The University System of Public colleges, technical schools, and Universities will charge students $32 to $270 more in tuition per semester starting fall of the 2013 school year under a budget plan approved Tuesday by the Georgia Board of Regents.
A recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution online penned by Michele Nunn proposes adding a service component to the requirements obtaining a Georgia Hope Scholarship. The full text of the article is contained below. While I have no problem, personally, with Ms Nunn’s ideas for a service component, I do have an issue with targeting one scholarship program with this requirement while not also attaching a service component to the other scholarship and aid programs for students in the state of Georgia. Shouldn’t we also reward volunteer service for athletic scholarship recipients? What about President’s scholars? Shouldn’t a student receiving a Pell Grant be eligible for service as well? I’m all for students helping the community, but let’s allow all award, aid, grant, scholarship, athletic scholarship winners the same right/requirement/privilege/…
Here is the text of the article…
“Georgia’s HOPE scholarship is one of the largest merit-based college scholarship programs in the United States, but it could be so much more. By rewarding both good grades and volunteer service, the HOPE scholarship could teach the rest of the nation how to produce educated, engaged citizens who know how to give back.
By requiring service, the HOPE scholarship would build on the legacy of the G.I. Bill, arguably one of the most successful and popular government programs in U.S. history. By the end of 1956, roughly 2.2 million World War II veterans used G.I. benefits to attend college. Giving veterans an education in return for their service helped create the “greatest generation,” building our country’s unparalleled economic strength and enriching our communities.
We recently increased the academic requirements for the HOPE scholarship in response to our state’s fiscal constraints. Today, high school students in Georgia earning a 3.0 grade point average or better qualify for scholarships to colleges in the state. That’s a great reward for academic performance. But if we’re eager to turn out good citizens, we have to do more.
Since 1993, Georgia has awarded HOPE scholarships worth almost $7 billion to more than 1.6 million students. Think of the impact on our communities and our students if each of them contributed by serving others. Tying service to scholarships would teach students that citizenship is a two-way street – benefits, yes, but responsibilities, too.
The value of student service time would add up in many ways, not the least of them economic. Last year, 203,000 students received HOPE scholarships. If we required each of these young people to spend just 100 hours volunteering while they were in high school, they would provide time worth nearly $150 million. Add a requirement to volunteer 50 hours each year during college, and we’d see an additional economic impact of $74 million.
Today, local governments and nonprofits face the challenge of providing more services with fewer resources. Student volunteers would bring energy and enthusiasm. And who knows, maybe some of these young people will come up with innovative solutions to community problems.
Research shows that service requirements benefit students in a host of welcome ways.
• Students who participate in community service are 22 percent more likely to graduate from college.
• Students who volunteer just one hour a week are 50 percent less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.
• Youth who serve develop social and civic responsibility and are more likely to become lifelong volunteers, and to vote and participate as active citizens.
In addition, service learning motivates students to achieve and helps them develop leadership skills and self-confidence. Students who serve find mentors or career interests, encounter new worlds, beef up their resumes, and improve their chances of being accepted into the most competitive colleges and getting jobs.
Over the past few years, our legislators have been forced to change the HOPE scholarship’s eligibility requirements to maintain its economic viability. If we need to increase the requirements for eligibility again, let’s add a service requirement rather than continuing to increase the GPA. We need students who are committed to academic excellence and giving back to our state.
A service requirement for the HOPE scholarship would cultivate the next generation of civic leaders by keeping not only the brightest but also the best kids in Georgia.”
The following is a copy of an email sent by the Georgia Student Finance Commission:
Beginning summer term 2013, a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) will be required in order to receive any state financial aid.* The 2012-13 or 2013-14 FAFSA may be used for summer term 2013. Please check with the financial aid office for any college-specific application policies and deadlines. Please note that effective June 8, 2013, GSFAPPS will no longer be available as an application for any state financial aid.
