The Hope Scholarship

The Hope Scholarship, an acronym for helping outstanding pupils educationally, is a lottery funded scholarship programs for Georgia residents and is administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. It was begun in 1993 by the Georgia legislature and its template has been recreated by other states for their own lottery funded scholarship programs. The Hope Scholarship program is based on the student’s merit and not their ability to pay or not pay for their education.

Hope Scholarship Requirements:
The student is a resident of the state of Georgia
The student graduated high school with a 3.0 Grade Point Average
The student maintains a 3.0 Grade Point Average throughout college
The scholarship will pay full tuition, a $150 per semester book allowance, and most mandatory fees for the recipient to attend any public university in Georgia (or an equivalent amount towards tuition for private universities in Georgia) up until the semester in which they take their 127th academic hour (roughly the time required to earn an undergraduate bachelor’s degree).

The Hope Scholarship’s goal with its funding is to provide academically superior students a higher education whether they can afford college or not. They also hope to offer an incentive to academic students that could afford any college the incentive to stay in Georgia. Students with academic proficiency have been going to out of state colleges and the Hope Scholarship has incentives now to stay in the state of Georgia and complete their education, and hopefully increasing the higher education job growth after college.

There have been complaints that it is harder on some students than others with this program. Some state colleges have a far easier curriculum than others, and therefore it is easier to maintain the Grade Point Average needed for the Hope Scholarship at these “lower” colleges than at technical oriented colleges like Georgia Tech. Also, since it is primarily funded by lottery ticket sales, it has been criticized for taking money from those near the poverty line (those that typically play the lottery the most) and giving it to those that have more means and less need for it. Of course, the opposite of the argument is that no one is forcing anyone to buy lottery tickets, and if they are going to play in excess at least someone is benefiting from this.

The Hope Scholarship will always have those for it and those against it. For those with a burning desire for college and knowledge, but whose lack of funds is keeping them out of college, it is a godsend. And really, I don’t think it is so bad for those that stick with their studies to get rewarded for it.

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