Gov. Nathan Deal announced last week a proposal that will lower to its original level the grade-point average requirement for the HOPE grant, which goes to students in the technical college system.
“After talking with many members of the General Assembly and crunching the numbers at our budget office, I’m glad to report that we’ll be able to lower the GPA requirement for the HOPE Grant back to 2.0 after raising it to 3.0 for budgetary reasons two years ago,” Deal said.
“With an estimated cost between $5 million and $8 million, we believe this will provide greater access to school — and access to a brighter career — at a relatively small cost to the state.”
Current law requires a GPA of 3.0 to obtain the HOPE Grant for technical schools. The change to a 2.0 GPA will require legislative action for implementation.
Since the needed HOPE reforms were implemented when Deal first took office, there has been a decline in enrollment in the technical-school system and in the University System. But the state has seen a disproportionate drop in the technical school system. For some students enrolled in the system, the loss of scholarship money put higher education out of reach.
The state is able to expand funds 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.