Deal backs change to HOPE Grant’s GPA requirement
by Jon Gillooly
February 07, 2013 03:36 PM | 4587 views | 7 7 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his State of the State address as Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, right, watches on the House Floor of the Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his State of the State address as Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, right, watches on the House Floor of the Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) (MDJ Staff/Laura Moon)
Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) (MDJ Staff/Laura Moon)
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ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday he is backing a proposal by state Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) to lower the grade point average requirement for the HOPE Grant from 3.0 to 2.0.

Funded by the state lottery, the HOPE Grant goes to students in the state’s technical college system.

Georgia’s HOPE Grant is a separate program from the HOPE Scholarship, which has a different set of minimum requirements for eligibility.

“I certainly appreciate the governor doing it and not just looking at the idea because it came from a Democrat and saying ‘no,’” Evans said.

Evans pushed for the change after noticing an enrollment drop in the technical college system when Deal raised the requirement to 3.0 in 2011.

Evans said 42,000 recipients of the HOPE Grant left the system after the 2011 changes to the lottery system went into effect. Of those, about 8,900 lost eligibility because of the GPA requirement. A large portion of the rest of the 42,000 left because of another part of the 2011 change, which switched the HOPE Grant from paying for full tuition to becoming a percentage based on lottery revenues.

Evans said the GPA change from 3.0 to 2.0 is estimated to cost between $5 million and $8 million annually.

The average age of a technical college student is 28 with most coming from a household income of less than $40,000.

“So any little bit of changes in financial aid to them can be the difference between them staying in school and not staying in school,” she said.

Once passed by the House and Senate, the change is expected to go into effect with the new school year, she said.

Deal said in a news release that the state is able to expand funds for the HOPE Grants because of recent growth in lottery revenues. In the first six months of this fiscal year, deposits were up $32 million, a 7.6 percent increase over the same period the year before.
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Ksl105
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February 11, 2013
I think that the commenters need to do some homework of their own. This is "dumbing down" nothing. It simply returns the HOPE Grant requirement for continuing eligibility in certificate and diploma programs (whether offered at a technical college or university system institution) to what it was when initially implementd in 1993. Your references to kids implies that the 2.0 is a high school GPA. It is not. It, in plain terms, requires a student in a certificate or diploma program to maintain a 2.0 GPA (a C average in most educational environments) while receiving the grant.
Want to know
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February 08, 2013
Since its inception in 1993, the State has collected more than $14 BILLION in lottery money.

$1000 MILLION is one billion. Where is the money?

Does the governor know? Or, our wonderful legislators? Nah, they appear to use this lottery money as a grab bag. There was never any reason to cut the HOPE scholarships. Ever!
anonymous
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February 08, 2013
Incredible. A 2.0 gets you MONEY!

It's amazing that so many other states in the country make sure the children of their fallen soldiers get financial help for college but not Georgia (they assist Chapter 35 benefit kids). NO, we would rather reward mediocrity, or in some homes and colleges a 2.0 means you are failing.

Just incredible. Thanks former Democrat DEAL.
ECP
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February 08, 2013
This is wrong. Why will those in the technical schools be allowed to slack off and get a 2.0, while those in high schools that plan to attend one of the schools in the university system are still stuck with the 3.0? The lawmakers should at least consider a 2.5 or 2.7 for those in other schools. A drop to 2.0 is too significant without giving the others the same treatment. A 2.0 can be obtained by simply attending class. Meanwhile, those who do struggle to maintain 3.0 are nailed again.
dumb us down
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February 07, 2013
Yeah, we expect such excellence from our kids.. lets just give everyone the HOPE... doesn't matter if you work hard... everyone deserves it right????? What in the world is our world coming to where we just give everything to everyone, because they deserve it. Sad.. Ga. will continue to rank in the lowest levels for education because of this.ctedrarvs sang
D.G. in Clarkdale
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February 07, 2013
So this is what the HOPE GRANT is becoming, funding the less motivated underachievers in the Technical college system. I can hear the jokes now. It figures a Democrat would suggest such a thing and Republicans would fall for it.... both political parties plagued with fools. Employers take note and weed out the under performing 2.0 crowd or relocate to a state with standards.
Watcher...
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February 08, 2013
D.G. in Clarkdale clearly understands this issue'

Stacey Evans is a ultra liberal Democrat. Her drive is to provide for "...funding the less motivated underachievers..."

This is legalized vote buying for the Democrat Party!
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