On returning to a needs-based HOPE scholarship program

Early last month, during one of an infinite number of committee meetings at the state Capitol, a group of House and Senate members were handed an official estimate of future HOPE scholarship payouts.

It was a breath-taking experience. Literally. Members of the audience could hear the gasps of lawmakers.

Only last year, Gov. Nathan Deal and the Republican-led Legislature, with some Democratic cooperation, revamped the HOPE program in a highly publicized effort to save it, resulting in reduced grants for most students.

The figures handed to lawmakers in January indicated that the program will limp along until the fall semester of 2013 – when HOPE payouts again will have to be reduced to meet the growing number of students who seek and qualify for the scholarships.

But that was only one part of the shock. What really may have knocked the wind out of legislators was the realization that, in coming years, they may be forced to cast vote after vote to reduce the HOPE payout. Not something to brag about when you go home to face voters.

Democrats have been quick to grasp the hazard that a continually shrinking HOPE program presents to their Republican colleagues. In the House, constrained by the fact that their leader, Stacey Abrams of Atlanta, was a featured player in last year’s bipartisan HOPE talks, Democrats have merely proposed dropping – from 3.0 to 2.5 – the grade point average required for technical school students seeking HOPE grants.

Given Gov. Nathan Deal’s emphasis on re-training workers for a shifting economy, it sounds like an area for negotiation.

It is in the Senate that Democrats, led by Jason Carter of Decatur, have been most aggressive. Carter has declared last year’s HOPE solution to be an expensive failure – and again is advocating that the program return to its means-testing roots.

When it was introduced in 1993 by Gov. Zell Miller, the HOPE scholarship was limited to families who earned a total of $66,000 a year — about $102,000 in today’s terms, if inflation calculators are accurate. The cap was quickly lifted when early lottery revenue, which funds the HOPE, outran projections.

Carter and his colleagues have pitched a cap of $140,000.

Given that Carter is a Democrat, his bill stands little chance of moving. Even so, the governor’s office on Friday made sure that Senate Republicans were well-stoked with talking points. The memo to the GOP caucus declared that Carter’s plan would “bankrupt” the program – but an emphasis was placed on Democratic support for means-testing:

“The bipartisan coalition that passed HOPE maintained a merit-based scholarship that treats all Georgians equally and rewards hard work, dedication and academic excellence,” the memo said. Carter’s proposed changes would create “ a quota that undercuts academic results by rewarding some less-qualified students, while excluding higher performing students in other parts of the state.”

Merit-based versus means-testing would seem to be a hard-and-fast point of political philosophy. But the wall may be less solid than you think.

Consider the official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last month, issued by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. The GOP spokesman offered an alternative solution for the repair of Medicare and Social Security, the nation’s two largest entitlement programs.

“Decades ago, for instance, we could afford to send millionaires pension checks and pay medical bills for even the wealthiest among us. Now, we can’t, so the dollars we have should be devoted to those who need them most,” Daniels said. Substitute a few words, and Daniel sounds very much like Jimmy Carter’s grandson.

In a hallway on Friday, I ran into state Rep. Ben Harbin, the former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He is a Republican from Evans, a well-to-do suburb of Augusta.

Harbin said that, for several years, Republicans have quietly discussed the likelihood that HOPE – at least a portion of it – will have to be returned to its needs-based roots. “It may be inevitable,” he said.

Keep in mind that we have two Republican parties in Georgia. One is dominated by suburbia, a world of high-performing schools that produce high-performing, HOPE-consuming graduates. Then there is Republican rural Georgia, where schools are often underfunded – and high school graduates can be at a disadvantage.

Suburban influence in the Capitol is growing, but rural legislators still have clout – and ultimately won’t allow their constituents to be grade-pointed out of the popular scholarship program.

