Gov. Deal Signs Bill to Lower HOPE Grant GPA Requirements
May 1, 2013 - Thousands of students in Georgia’s technical colleges will again be eligible for the HOPE Grant under a bill Gov. Nathan Deal signed recently.
House Bill 372 reinstates the 2.0 grade-point average requirement for students in the Technical College System of Georgia. The lottery-funded award covers most tuition.
“This is good news for our non-traditional students,” said Dr. Cathryn Mitchell, president of Southeastern Technical College. “The loss of the HOPE Grant put higher education out of reach for many of these students.”
The new rule responds to criticism and concerns that thousands of students lost the award — and dropped out or decided not to enroll — because they were unable to meet the higher 3.0 GPA rule. Lawmakers added the new requirement in 2011 when they overhauled HOPE to prevent it from going broke.
Technical college students are older and many have been out of school for years when they enroll in college. They also tend to work full time and support families while going to school.
Education and business leaders worried that a failure to restore the old rule would make it difficult for industry to hire needed employees.
“This law will provide the opportunity for these students to return to school and obtain the skills needed to support themselves and their families,” said Mitchell.
For more information on the HOPE Grant, visit www.southeasterntech.edu or call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200.