Hope Scholarship

What is the Hope Scholarship?  First, it is a scholarship or award given based on meeting certain criteria.  That criteria is defined in the name of the scholarship.  HOPE is an acronym:  H (Helping) O (Outstanding) P (Pupils) E (Educationally).  The keyword, I think, in this acronym is “Outstanding”.  Let’s look at the definition of “Outstanding”.  From the merriam-webster dictionary, outstanding means:

  1. Standing out from a group: conspicuous
  2. Marked by eminence and distinction

In a sentence:  Tonight we will honor the school’s most outstanding students.

So, the hope scholarship is a way to honor pupils who stand out from a group, are marked by eminence, and are distinctive from others.  This defines the scholarship as having a measurement for qualification based solely on performance of the student and not on other factors such as: financial means, heredity, religious, ethnicity, etc…

There is a move afoot to place new qualifications on the hope scholarship.  These qualifications would be financially based and eliminate outstanding merit as the main qualification for the award.  This need not happen.  Let’s continue to award and reward hard work and acknowledge the academic achievements made by “Outstanding” students.  There are already numerous grants that are based on financial qualifications.  The Hope Scholarship does not remove a student from qualifying for these awards; however, the reverse is not true.  Adding a financial requirement to Hope will disqualify some students from the scholarship.  Why must excellence take a back seat to mediocrity?

Whether you agree or disagree, let your thoughts be known to your representative in your State legislature and local news opinion and guest editorials.  Let’s keep the Georgia Hope Scholarship merit based.

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