It is worth noting that on Monday, Deal will unveil a new scholarship program aimed at getting kids into college – and keeping them there. It will be privately funded, but it will be a needs-based program.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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133 comments Add your comment

howardchronicle

February 4th, 2012
9:26 am

I posted a good comment on fund raising and now i have to do my research On HOPE. As I recall that is funding scholarships for the gifted student with “lottery money.” Funding education at the expense of an out of control gambler”s family when the money he spends on the lottery could have gone for food and clothes and shelter for his own family.
The messa ge is it doesn’t matter where the money comes from as long as it goes for a good cause.

Will

February 4th, 2012
9:32 am

HOPE is as good of an example of what goes wrong when elected officials act like politicians rather than policy makers.

Governor Miller proposed “HOPE” for the purpose of giving students and families an opportunity to attend college who had been unable to do so because of income. In other words, it was a needs based program.

The program was immediately wildly popular in Georgia, received national acclaim and politicians did what politicians did what politicians do – if something is a sure vote getter, let’s expand the program for the purpose of getting more vote!!

So…..politicians sat back, pleased with their vote getting program and….did nothing as it became apparent that HOPE would one day no meet the needs of the expanded pool. Politicians acted like they had done something special last year when they “saved” HOPE. And who did they “save” HOPE from? Politicians!

What’s that you say, democrats were in control during much of this time and they also did nothing? Of course, this is a bi-partisan failure of politicians who were more interested in being popular for the purpose of getting more votes rather than setting in place sound fiscal policy based of the original intent to HOPE – giving those who financially would not be able to attend college an opportunity to attend college – not reduce the cost of college for those who already can afford the cost of college.

And the band played on…..

Dumb and Dumber

February 4th, 2012
9:35 am

Boy that Carter fella sounds like a socialist, jihadist, Kenyan sympathizer…we should check his birth certificate. How dare he suggest that wealthy kids should not be able to attend college with money earned from a program designed to help the less fortunate.

Its just class warfare….that what it is!

Road Scholar

February 4th, 2012
9:36 am

Has Hope turned into an entitlement for the rich also? That’s it..when the majority of lottery tickets are bought by the poor and middleclass, the rich gets to eat at their trough!

purple rain

February 4th, 2012
9:37 am

In a state where onion and chicken farms drive state politics, why all of this discussion about education?

ronald

February 4th, 2012
9:45 am

Any scholarship program that values a parent’s ability to pay over the achievement of the child is deeply deeply flawed.

HOPE should always be focused on merit, not means.

JeromeMJ

February 4th, 2012
9:46 am

The solution is easy… both are the right thing. The hope Scholarship should be need based and performance based. Why should a family that has alternative sources of income take places from the families whose children will not go to any school because of money? It is much less expensive to have a lower income child become successful than to have them remain an unproductive member of society eatin away at the limited government programs like prison and food stamps. If your parents make more then $100k a year then suck it up and pay.

Performance based is another issue. It is exactly the underperforming child who needs the chane at more education. Keep the 2.5 GPA standard and reach out to those who need the help the most. My personal experience has shown me that not all of the lower high school achievers will benifit from the Hope but most will. It is so much cheaper to have even 50% of Hope students succeed and off of the dole then to allow those absolute achievers achieve in an easier fashiion.

Atlanta independent

February 4th, 2012
9:55 am

I have to say I don’t get why Deal won’t go back to looking at income for HOPE. This thing isn’t even funded with tax money. If you’re no longer eligible to send your kid to college using HOPE and you don’t like it, just don’t buy lottery tickets and you’re not out anything at all!

Education Trough

February 4th, 2012
9:57 am

They should have never gone outside the scope of funding colleges for High School grads with a 3.0 or better that keep that GPA in college.

blue dog

February 4th, 2012
9:57 am

howardchronicle

“…it doesn’t matter where the money comes from as long as it goes for a good cause”.
Why not allow gambling of all types….because the state wouldn’t get any revenue.
The same for “distilled spirits” where the sole reason individuals are not allowed to make and sell alcohol is….the government would lose revenue.
Both examples demonstrate an over reach by government to control our personal lives.

purple rain

February 4th, 2012
9:59 am

@jeromemj

You are using the same logic that beget the housing projects/welfare system – it’s cheaper to house and feed them on the outside of the penal system than on the inside. How did that work out?

