The HOPE scholarship will cover full tuition for only students with a 3.7 high school GPA or higher, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced today in his plan to make cuts the lottery-funded program.
HOPE will now cover 90 percent of the fiscal year 2011 tuition rates for students who maintain a 3.0 grade point average. Tuition varies depending on the collegiate institution, but for full-time in-state students at the University the cost is $7,070 per year, which means eligible students will be expected to pay $707 in tuition per year. The plan decouples from future tuition hikes, meaning the most HOPE will pay for going forward is $6,363 a year at UGA. The Board of Regents has yet to decide tuition increases for next school year, but whatever the hike is, students will pay the full difference.
The plan will not cover student fees, which are $1,666 a year for University students. Presently students only pay for the institutional fee, which is $200 a year. As a result, students can expect to pay at least $2,100 more for college next year, which will rise depending on the potential tuition hike. Students were given a $150 book allowance, but that will go away as well.
But Deal also developed a plan that would allow top-performing Georgia high school students to receive free tuition at public colleges. Those students who earn at least a 3.7 grade point average in high school and a 1,200 SAT score or 26 on ACT would continue to get free public college tuition. Students will need to maintain a 3.5 to keep the scholarship. Recipients would be called Zell Miller scholars named after the former governor who created HOPE in 1993.
It will also cap payout to 127 hours for HOPE scholarship and 63 semesters for the HOPE grant.
HOPE recipients would only get one chance to win back the scholarship if they don't maintain a 3.0 or higher. Nearly half of college freshman who enter with HOPE lose the scholarship.