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Friday, March 26, 2010 - 7:12am

HOPE Scholarship Bill Passes Senate

The state Senate passed a bill Friday that would expand the HOPE scholarship.

The needs-based expansion will help full-time college students whose family income is $30,000 or less.

It gives them several hundred more dollars to attend a state institution, says its sponsor Republican senator Jack Hill.

"It certainly starts to recognize there are students out there that are in danger of dropping out or are not going simply for a few hundred dollars and I would consider it a stay in college in grant."

Hill says the HOPE fund has a $29 million surplus this year to pay for the expansion. Its continuation would be contingent on future funds.