BREAKING: Drastic cuts unveiled for HOPE scholarship!

Breaking news!

Governor Nathan Deal has released his drastic plan for cutting the HOPE scholarship today.

According to today’s AJC, “Only the brightest of college students – those with at least a 3.7 high school GPA – will see HOPE cover all tuition, Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday morning as he released a drastic plan to cut escalating costs to the popular lottery-funded program.”

Deal’s cuts include the following:
  • Students earning at least a 3.0 will see the HOPE scholarship cover 90 percent of current fiscal year 2011 tuition rates.
  • Students with at least a 3.7 GPA and 1200 SAT or 26 on ACT will get full tuition at public colleges and $4,000 to private colleges (this will be called the “Zell Miller Scholarship”). Students will need to maintain a 3.5 to keep the scholarship.
  • Ties future scholarship amounts to lottery revenue, not tuition rates.
  • Cuts private college award from $4,000 to $3,600.
  • Eliminates money for books or mandatory fees.
  • Caps payout to 127 hours for HOPE scholarship and 63 semesters for the HOPE grant. Students will a post-secondary degree will be ineligible for the technical grant.
  • Requires high school students to take “rigorous” classes to qualify for HOPE. This will begin this fall with incoming high school freshmen.

(See below for the entire AJC article)

Will these cuts affect you or people you know? This problem is not going to fix itself and we cannot expect politicians to sincerely look out for our interests. Social change comes from the bottom and it cannot exist without a population educated on the issues which actively participates in political discussion. They say cut back, we say fight back!

Come talk about these issues:

GSPHE’s University Forum!

Wednesday, February 23, 7:00pm

GSU’s Aderhold Learning Center, Rm 5!

Check out the Facebook event here. See you Wednesday!
Click to read the AJC article:

Drastic cuts unveiled for HOPE, pre-K

Total tuition only for 3.7 GPA or higher; pre-K sessions 2 hours shorter

By Laura Diamond, Aaron Gould Sheinin and Nancy Badertscher

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Only the brightest of college students – those with at least a 3.7 high school GPA – will see HOPE cover all tuition, Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday morning as he released a drastic plan to cut escalating costs to the popular lottery-funded program.

For those earning at least a 3.0, the scholarship will cover at most 90 percent.

As for pre-K, parents will see the free program cut from 6 ½ hours to four, Deal said, adding that the change will allow the state to open more slots to the program.

“We’re taking action today to strengthen the HOPE balance sheet,” Deal said, as he stood before a podium that read: Enduring HOPE.

Deal released his proposal at Georgia State University’s student center, with students mixed in with the media. He shared the podium with representatives from both parties. The changes, he said, would save about $300 million.

There are multiple other changes for HOPE, most of which go into effect this fall:

— Decouples from tuition. Students earning at least a 3.0 will see the scholarship cover 90 percent of current fiscal year 2011 tuition rates.
— Ties future scholarship amounts to lottery revenue, not tuition rates.
— Cuts private college award from $4,000 to $3,600.
— Creates the Zell Miller Scholarship. Students with at least a 3.7 GPA and 1200 SAT or 26 on ACT will get full tuition at public colleges and $4,000 to private colleges. Students will need to maintain a 3.5 to keep the scholarship.
— Eliminates money for books or mandatory fees.
— Caps payout to 127 hours for HOPE scholarship and 63 semesters for the HOPE grant. Students will a post-secondary degree will be ineligible for the technical grant.
— Requires high school students to take “rigorous” classes to qualify for HOPE. This will begin this fall with incoming high school freshmen.

The proposal gained early support from Democrats. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, said they back Deal’s approach.

University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll Davis also released a statement supporting the plan. He said “all have been asked to sacrifice some in order that HOPE endures for all.”

The proposal marks the end of two long-time promises Georgia has made – free all-day pre-K and free college tuition to public colleges if students earned and maintained a 3.0 GPA.

HOPE and pre-k, which serve about 200,000 college students and about 82,000 preschoolers, are funded by the Georgia Lottery. While successful, the lottery has been unable to keep up with escalating costs and demand and tuition increases.

Deal’s plan does make some concessions.

By reducing the pre-K school day, Deal said he can add about 5,000 more slots to the program, which currently has about 9,000 families on a waiting list. He also proposed increases for transportation and extended day programs.

He also proposed spending about $10 million to offer low-interest loans of about 1 percent for students who can’t maintain a 3.0. The loan, he said, would be forgiven for those who teach math or science in Georgia’s public schools. One year of the loan will be forgiven for each year spent teaching, he said.

Lawmakers passed a similar scholarship program in 2008 but never allocated any money to it.

Deal’s proposal also targets the lottery by capping the bonuses paid to employees at 25 percent of salary and reducing from 7 percent to 5 percent the amount retailers receive for selling winning tickets.

The lottery gave bonuses of more than $330,000 to its five highest paid employees in 2010 and typically awards more than $2 million a year in bonuses overall.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s