HOPE Scholarship Listening Tour Comes to Middle Georgia

A group of Democrats in the Georgia House and Senate are looking to restore HOPE.

The “Special Committee to Restore Hope” kicked off a state-wide listening tour this week to discuss the impact of HOPE cuts on students and families.
Every HOPE scholar will face a cut in the amount of tuition that is paid by the HOPE scholarship. By this fall, students will receive 20% less than what they got in the past.

State Senator Jason Carter says, “The current plan transforms the HOPE scholarship from a scholarship that maximizes the number of people that can afford to go to college into a completely different thing. There will be people under the new plan who can’t afford to go to college and who can’t afford to graduate and that’s not good for our state.”

Andrew Johnson is a junior at Georgia College and State University. He says if it weren’t for the HOPE scholarship, he probably wouldn’t be in school.

“Money’s really tight. Going to school is very expensive, even a small school like Georgia College…UGA would be completely out of the question, but school probably wouldn’t be an option, I’d probably have a full-time job.”

The HOPE scholarship has always been about access to higher education. In past years, to qualify for a HOPE scholarship covering 100% of tuition at least a 3.0 grade point average was required.

State Senator Robert Brown says, “To get a full scholarship you would now have to have a 3.7 grade point average and make 1200 on the SAT.”

Some students are concerned that the previous standards weren’t high enough, but others like Paul Danaj feel maybe the bar could be raised higher.

“A 3.2 or 3.3 should be for 75%, a 3.0 for 50% and if you have anything less than a 3.0 then I don’t think you should be getting covered because a B average is pretty low in college.”

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