Little Engine

February 4th, 2012
10:07 am

HOPE should be taken back closer to its roots. When it appeared it was going to overflow with money forever the pre-K was added and means testing was dropped. I do not it will fly to eliminate HOPE in some amount even for the “wealthy”. A decently thought out sliding scale will and should be brought in. There also needs to be some way to stop the grade creep that we all know occurs in the misguided effort to get a child into college that would not if his/her teachers didn’t raise them. It is not fair to the child nor is it fair to others competing. HOPE is and should continue to be a merit based program for the most part.

blue dog

February 4th, 2012
10:08 am

Zell got the formula right when he created “Hope”. Reinstate the income limits so the poorer kids will get “enough money” to attend college, not a piecemeal approach where the wealthy and the poor get the same amount. The current formula will ruin the program.

ronald

February 4th, 2012
10:14 am

Jerome posed this question- “Why should a family that has alternative sources of income take places from the families whose children will not go to any school because of money?”

Because its not the governments job to penalize working families who have alternative sources of income. Your thought pattern is that of class warfare.. and its anti-American at it core.

Proud Native Georgian

February 4th, 2012
10:24 am

This one’s easy. A return to a “needs-based” approach is totally appropriate. College expenses can be a huge burden to lower-income families. Beyond huge tuition costs, there is a stunning amount of add-on fees: activity fees, parking fees, sports fees, housing costs, dining hall meals, and wildly-inflated costs for books- many that cost over a hundred dollars each. These fees are payable at the beginning of each semester, and they can wipe-out the budget of a family that is struggling to get from paycheck to paycheck. To continue to cut HOPE funding for these kids- who desparately need every dollar they can get- to equally support a child from a family that is making $200, $300, $400 thousand or more- and endures far less “cash-flow” issues- is just senseless to me.

Centrist

February 4th, 2012
10:39 am

Galloway, the AJC, and their fellow minority Democrats are NOT going to change the MERIT based Hope Scholarship into a socialistic means tested program. The wildly expanded program from grade inflation will continue to be checked (maybe even rolled back to previous merit levels) by raising the merit bar again.

jconservative

February 4th, 2012
10:43 am

“Merit-based versus means-testing…”

They need not be mutually exclusive factors. Keep the 3.0 merit in place but do means test the award of the grants.

The state has an overriding need for the largest percentage of its citizens possible to have a college or tech school degree.

Junior has a GPA of 3.6, acceptable scores on the SAT and/or ACT and qualifies to attend UGA
If I make $200,000 annually I can afford to send Junior to UGA. If I make $50,000 a year I cannot afford to send Junior to UGA.

But the state needs Junior with a college degree. That is the only way to improve the economy of the state.

It is not taxpayer money being awarded.

Ted

February 4th, 2012
10:47 am

Great students make the teachers better and the school better. Combine the two concepts.

Give everyone the hope for the first year. Then have it GPA based beyond that. 4.0 students get the Hope even if their folks are millionaires. 3.5 for those making 100k or more, and 3.0 below that.

honested

February 4th, 2012
10:49 am

I seldom agreed with Governor Millers wildly conservative view of governance but the initial concept of HOPE was one place he got it right.
The initial income cap of 66K made sense and had it been kept and adjusted for inflation (and deflation during the bush depression) the program would still be solvent.
HOPE was never intended to free up wealthier families to allow for payment of fraternity/sorority dues, it was a plan to allow high performing students of modest means the ability to succeed in a world that was increasingly stacked against success through standard hard work and obedience to the rules.

Why do the Dixiecrats hate the lower middle class and working poor so much?

