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Do You Support Lowering HOPE Grant Qualification Requirements?

If passed, House Bill 372 would lower the GPA requirement for the HOPE Grant to its original level of 2.0.

In the midst of partisan politics, a bi-partisan effort in the Georgia legislature would lower the GPA requirement for the HOPE Grant back to 2.0. Introduced Feb. 14, 2013, House Bill 372 would lower the GPA from 3.0, which is what it had been raised to two years ago because of budgetary issues. Gov. Nathan Deal was quick to voice his support of the measure.

“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 press release. “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.”

In a press release in response, state Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) said she was delighted to partner with the governor on this issue.

“Lowering the GPA will give more access to technical colleges. The requirements for technical colleges should be different since they cater to a different demographic than a traditional university,” Evans said. “This bill will have a long term effect for the economic workforce. Building a stronger workforce starts with our technical schools, and the ability for people to attend these schools start with lowering the GPA to 2.0.”

But not everybody thinks it is a good idea. Commentators on a story by the Atlanta Journal Constitution said it would essentially dumb down the system. One said that just because people can’t cut it as it stands is no reason to lower the standard. Another asked what happened to the old, “study hard son, that’s the way to get ahead in America,” and yet another urged legislators to vote no on the bill.

What do you think? Will it help boost the education level in Georgia, in particular in the technical arena, if more people have access to higher education? Or will lowering the entry requirements detract from the need to strive for success in our high schools?

