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Is Lowering HOPE Prerequisites a Good Idea?

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal proposed lowering the required GPA for the HOPE Grant back to 2.0. Tell us what you think of the proposal.

Students pursuing technical school degrees could soon face a lower GPA threshold.

Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday announced a proposal to lower the required GPA of the HOPE Grant from its current 3.0 back to its original level—2.0. The aim of the proposed change is to strengthen Georgia’s workforce development efforts by expanding access to 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 in a release from his office on Thursday. “I believe this additional benefit will help Georgia families trying to get ahead and will boost the state’s ability to attract and fill high-skilled jobs.

“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.”

Deal’s proposal to lower the GPA requires action from the General Assembly before it can be implemented. State officials say the ability to expand funding for HOPE Grants is due to increases in the revenues of the Georgia Lottery.

"The difference in these students getting this grant and not getting this grant is the difference in them having a ticket into the middle class," Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The same AJC article states that according to Deal, about 3,600 students left the technical college system due to losing their HOPE Grants.

Should lawmakers lower the GPA requirement for students under the HOPE Grant at technical schools?

Share what’s on your mind with us, and then return here to see what your neighbors in Paulding, Douglas and Cobb have said.

Brian February 16, 2013 at 08:54 AM
Many very decent students don't get a 3.0 at GA Tech or schools at that caliber.
Brian February 16, 2013 at 08:55 AM
If you read the article, it was talking about students at universities who lose their scholarship for having under a 3.0 GPA at the university.
Brian February 16, 2013 at 09:10 AM
Alright, so after reading these comments, I must first say I am ashamed to share the state with some of the people who responded. Some of the comments are outright ridiculous. 1. First of all, let me quickly just say: Keep the religious comments out of here. What does this article have to do with religion? This isn't the deep South, this is metro Atlanta. 2. Many are talking about high school. Tell me one time that the article says anything about high school. In fact, it clearly mentions about students losing the scholarship when their grades fall below 3.0. Obviously, those students are in college. 3. Very good students fall below 3.0 at schools like GA Tech because of how rigorous the studies are. To get into GA Tech, they were likely straight A students in high school or close to it. I went to a very competitive university up North and although I graduated with a 3.1, I was below 3 for my sophomore and part of junior year. Had I had the HOPE scholarship, I would have lost it. And for what? I ended up pulling it together and graduating with a 3.1 anyway! Including an A in quantum computing. Note that even though I dipped below 3 at the university for a time, in high school I was one of the top students, A/A- GPA, stellar SATs and SAT IIs, Eagle Scout, etc. 4. Finally, for those that don't know what the word "tech" means, it means engineer, IT, architect, etc - not shop. 5. Finding good software engineers, among others, is hard for tech firms. cont..
Brian February 16, 2013 at 09:15 AM
6. We have a shortage of engineers, and an overabundance of people with liberal arts degrees. In fact, that's the biggest reason there's unemployment as high as there is. Because although some companies are begging for talent domestically, people are not qualified with the right kinds of degrees. I guess one alternative to decreasing the number of liberal arts students is to incentive students to go into engineering and architecture careers. Finally, if they are going to let students keep the HOPE scholarship when they fall below 3, that's fine, however they need to make the students take part in a performance improvement plan where they at least attempt to take some efforts to get back over a 3. I think it will be tough for some students to do that since at some universities, a 3 or higher pretty much means no life. Unfortunately, part of college is learning about yourself. However, if they are on an improvement plan, and are forced to actively monitor their status, report on progress, have a mentor assigned, etc then it is unlikely that they are going to fall any more in GPA and probably will increase somewhat. Maybe not up over a 3 in some cases, but it should at least increase.
Ivory Dorsey, Speaker, Facilitator, and Author February 16, 2013 at 01:24 PM
"I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze..." —Exodus 31:2-4 See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.

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