Georgia broke a promise to college-bound students.
Earlier this year, thousands of students who thought good grades were enough to qualify for a HOPE scholarship lost the opportunity with no advanced notice.
The problem facing our Legislature is real. Money generated from Georgia’s state lottery pays for the HOPE Scholarship. That revenue has slowed while college tuition and fees are on the rise. One fee – the special institutional fee – more than doubled for every college student.
The solution offered by the General Assembly in March 2011, was to cut the value of the scholarship available to high performing students and end payments for books and fees. Recent and future graduates who expected a free college education for their hard work in high school are now working two and three jobs or taking on enormous amounts of student debt.
In fact, Georgia’s students are defaulting on student loans faster than the national average.
Georgia needs to value higher education. Doing so will keep our best and brightest at home, where they will contribute to the economy.
It’s time to support our colleges and universities instead of shifting the burden of high tuition and high debt to students.
Whether the money comes from the lottery or the general fund, Georgia needs to keep its promise.
You can take action immediately.
Text “GAhope″ to 30644 from your mobile phone.
Or take an online poll to show your support for the HOPE scholarship and higher education. (Take the poll).
Finally, share this article with your friends, family and colleagues. By working together, we can improve our state.