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NAACP to host HOPE forum

Written by Allison Ericson

HOPE—most students have it, lose it and don’t know much about it. Not the verb, but Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship.

VSU’s NAACP chapter will host their second panel discussion at 6 p.m. on Monday in the U.C Magnolia Room to raise HOPE Scholarship awareness 

The panel discussion was designed to inform the Valdosta community on Governor Nathan Deal’s new HOPE recommendations.

“HOPE helps out Valdosta and surrounding areas by allowing students to receive funding for the continuing in higher education that may need financial support in efforts to attend colleges,” Tyler Barker, NAACP’s employment and economic empowerment committee chair, said.

The discussion will have many guest speakers to inform students and interact with them by answering questions and concerns. VSU is one of the many South Georgia schools affected by the new recommendations.

“There are newly proposed changes to HOPE that will affect students of South Georgia like no other area,” Barker said.

Spreading HOPE awareness will assist students financially and help them to maintain a qualified GPA. To broaden awareness, the NAACP has asked the surrounding schools Wiregrass Technical College, ABAC and Thomas University students to attend.

“We’ve worked with Mr. Doug Tanner, our director of the financial aid department in the past on improving access to information about HOPE and other important information regarding financial aid,” Barker said.

The state of Georgia offers HOPE to billions of qualifying students every year. For many students, maintaining this scholarship is crucial in furthering their college careers.

“I have to have a 3.0 to have HOPE, that’s why I’m not opposed to pulling all-nighters,” Kaitlyn Alston, a freshman legal assistance studies major, said.

Barker encourages students to raise HOPE awareness in general.

“VSU students can help with H.O.P.E by continuing to raise awareness about the current state of the HOPE Scholarship to other students who may not know and continuing to research more about their financial aid opportunities especially when it relates to tuition and financial accessibility,” Barker said.

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