Students pursuing technical school degrees could soon face a lower GPA threshold.
Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday announced a proposal to lower the required GPA of the HOPE Grant from its current 3.0 back to its original level—2.0. The aim of the proposed change is to strengthen Georgia’s workforce development efforts by expanding access to the HOPE Grant, which goes to students in the technical college system.
“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 release from his office on Thursday. “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.”
Deal’s proposal to lower the GPA requires action from the General Assembly before it can be implemented. State officials say the ability to expand funding for HOPE Grants is due to increases in the revenues of the Georgia Lottery.
"The difference in these students getting this grant and not getting this grant is the difference in them having a ticket into the middle class," Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The same AJC article states that according to Deal, about 3,600 students left the technical college system due to losing their HOPE Grants.
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