A 2013-14 FAFSA will be required for fall term 2013 and will be applicable through summer term 2014. A current year FAFSA is required for each year that you seek state financial aid. To complete the FAFSA, please click here http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
If you have questions about the new requirement or if you are unsure whether you are receiving any state financial aid, please contact the Georgia Student Finance Commission at (770)724-9000 or (800)505-GSFC (4732) or your school’s financial aid office. They will be able to assist you with any FASFA processing questions.
Georgia Student Finance Commission
*State Financial Aid Programs
Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship
Georgia’s Zell Miller Scholarship
Georgia’s HOPE Grant**
Georgia’s HOPE GED Grant
Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant
HERO (Helping Educate Reservists and their Offspring) Scholarship
Georgia’s Public Safety Memorial Grant
North Georgia College and State University ROTC Grant and ROTC Grant for Future Officers
Scholarship for Engineering Education Program
Georgia Military College State Service Scholarship Loan Program
North Georgia College and State University Military Scholarship Loan
Georgia Student Access Loan (SAL)
**Completion of a FAFSA is not required for a dual-enrolled or joint-enrolled student (through Georgia’s Accel or HOPE Grant programs). However, if such student is 18 years of age prior to the beginning of the term for which funding is sought or will turn 18 during the term for which funding is sought, he or she must complete a notarized affidavit and provide acceptable documentation to the Georgia Student Finance Commission to prove lawful presence in the United States.
Are children of military parents stationed in Georgia eligible for the Hope Scholarship?
In general, the answer is yes. However, there are a few requirements that must be met before the student is eligible to receive a hope scholarship or tuition equalization grant. [Read more...]
Unlike many merit based scholarship applications, the process to apply for hope scholarship consideration is rather easy. Most of the hard work is not in the application process rather it is in achieving eligibility by meeting the required academic and other requirements, which are: [Read more...]
The Georgia Hope Scholarship faces funding problems which are causing cuts to the scholarship program and redefinition of eligibility requirements for the Hope Scholarship. It is interesting to review what the state of Georgia Department of Audits writes about the current state of the program. [Read more...]
When the legislature in the state of Georgia last changed the Hope Scholarship for the 2011-2012 school year, the Hope tuition coverage amount was set to 90% of the previous year’s (that would be 2010-2011) tuition rate. Along with this change, the Georgia state legislature removed the stipend for books and mandatory Hope qualified fees that were included in the award. The book fee support was set at $300/year and the mandatory Hope qualified fees which were different based on each individual college or university.
If you are a high school student or a parent of a high school student, the typical approach to the scholarship search process begins the second half of Junior year or perhaps the end of Senior year in high school. However, since most academic based scholarships, like the Hope Scholarship, look at the overall grade point average (GPA) earned on core high school classes, grades earned the first semester of Freshman year are just as important as grades earned the last semester of the Senior year. It is the wise student that prepares for the Hope Scholarship Requirements starting the first day of Freshman classes. In fact, since Freshman classes may be easier, from an academic point of view, than Junior and Senior level classes, it may be more important to concentrate on getting “A” results in the Freshman year. These results will act as a base line to shore up the GPA when the harder classes hit later in the high school career. [Read more...]
When faced with an issue having multiple problems, it is often a good idea to consider looking for improvements to all problems facing the issue (sounds sort of “Yogi Berra”). If you focus only on one problem, you will often times make a bad decision because nothing has been done to address the other items. Case in point are the problems facing the Hope Scholarship. As discussed in other posts, there are alternatives to the Hope Scholarship to students; however, the Hope program currently is facing three major obstacles. They are: [Read more...]
Well, the final word on tuition rates for 2012-2013 is now written in stone. This was discussed in a previous post; however, the official amounts were not known at the time. The increases are mainly in tuition with hidden increases included in the “special mandatory fee” and an increase in other fees as described in the post. Georgia Hope Scholarship funds, as you know, only include a percentage of tuition based on tuition rates of the 2010-2011 school year. So, the increases will solely be paid for by students and parents with no additional help from the Georgia Hope Scholarship. Here is the description of the fee increases taken from various news sources. [Read more...]