford to pay back because their education can’t get them a job.

Aubrey

March 8th, 2011
5:10 pm

Don’t we already have this in the form of the Governor’s scholarship? I graduated in 2000 and received one as the STAR student (highest SAT score) for my high school. Is that not around anymore?

Henry

March 8th, 2011
5:13 pm

Would this include a full-ride to Emory or just to state colleges?

3.2

March 8th, 2011
5:14 pm

Rik Roberts-

Ironically, I’m enrolled at S.Poly too. Ask him how many teachers don’t believe in A’s here. So many of our students come here with college credit.
I’m not saying that you NEED the credit, but it helps. Esp. being at a school like this.
Your son has 3.6 which damn good at our school, you know lol
but what does he do…does he JUST go to school…or is he helping in the community.
All of our employers who come here want well rounded students…who are going to make a difference and balance a workload?

Again a 3.6 is good, but if i have a 3.2 and have a heavier POSITIVE load…then that should be rewarded too

GaBlue

March 8th, 2011
5:21 pm

I have one at Tech with a 3.5. We count our blessings and take none of them forgranted. Since I have not sheltered the child from the realities of this world, we are not surprised that the overlords of this state plan to make things more difficult for everyone but themselves. Let’s not lie to them about what it really means to be an American in the 21st Century. Fables will only hurt their ever-slimming chances of making it.

Rik Roberts

March 8th, 2011
5:22 pm

3.2 – His 3.6 GPA is his high school GPA. He is still technically a Sr in high school, but is a SPSU full time. He actually had a 4.0 last semester at SPSU. And he goes to school and works part time at my office. Admittedly, I don’t want him to work during school and am fortunate enough to be able to make that happen. I work 80+ hours a week so he is very helpful at home. Funny though – he plays lots of video games, but his major is video game design. Not exactly homework, but applicable to his major nonetheless.

There is nothing wrong with a 3.2 either. My daughter is at GT and she is busting it for a 3.0.

3.2

March 8th, 2011
5:29 pm

Rik Roberts-

My parents don’t want me to work, and he blends in here playing so many video games, im playing one now lol

And i mean out of HS, i just feel like there has to be another way to evaluate passing out scholarships. When in essence most of the top 2 students are eligible for every scholarship in the world

ATLHawkeye

March 8th, 2011
5:31 pm

keep in mind what effort it should take to get a 3.5 in GA public schools. But having said that what a political view of how to correct the proposal. “spread the money aver as many voters as possible” instead of rewarding the very best achievers. (if you can believe the very best achievers scores).

N

March 8th, 2011
5:31 pm

Coming from a state where there was no such thing like the HOPE I find it amazing how people feel a sense of entitlement here and cannot believe how one could go to college if they had to pay even 10% of tuition. Enjoy the benefit, its a great deal for those that qualify.

But don’t act like its the stone age if we don’t pay 100% tuition for everyone. I wish I could have got even 10% covered by the state. The quote in the paper where a student was staying they don’t want loans they want their Hope money was unbelievable. Aren’t they still getting 90% of it?