About 3,700 college students have applied for the state's new low-interest loan program created to help soften cuts made to the HOPE scholarship. The loans have a 1 percent interest rate. Students will find out starting next week if they are selected for the loans.
A change in Georgia's HOPE scholarship is sending some students to an unexpected summer semester of school. Facing budget cuts, state lawmakers made the scholarship cover 90-percent of tuition, instead of the full amount. And it won't pay fees. But the changes start in the fall.
After four hours of debate, the Georgia Senate Tuesday evening passed a bill dramatically overhauling the cash-strapped HOPE scholarship program. The bill is part of Gov. Nathan Deal's plan to keep lottery programs like HOPE and pre-kindergarten from going broke. It passed 35-20.
A proposal to expand casino-like video lottery terminals to help fund the HOPE Scholarship program appears to be dead. When Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his own plan to fix HOPE this week, he rejected expanding gambling. And that pleased officials on Jekyll Island, where Republican State Representative Ron Stephens of Savannah proposed putting terminals.
Some Georgia college students are uneasy about proposed changes to the financially struggling HOPE Scholarship program. If passed, the changes would grant full scholarships only to Georgia’s top students.
State Rep. Ed Rynders of Albany wants voters to amend the state constitution so tuition increases at state universities cannot exceed the rate of inflation. He said controlling the cost of tuition is key to saving the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship program, which is running out of money.
With Georgia’s university system bracing for more deep cuts, college students could be forced to pick up some of the slack through further tuition hikes. That prospect has some students at the University of Georgia worried.