HOPE scholars don't return after losing tech grants

More than half have not re-enrolled after loss of grant

Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 7:50 AM
Last updated 7:50 PM
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More than 11,000 Georgians lost HOPE grants to attend state technical colleges when the Legislature imposed tougher academic requirements in 2011, and more than half have not re-enrolled in school as of this fall, according to Technical College System of Georgia statistics.

As a way of curbing the costs of the lottery-funded HOPE program, state lawmakers in 2011 raised the minimum GPA students had to keep in their first year from 2.0 to 3.0.

As a result of the cost-saving measure, 11,471 students in the system’s 24 technical colleges lost their HOPE grants.

Last year, with lottery revenues up, Gov. Nathan Deal and lawmakers reversed field, restoring the minimum GPA to 2.0 for students this fall.

Of the 11,471 people who lost their HOPE grants last year, 3,286 have their grants renewed and are enrolled this fall in Georgia public technical colleges, system officials have announced.

About one in five, or 2,341, who lost the grants last year stayed enrolled and have graduated from their programs.

That leaves 5,844, or 51 percent, who did not graduate and are not enrolled, according to the technical college system’s count.

“A lot of people are in need of this financial assistance because they either lost their jobs or could not find better employment. The people coming back (after regaining HOPE eligibility) are people who basically had to quit college because they couldn’t afford it,” said Mike Light, the system’s executive director of communications.

The change to 2.0 won’t lessen the overall quality of graduates, he said.

“We always say we guarantee our education,” Light said.

The system will retrain a worker for free if an employer complains, and last year, employers called in that guarantee just 33 times out of about 35,000 graduates, Light said.

Technical college system administrators believe the change in HOPE grant eligibility is one of the main reasons for declining enrollment.

Meanwhile, the number of graduates the technical college system produced has also dropped as enrollment declines.

The system turned out 28,278 graduates in the 2013 academic year, down from a peak of 35,579 in 2011 and the lowest total since at least 2008, according to figures compiled by the technical college system.

During those same two years, HOPE funds flowing into the technical college system declined from $211 million in 2011 to $74.1 million in 2013, partly as a result of changes in HOPE eligibility, partly because of declining enrollment.

The Legislature has also cut the value of the grant, which no longer covers the cost of books or fees. Some classes of people are no longer eligible, such as those who have been laid off from work but already have a college education.

State appropriations have also declined. Even as state lawmakers ask the system to turn out more trained workers, the Legislature and Deal have cut funding for the system by $3 million, about 18 percent, since 2008.

As the state pays less, students are paying more.

The appointed board that governs the technical college system has also steadily raised tuition costs over the past decade.

Students now pay about 43 percent of the cost of their education through tuition and fees, while the state contributes 48 percent. Federal money covers about 9 percent of the technical college system budget. In 2002, the state paid 62 percent, students paid 24 percent and federal sources covered 14 percent.

Athens Technical College enrollment jumped from 6,009 in 2007 to 8,322 in 2011, and technical colleges statewide saw similar big enrollment increases. But enrollment dropped after 2011 at Athens Tech and statewide.

Statewide, technical college enrollment rose to 119,146 in fall 2010, but now has declined for three straight years. This fall’s enrollment is 97,612, Light said.

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Little Lamb
40284
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Little Lamb 10/28/13 - 08:23 am
4
1

No Duh

As the state pays less, students are paying more.

nocnoc
31179
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nocnoc 10/28/13 - 08:45 am
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HOPE is no longer what was originally approved

by the voters.

It is a good example of when we mess with any Constitution the doors and protection we open up for gradual abuse and misuse by politicians.

ANOTHER ISSUE YET TO BE ADDRESSED
We have too many out of state students playing the system to gain access to the $$$$, by establishing state residence, despite never having educated in GA. or Graduated from a GA High School or an Ga. Approved Home school.

The Academic requirements are logical 1st step.

But I would add the HOPE can only be awarded to GA State Educational system Graduates that have 1 full year or more of successful GA High School attendance.

BTW:
HOPE wasn't never intended to be a Daycare system, which is what the Pre-K program turned out to be.

For MUCH DEEPER Info
http://www.ghea.org/pages/articles/focus.php?ID=24&parent=37

faithson
4601
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faithson 10/28/13 - 09:29 am
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3

just why now is the hope

just why now is the hope scholarship not means tested... do Georgians really need to 'subsidize' children's education from Augusta Prep ?

