Democrats want GPA requirment removed from HOPE Grant

5:12 PM, Jan 30, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA (WXIA) -- One of the suggestions being floated by state democrats to overhaul the HOPE Scholarship situation is to reverse at least one thing Gov. Deal put into place just last year.

Anyone receiving a HOPE Grant and attending a technical school is required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) once they're enrolled.

"There are certain checkpoints where we look at how a student is performing.  The first is within the first 30 to 60 hours," said Mike Light with the Technical College System of Georgia.

Light said 143,000 students are receiving the HOPE Grant.  After the fall semester the TCSG found that 8,400 students met that 3.0 GPA standard.  They said 4,200 students did not maintain their grades.

Democrats, including Sen. Jason Carter, have said that the GPA requirment has caused those 4,200 students to drop out of school. 

"That's not entirely accurate. It will take another semester until we can see who actually left school altogether. Students who lose the HOPE grant can often cover with other scholarship money until they bring their grades back up to that level," said Light.

Rep. Carl Rogers, (R-Gainesville), likes the GPA requirement.  He said it keeps students in the system honest.

"Frankly, we found students using the HOPE Grant to take the same technical classes over and over and sometimes at different campuses.  The goal should be to get them trained and into jobs," said Rep. Rogers.

Rogers also said it is one of the tough decisions he said falls under the "preservation process" to ensure that HOPE Grants are around for future years.

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