Tue., March 15, 2011 1:33pm (EDT)

Deal Signs HOPE Bill
By Associated Press
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA   —  
Fewer students on the campus of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and elsewhere in the state will be eligible for the full-ride HOPE scholarship going forward. (photo courtesy Richard-Elaine Chambers)
Fewer students on the campus of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and elsewhere in the state will be eligible for the full-ride HOPE scholarship going forward. (photo courtesy Richard-Elaine Chambers)
Just three weeks after unveiling legislation to overhaul the state's cash-strapped HOPE scholarship, Gov. Nathan Deal has signed the measure into law.

Deal signed the bill Tuesday morning at the state Capitol.

The new Republican governor made fixing the landmark scholarship a centerpiece of his legislative agenda this session. The program had been set to go broke as lottery proceeds failed to keep pace with rising tuition and soaring college enrollment.

The new law will slash scholarships to 90 percent for all but the highest scoring students, though that figure doesn't account for expected tuition increases. Students who earn a 3.7 GPA and a 1200 on the SAT would still get a full scholarship.

Deal faced a heckler Tuesday who said the changes hurt students who don't earn top grades.