Proud Native Georgian

February 4th, 2012
10:53 am

Having HOPE based on merit, of and by itself, isn’t really a negative concept, but it is simply not the answer. Here’s why: the highest achieving kids are going to be just fine, support-wise, to a very large extent. Each spring I attend the awards banquet at a high school in extreme north Georgia, and watch award after award automatically go to the top handful of graduating seniors. Local banks, lake homeowners associations, scholarship programs of all kinds all line-up and hand-out many thousands of dollars of support. The valedictorian, salutatorian, historian, and a handful of others sometimes walk away with eight or ten different awards worth, sometimes, tens of thousands of dollars That’s wonderful; the kids are smart and each of them worked hard. But the middle-tier and lower-tier kids- all of them just as deserving- go home with maybe an award or two worth a couple of hundred dollars. They’re the ones that need HOPE help the most, and the very ones least likely to quite meet a strict and ever-rising merit bar.

Auntie Christ

February 4th, 2012
11:04 am

Considering that the unemployment rate for the college educated is about 1/2 that of the non college educated, considering that the college educated will make about a Million $ more over their life time than the non college educated, thereby paying much much more in taxes of all types, ad valorem, property, income, sales taxes, etc, it is to everyones’s benefit that we have an educated populace (well almost everyone, the republican party would decline when people are educated). Unfortunately the repubs have ingrained the message into the public dialog that “there isn’t enough money.” There is plenty of money available, if they were truly interested in making this state and country better. When tax rates for gazillionaires are less than that of a hotel maid, we can’t afford anything. When taxes are restructured, when the main beneficiaries of an educated populace–the mega corporations, who benefit from hiring the educated, and selling to them–are taxed as they should be instead of being given unnecessary and misbegotten tax breaks, we can afford to provide education at all levels, to rural and urban.

Corey

February 4th, 2012
11:26 am

@honested

February 4th, 2012
10:49 am

“Why do the Dixiecrats hate the lower middle class and working poor so much?”

I don’t know, but maybe it’s because they themselves were once residents of what were housing projects in Atlanta a few generations back? Do a little research and you will see that Grady Homes, Techwood Homes and Capital Homes housing projects were initially populated by poor whites. Poor blacks lived in what was called Butter Milk Bottom in spawling shanty towns where the Atlana Civic Center now sits and part of the Old Fouth Ward. Maybe they are running from their not too distant past and pretending it never existed? Want to discover something really interesting? Do a little historical research on the land where Lenox Malls now sits.

honested

February 4th, 2012
11:37 am

corey,

Is there some reason you thought I hadn’t lived here since the early ’60s?
It is with a thorough knowledge of all your questions that I posited my question.

Did you have a point?

Centrist

February 4th, 2012
11:59 am

I often rail against this leftist blog, newspaper, and partisan bloggers. But today I have to ask when will Karen Handel’s resignation/firing from SGK be announced? Her political policy was adopted by the board over objections and even a December resignation from the charity’s top public health official Mollie Williams. The company’s founder and CEO Nancy Brinker first defended the political policy while denying VP Handel’s central involvement, but a Handel Twitter post which was taken down too late and gave proof. Without at LEAST Handel’s exit (others supported and lied about the politics), SGK loses even more credibility than their initial fiasco. The ONLY thing they did right was reluctantly reverse it after too long a wait.

Final question on this subject – where did those GOP Handel supporters and anti- Nathan Deal Democrats who backed Handel go?

Sister Sarah

February 4th, 2012
12:03 pm

Let me start off by establishing that I am a >$100K household that pays a hefty portion of my child’s $37000 yearly out of state tuition OUT OF POCKET. I think it is safe to say I am one of those “sucking it up”. Having said that, let’s call it what it really is. HOPE at its inception had pure intent, and it was successful as a result. A 3.0 GPA is a respectable one for any average to above average student on any U.S. college campus. If we accept and preach (though I think all too hypocritically) that education is an absolute key ingredient in conquering poverty, why is it all of a sudden deemed unacceptable to provide those aspiring students who often live in poverty an opportunity to escape it by providing funding through HOPE? Really it is only directing money back to the communities who overwhelmingly play the lottery in the first place.

