By Laura Diamond, AJC
Georgia State University student Daniella Bass usually takes one class each summer to stay on top of her double major in sociology and political science. This summer, because of the HOPE changes, she’s taking three.
“This is the cheapest option for me, but this is not the easiest way to get your credits,” she said. “I fear I’m not going to get as much out of my classes.”
“I don’t want to make this sound like it’s all about me, because there are a lot of students who are in the same position,” said Bass, “but when you’re paying for college, every penny really counts.
“We’re going to miss what HOPE provided, not just tuition, but the other money, too.”
HOPE used to provide $300 a year for books and some money toward mandatory fees, ranging from $62 to $435 a semester, depending on the college. That money is gone.
Gov. Nathan Deal and lawmakers acknowledged the changes may create a financial hardship for some students, but they said it will protect the program for future recipients.
HOPE was on track to run out of money by 2013 because lottery revenue could not keep up with soaring enrollment and tuition.
Bass and Boone see more students walking around campus, and their classes are full, because of a combination of the HOPE changes and the lack of summer jobs and internships.
“At first I thought I would work this summer to raise the money to pay for what HOPE won’t cover, but I was afraid I wouldn’t find a job or that I wouldn’t earn enough money,” Boone said.
“Going to school this summer was the least-expensive option. I’m getting as much out of HOPE as I possibly can.”
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