New Hope Scholarship Requirements

New Hope Scholarship Requirements for 2012

They are coming…. the new requirements that is.  Tennessee and Georgia are both once again “tweaking” their respective programs due to shortfalls in lottery based funding and increases in tuition along with increases in student in-state enrollment.

The good news is that the legislative sessions for 2012 are about to come to a close.  This will shed light on what the final new requirements will be for school year 2012-2013.  What is apparent is that at a minimum, the aid amounts will cover a smaller percentage for the next school year than for the current.  There are some worse case scenario proposals being tossed around that would totally eliminate scholarship eligibility for some students.  One proposal would put a financial cap on the eligibility effectively eliminating any students above the cap.  Another proposal would once again make the filter finer for academic requirements.  The requirements would be tightened by increasing the minimum GPA (Grade Point Average) to receive a scholarship.  It seems like hope scholarship changes each year have become the norm.

Do Hope Scholarship Changes need Changing?

From most news accounts that I’ve been watching, the Tennessee legislature has better addressed the issues of funding (revenue) vs tuition costs (expenses) whereas the Georgia legislature has, for the most part, waited and waited hoping for a funding turnaround to solve the problem.  Since this has not happened, Georgia has started extreme tightening which has led to difficulty for students and parents that must budget for colleges costs.  It is interesting to me that in a country where the rule of law and contracts is constitutionally mandated that the citizens of these states allow the legislatures to run willy-nilly each year changing what was promised the previous year.  There should be some consideration to holding the new hope scholarship requirements stable for each entering freshman class for their four year college career, or, at least, hold the requirements steady for 2 year periods for everyone.


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