Students who come from families that have the means to pay for college have the benefits already. Oh yeah by the way, chances are their school system generally provides them a slightly advanced curriculum as well. How is it that it is only in the age of Obama that this is now an issue? It’s really about taking away from those in lower income levels to ensure maintenance of a PERMANENT LOWER CLASS. Raise the bar to unreasonable levels considering what they receive in education in the first place, and give the advantage to more well heeled, already educationally advantaged groups. I just truly believe that efforts like these reflect the larger underlying issue – too many just do not care to be complicit in minorities gaining ANY opportunity whatsoever to achieve and POSSIBLY occupy real positions of power and wealth. They feel the need to curtail it, and this is just another example. Hate the truth if you will; it’s still the truth.

Centrist

February 4th, 2012
12:24 pm

Here’s an idea the socialists should like – anyone who wins the lottery who made over $100K the previous year has to give DOUBLE back in taxes. That would shore up Hope, right? We could call it a “Greedy surtax” because why are they even playing the lottery since it should only be poor poor people who are bad at math.

Reloaded my cooler – back to the beach – wife is asking why I have a silly grin.

Hazel

February 4th, 2012
12:30 pm

How about you limit the funds to the county they were raised in? If Fulton and DeKalb pay in more, they should get more for their students.

And don’t forget, this isn’t for the kids, its for the schools. If it was for the kid, you could take it out of state.

double

February 4th, 2012
12:55 pm

3.0 merit,sliding scale income.

double

February 4th, 2012
1:03 pm

seems lottery winnings are highly taxed as is.You would think your wife would know about your silly grin,without asking.

td

February 4th, 2012
1:19 pm

There is being an argument made we there are no facts on the table to make an informed decision. All this sounds like is a political argument. We need the following information:

1: How many children are receiving HOPE that have parents that make over $66,000, $100,000 and $140,000? What are the income ranges for the rest of the children receiving the Hope?

2: How many students receive the Hope with a 3.0 GPA? 3.2 GPA, 3.5 GPA and all the way up to 4.0GPA?

3: What is the average SAT score for the ab ove GPA’s.

Now if we truly want to maximize the talent pool then we could say that we will only pay Hope money at our two flagship universities (UGA and GT) for students that have over a 3.5 GPA in HS and over a 1500 SAT score. If these students drop below a 3.5 at these universities then we will drop the Hope for them.

We can maintain the current rules at our other universities.

Centrist

February 4th, 2012
1:44 pm

According to AJC Democrats, those dual income families making over $100K a year in at least the 4th highest progressive marginal tax rate while losing exemptions and deductions are on easy street, and should be further means tested out of the Hope scholarship their children EARNED. It’s only fair.

8)

Going Right

February 4th, 2012
1:48 pm

This blog started on a pretty positive and even-keeled note, that is until “DUMB & DUMBER” came on and restored it to an all-out assault on those who differ in belief as it does (Don’t know “its” gender and don’t really give a damn), and resort to class and political vitriol. Maybe that’s the reason we can’t be civil in our society. I have been un-civil when those before me spew such vile BS that it’s hard not to.