Grisela February 22, 2013 at 02:22 PM
I do not think this is a good idea at all. Presently, I have three kids in college. Knowing they have to maintain a 3.0 GPA to retain HOPE has been a fantastic incentive to keep their grades up. I think this allows Georgia Universities to produce a higher quality worker. Isn't that what we want?
JustMe February 22, 2013 at 03:41 PM
If the state has more money, then provide that to the hard working students. Don't pay for the ones that put no effort into them selves and will eventually drop out or get kicked out. Don't pay so everyone can go to college pay for the ones who have worked to go to college.
Kay Woodruff February 22, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Lowering the qualifications for students to qualify for the Hope is only setting them up to fail. By requiring higher grades the student will have to work harder but will gain additional knowledge from which to pull to succeed in his or her classes in college making it possible for the tudent to qualify for additional assistance while in college based on their continuing to maintain a higher GPS in college. It will also give them a sense of accomplishment for working hard to achieve a goal. Life is challenging and the good thins in life must be earned. Success comes with effort. Recognition of accomplishment should be tied to any scholarship. Thanks Katieduf
Vanzetta Evans (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 04:48 PM
I support this, especially after reading what Rep. Evans said. Plus, I'm sure there are a number of students with 2.0s who are struggling in school partly because they are working a job-- full-time or part-time-- to help pay for college. If they had the HOPE scholarship available to them, they may be able to go from a 2.0 to a 2.5 or even a 3.0 because that would be one less thing for them to worry about so they can focus on school. But I do see it could be rewarding some who aren't trying their hardest. Maybe there could be two levels for the HOPE scholarship. If you get a 2.0, you get this much money and more if you have a 3.0.
Sharon Swanepoel February 22, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Maybe some of the money from the HOPE scholarship should be set aside specifically for technical school and a different benchmark set to qualify for that scholarship.
Rogers Lackey February 22, 2013 at 06:05 PM
People should be educated on all levels starting with doctors down to skill labor in which myself.Hope will allow more people to come off of welfare and unemployment to start a new life.
John B February 22, 2013 at 06:52 PM
It sounds like another entitlement program. For most people if you can't do better than a 2.0 GPA you have a severe learning disability or you just don't care. You can pull a 2.0 GPA by just showing up and breathing. Folks,,,a 2.0 is just north of a "D". No wonder the rest of the world is kicking our butts in education.
Rogers Lackey February 22, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Please you are not all that,get over youself.Entitlements is for the rich (Bailout)
John B February 22, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Roger...you are not all that went out in the 80's. Lackey...well that explains a lot.
Rogers Lackey February 22, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Well at least I do not hide John B........
John B February 22, 2013 at 08:02 PM
You probably should though....you're an embarrassment if you think HOPE will fix the welfare and unemployment problem we have. Just keep in mind retread...I stated and you attacked first. Game on.
Rogers Lackey February 22, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Rogers Lackey
John B February 22, 2013 at 08:26 PM
The true spirit/definition of Scholarship is lost if we drop the GPA to 2.0. This is more akin to subsidized college. If you can spell your name like Rogers can above you probably will qualify. Good gravy!
Tammy Osier February 23, 2013 at 03:12 AM
I suppose the question I have is, "will your gpa go up once you get into college" or will you drop out because you can't keep up? I remember some of the people in college that constantly wanted the professors to "give" them a grade. Then, they'd get mad because their gpa went down, after being told "no". That made college a drag. I wanted to ask nightly, "Could somebody please call a waaaaabulance?" Unfortunately, there are some professors that will, thus creating a workforce that won't have the capacity to do a job. I alwasy appreciated the professors that never lowered their standards. I knew that when I got a good grade, I earned it. The kind of confidence you gain from a hard earned education will create a good work ethic when you leave college.
Glenn February 23, 2013 at 01:15 PM
You get what you pay for. . . poor students = poor workers. Why is there such a compulsion among certain lawmakers to dumb down the system? Vote buying perhaps? Those weaselly-eyed, hush puppy wearing snakes!
Rogers Lackey February 23, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Hope is funded by all who buy tickets,all should benefit.The problem is the same as always the upper middlle class and rich believe the lower middle class and poor should continue to pay for their lifestyle, I believe loopholes and bailouts (entitlements) days are colse to the end.
John B February 23, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Lackey: You sound much like a 2.0 GPAer.......or less. Angry at the man much? Remember, equal opportunity not equal outcome. Take a good look in the mirror and tell me what you see other than arms stretched and hands cupped. Stop blaming all the ills of the world on folks who are successful. All I hear is pathetic whining.
Rogers Lackey February 23, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Sorry to disappoint you John my Gpa was around 3.25 two years ago,and yours from 1960's was?
Tammy Osier February 23, 2013 at 04:45 PM
JOhn B., therein lies the problem. So many want equal opportunity to be the same thing as euqla outcome. If the outcome isn;t eequal, we'll force it if we have to. That's the society we live in now and it's pathetic. Actually, if you think about it, it might be ok to give the scholarship at 2.0 but if they can't keep it, then they can't stay. That's at least fair (so no crying fowl) and keeps those who aren't college material from taking up the spaces for those who are.
Michael Robinson February 23, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Lowering the standards for everyone is a backwards way of thinking about it. Give the people who don't struggle due to factors beyond their control a high target. Give more support to people whose background makes them struggle more, and show a little leniency if they fail to meet it despite their efforts.
Veritatem February 24, 2013 at 02:19 AM
When I was in high school the highest graduating GPA you could get was a 4.0 which was very, very rare. Now many students have graduating GPAs higher than that. I believe most educators realize (even if they won't admit) there has been high school grade inflation. I can see a exception for a new college student with between a 2.0 and 3.0 high school GPA on a case by case basis if a student shows that she or he had to work to help support a family and had to work over 20 hours a week, for example. Otherwise, first time students should have a 3.0. Once a student has been in college for a year and shows she or he can maintain a college GPA of 2.0, then give the HOPE plus an allowance (plus full living expenses if the student agrees to graduate with a degree needed in an area under served in Georgia). The Zell Miller scholarship should provide tuition and books plus an allowance plus full living expenses for students with a high school GPA of 3.5 and for those who accomplish a 3.0 in college. The same scholarship as a Zell Miller should be for technical college students who graduate from high school and after admission as long as they keep a 2.0. For other students who need financial assistance there are Pell grants, work- study, etc. Also, no college students should get HOPE unless the have reading+math minimum SAT of at least 1000 out of 1600. College should be just that, not a repeat of what should be 9th through 12th grade of high school that it is becoming in some colleges.

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