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Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 11:33am

HOPE Grant Bill Passes House

A bill that would lower the grade point average for technical college students receiving HOPE scholarships passed the House Thursday. It was one of many bills Georgia lawmakers voted on as part of the legislative session's 30th day.

Under the bill, technical college students with a 2.0 grade point average would be eligible for the HOPE grant. Now, they must earn a 3.0 GPA.

The grant is part of the state’s scholarship program, known as HOPE, that’s funded by the Georgia lottery.

Rep. Stacey Evans, the bill’s sponsor, explained why the change is needed.

“In 2011, after we added the 3.0 GPA requirement for the first time, our technical colleges started losing students at a very rapid pace," she said. "Last year, nearly a quarter left our technical college system.”

In a rare act of bi-partisanship, Gov. Nathan Deal backs the Atlanta Democrat’s bill, and nearly all lawmakers approved the measure.

The 30th day of the session is the day that a bill must have cleared one chamber to have a chance at final passage this year.

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