Again, I say to D&D: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

45-Degree Right Angle

February 4th, 2012
2:04 pm

Whoa! Do we ever have a range of diametric opinions expressed on this blog! My questions – and they go to the bottom line:
Question 1: Do we or do we not reward those students that work hard, study hard and are driven to excel with a HOPE scholarship?
Question 2: Should we reward those students who cannot attain a 3.0 GPA with a HOPE Scholarship – regardless of their family’s financial well-being?
Question 4: Should we drop the requirement of a 3.0 GPA so that some “disadvantaged” youth may qualify?
Question 5: If answer to #4 is yes, who determines the level of being disadvantaged? And, even more important, what caused the student to be disadvantaged. If this is done (lowering the bar), would that then make it “fair?”
Question 3: How do you, as a person, define “fairness?”

honested

February 4th, 2012
2:17 pm

45
1-We do
2-No
3-See question 5
4-Yes
5-IRS

zeke

February 4th, 2012
2:27 pm

Hillbilly D

February 4th, 2012
2:34 pm

What happened with HOPE is typical of what happened with many state programs over the years. You start out with a pretty good program, that works fairly well. Then you enter a time when things are going good and the state’s coffers are overflowing. The legislators do what they always do, they look for a place to spend the money, never once giving thought to the fact that good times don’t last forever. If they can find a place to spend the money, such as expanding the HOPE program (taking off the income cap, among other things), that will result in more votes for their re-election, so much the better. The inevitable always happens though, and you enter into lean times. The money stops rolling in but it’s already been promised and the people who receive it, don’t want ot cut back. It’s easier not to give somebody something than to take it away, after you’ve given it.

So, in my opinon, HOPE should get back to its original form. Put the income cap back on (adjusted for inflation), continue to require certain grades to get it and the main thing, which never gets mentioned, make sure the GA Lottery Corp. puts the proper percentage of lottery revenues in, which they never have, even though they always have money to pay out big bonuses, to their own. A lot of the problems are what happen when you have a private corporation, functioning as a quasi-government agency.

honested

February 4th, 2012
2:37 pm

Hillbilly,

Nail on the head!

Joe D

February 4th, 2012
2:38 pm

Solution:
Drop the 4 year old education program for K4. Most children in the state do not enter school until kindergarden at the age of 5. The K4 program is nothing more than public assistance to help parents with daycare. The learning process at 4 years old does not deserve the right hinder the true mission of the Hope Scholarship Program which was designed to keep the best and blightest students in state.

Do the right thing!

Question Man

February 4th, 2012
2:43 pm

As the grade-point average is raised to qualify for a scholarship, don’t the grades of students invariably rise?

[...] The rest is here: On returning to a needs-based HOPE scholarship program | Political … [...]

Shaniqua

February 4th, 2012
3:16 pm

“Decades ago, for instance, we could afford to send millionaires pension checks and pay medical bills for even the wealthiest among us. Now, we can’t, so the dollars we have should be devoted to those who need them most,” Daniels said.

Jim you were doing OK until you tried to equate Medicare coverage for the affluent with HOPE scholarships for their kids. It’s apples and oranges. HOPE always benefits the student but not necessarily the parent unless you assume that every affluent parent bankrolls his kid’s college tuition, which isn’t always the case. Plenty of students from well-to-do families work their way through school and take out student loans. Jason Carter’s means-testing plan is just another attempt to pull the high achievers down to the level of the Democrat base. Kumbaya.

honested

February 4th, 2012
3:49 pm

shaniqua,

Perish the thought that the ‘job creators’ would have to dip into their sacred wealth to educate their children.
This program was never intended to be a sop to the wealthy.

BIg Hat

February 4th, 2012
4:19 pm

End the Hope program but keep the GA lottery; it’s the best wealth-transfer program ever devised…it takes from the poor and gives to the rich…what’s wrong with that?

td

February 4th, 2012
4:48 pm

honested

February 4th, 2012
3:49 pm

“Perish the thought that the ‘job creators’ would have to dip into their sacred wealth to educate their children.”

Perish the thought that someone and their family would have to show some personal responsibility and actually have to work to earn a scholarship. This can not be “fair” to poor and the disadvantaged so it must not stand.

honested

February 4th, 2012
4:51 pm

tiny dog,

The ‘bush depression’ has given us a clear dose of reality and what can happen to the best laid plans.

