Not all HOPE is lost. Even though the HOPE Scholarship has gone through some major changes since last week, students will still get some lottery-funded help. The Georgia General Assembly passed a bill which will affect those students who meet the requirements for the HOPE Scholarship.
Many of these changes could take effect as early as fall. Previously, students attending public colleges or universities received money for their tuition (whether full-time or part-time), HOPE-approved mandatory fees and books allowance for up to $100 per quarter or $150 per semester, according to GAcollege411.com. Now, students receiving a 3.0 GPA will only get 90 percent of their tuition covered. This leaves books and mandatory fees no longer covered.
Also students with over a 3.7 GPA and a 1200 SAT/26 ACT score will get 100 percent of their tuition paid for by the HOPE Scholarship. However, they must maintain a 3.5 while enrolled to continue receiving this money.
Everybody has suffered in one way or another with the current state of our economy. It was just a matter of time before the HOPE Scholarship recipients were affected, too.
While the recent alterations to the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship are going to upset some wallets, it could always be worse. True, there won’t be as much money handed out every year, but at least there is money being given out to college students who want a degree.
We have to realize that everything is, in essence, a domino effect. The Georgia Lottery, one of the most prosperous lotteries in the country, is what funds the HOPE Scholarship. However, the program is currently fighting to keep up with demand as both college enrollment and tuition increase. We can’t expect the HOPE Scholarship to be the same every year if the program that its money comes from is struggling. We have to accept the reality of it all and take what is offered to us- that is, take that 90 percent.
While these are tough times, especially for those students struggling to pay off college expenses, there are a great number of ways for students to receive additional funds that they need to get through college, other than the HOPE Scholarship. You can find hundreds of additional scholarships either by searching online or going to the financial aid office, which are there for one purpose- to help students pay for college. There are also plenty of grants and loans available to those who need them. Take advantage of these.
College is expensive. Don’t simply depend on the HOPE Scholarship to pay for your education. Use your resources and take advantage of these other methods for further assistance.