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6:00 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Ga. House Approves Lower Eligibility Requirements for HOPE Grant

The Georgia House overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday aimed at helping more technical college students afford school. The measure lowers the eligibility requirements for the HOPE Grant.

The bill passed 169 to 1.  The measure lowers the GPA eligibility requirement from a 3.0 to a 2.0. If approved by the Senate, the change would return to the requirements that existed before overhauls to the program in 2011. Democratic Representative Stacey Evans was one of the driving forces behind the bill.

“Most students that attend our technical colleges are from families with household incomes of less than $40,000 and many of them with household incomes of much less than $40,000, so the ability of them to get the grant now even with a 2.8, or a 2.5, or a 2.3, will allow more students to go college and allow them to recognize the dream of being part of the middle class.”

Rep. Stacey Evans speaks in support of a House bill to lower the eligibility requirements for the HOPE Grant.
Credit Denis O'Hayer/WABE NEWS

Supporters say the change was needed because after the state raised the standards, enrollment at the state’s technical colleges went down and large numbers of technical college students began dropping out.

Evans and other House Democrats had been pushing for the bill for several years, but this year they were able to team up with Governor Deal and House Republican leaders. The HOPE Grant is different than the HOPE Scholarship Program.