Remember, it is only in republican party meetings where ‘protection of the wealthy’ is considered a proper function of Government.

The Factor

February 4th, 2012
4:53 pm

How about this novel idea: Getting the Governor and Board of Regents to reign in the rate of spending state college and univeresity presidents so feel entitled. Tuition rates have skyrocketed as has spending like no other aspect of the economy over the last ten years. I live in Athens and think Michael Adams is one of the most arrogant spenders there is – I know he is not alone. Where is the accountability at the college and university level??

td

February 4th, 2012
5:05 pm

honested

February 4th, 2012
4:51 pm

And it is at the Democratic party meetings that talk about how can we confiscate more revenue (money from the producers) so that we can keep giving money to the non producers that do not want to get an education, are not willing to work hard and think the government owes them everything.

Please remind us again of how many successful countries there has been in world history where over half the population does not contribute?

Shar

February 4th, 2012
5:15 pm

HOPE should not be means-tested. It is a reward for scholars, not a check on their parents’ ability to pay.

An enormous hunk of HOPE money is wasted every year on students who are either not prepared or not willing to do college-level work. These students flunk out, but only after having wasted a year’s worth of HOPE funds.

To ameliorate this, HOPE should be changed to a reimbursement structure. The student would be required to take out a loan to cover the first semester’s tuition, which would be reimbursed upon successful completion of the semester’s work. The loan would roll over to the following semester, after zeroing out the interest. If the student fails to perform academically, they must take out another loan.

In addition, a cap either at or just above the rate of inflation should be mandated for total college annual costs – room, board, tuition, and the fabricated “fees” that the schools tack on, at several hundred a clip, so they don’t have to admit it is really more tuition. That way, the legislators could not continue to starve the education budget as they have done for more than ten years in the happy assumption that HOPE would cover the astronomical tuition hikes. In this way, the HOPE funds have become yet another political slush fund allowing legislators to raid the education budget to fund personal projects like Go Fish and Sonny’s special personal road.

HOPE eligibility must also include a minimum SAT or ACT score. Grade inflation is rampant, and students with 4.0 averages are far too often only ready for remedial classes. Requiring a nationally-normed and scored level of achievement would take the pressure off teachers to inflate and would limit HOPE awards to students who have at least a chance of being able to do the work.

There is also the matter of books. I spoke with Jason Carter last spring about copying the successful program that the North Carolina Regents instituted wherein the university buys the expensive texts and rents them for a flat fee to the students. Professors wishing to change the assigned text have to justify the cost of the new books to a faculty committee. The way that texts are chosen now is simply heinous – a blatant fraud and payola scheme in which students have no choice and professors, the university, the book stores and the publishers are all on the take. Sen. Carter promised to act on this but he apparently would rather vilify “the rich” than take a simple step that would immediately save every student in Georgia schools hundreds of dollars every semester.

td

February 4th, 2012
5:22 pm

Shar

February 4th, 2012
5:15 pm

HOPE should not be means-tested. It is a reward for scholars, not a check on their parents’ ability to pay.

An enormous hunk of HOPE money is wasted every year on students who are either not prepared or not willing to do college-level work. These students flunk out, but only after having wasted a year’s worth of HOPE funds.

To ameliorate this, HOPE should be changed to a reimbursement structure. The student would be required to take out a loan to cover the first semester’s tuition, which would be reimbursed upon successful completion of the semester’s work. The loan would roll over to the following semester, after zeroing out the interest. If the student fails to perform academically, they must take out another loan.

I agree. This would ensure that only the serious were going to school on the states dime.

Hillbilly D

February 4th, 2012
5:25 pm

How about this novel idea: Getting the Governor and Board of Regents to reign in the rate of spending state college and univeresity presidents so feel entitled. Tuition rates have skyrocketed as has spending like no other aspect of the economy over the last ten years.

Not to mention that they’re building new buildings like there is no tomorrow.