Stunned 2
2277
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Stunned 2 10/28/13 - 09:31 am
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0

A lot of Fraud, A lot of Students are there for 'their money',

A lot of Fraud, A lot of Students are there for 'their money', not for the education. I took a tech class, a few years back, one of the VERY FEW that paid out of my own pocket. My experience included:
One Student only signed the tests then turned them in. I asked 'Why don't you just drop this class? Response: 'Cause of my money, I have to be here so many days to GET MY MONEY'
Another student: 'I tell my friends to go to __ Tech, enroll for online, I'll do the homework, then WE can split the money'
and, 99% of the students: 'When are we getting our money?'
The Tech Schools had out Government checks like the Welfare Agency hands over food stamp benefits. Class attendance drops Drastically - the day after the enrollees get 'their money'/check.

GodisSoGood
569
Points
GodisSoGood 10/28/13 - 09:35 am
3
3

applicants for the HOPE

applicants for the HOPE scholarship are not tested to see if the applicants are financially able to pay for tuition, nor should they be. The HOPE scholarship is not a grant. It is a scholarship that is earned based on the student's grades. Children who graduate from a private institution have the same requirements for obtaining the HOPE scholarship as students who graduate from public schools. This is about the only help the government will provide without discrimination based on race or income.

Stunned 2
2277
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Stunned 2 10/28/13 - 09:58 am
2
4

Do area Private Religious schools fanagle Tuition payments?

Do area Private Religious schools fanagle tuition payments? Are tuition payments recorded as 'Church donations', so that parents can write them off as tax credits & pay less tax? I have heard rumors for decades.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
6426
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 10/28/13 - 10:53 am
7
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Tech Money Generators

Tech Schools seem to enroll many low income, low performers who allow them to qualify for grants and Hope. These people stay in to collect all that they can get, then usually drop out or get failed out just before the class ends. No worries, there is a fresh crop to exploit next year. You would be amazed at how much the schools make this way!!
("The system will retrain a worker for free if an employer complains, and last year, employers called in that guarantee just 33 times out of about 35,000 graduates, Light said.") The employers don't complain, they just get rid of the problems and look elsewhere for new hires. If your well has bad water, do you keep drinking from it????

Young Fred
13791
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Young Fred 10/28/13 - 11:20 am
5
3

If you can't keep a B average

If you can't keep a B average in tech school, you might as well go ahead and apply at Wal-Mart or Golden Corral.

Just sayin'

Stunned 2
2277
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Stunned 2 10/28/13 - 12:11 pm
6
0

A great education for today's Technically competitive jobs

A great education for today's Technically competitive jobs at Tech Schools. I have a BS, but found classes in Tech school to enhance my skills. And the prices were lower.The classes that I took there were challenging and useful. But, there was an over whelming presence of students there just for the government handout. Over & over - they talked about the checks they were getting. They called it their 'free money'. I would not write off Tech school graduates. Many are out there working & spending their time showing other workers the ropes (the skills).

Sweet son
8284
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Sweet son 10/28/13 - 12:48 pm
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0

@Stunned 2: You are wide open on this one! LOL!

You are exactly right about the entitlement attitude of some of the students!! And I paid for Christian elementary and high school for a child and never took a tax deduction. Maybe I should go back and see if I can do it. LOL! Too long ago. :)

faithson
4601
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faithson 10/28/13 - 01:39 pm
2
2

stunned

yep... pay at the 'plate' in church, or pay outright, taxes included.

IBeDogGone
1773
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IBeDogGone 10/28/13 - 08:18 pm
7
1

Hope is a scholarship

Hope is a scholarship that was designed for students who maintained a B average, I do not understand the statements that students are there for the money, Hope is to payed to school directly and to help with the cost of books. Students are more likely playing the system with PELL Grant or Stafford Loans where the money is payed directly to the student.

KSL
106299
Points
KSL 10/28/13 - 07:00 pm
3
2

Stunned 2

No, the tuition we paid for private education for our children at a church school was not deducted.

Young Fred
13791
Points
Young Fred 10/29/13 - 02:58 am
5
1

Keep a B average, It's really

Keep a B average, It's really that simple!

Jeez!

Darby
19291
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Darby 10/29/13 - 10:08 pm
1
0

"HOPE was never intended to be a Daycare system,

which is what the Pre-K program turned out to be."

.
Talk about hitting a nail right squarely on the head.

Darby
19291
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Darby 10/29/13 - 10:12 pm
1
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On the other hand,

Pre-K didn't "turn out" that way. It was intended that way from the git-go.

Politicians wanted to free up more parents for the work force, thereby generating more taxes to be frittered away on useless government spending programs.

Darby
19291
Points
Darby 10/29/13 - 10:17 pm
1
0

"Keep a B average, It's really that

simple! Jeez!"

.
No, not really. Not when you "graduate" from four years of high school where "teaching down" to the lowest level and "teaching the test" are the norm.

After that, entering the academic atmosphere of college where you are expected to perform and actually earn your grades, just "ain't" that "simple"!

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