The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday the worsening outlook for this educational treasure that has helped send more than 1.3 million students to college since 1993:
While Deal has promised students will not see their HOPE scholarships diminish next year, his budget plan fails to fully reflect just how much money will be needed going forward because it merges the Zell Miller Scholarship into HOPE-related budget lines. Previously they were budgeted separately.
The Georgia Student Finance Commission, which oversees both scholarships, already has seen thousands more students qualify this year for the Zell Miller Scholarship than it had anticipated.
Commission President Tim Connell said the agency may have to borrow against future revenue from the Georgia Lottery to cover the cost. That, in turn, will only further exacerbate HOPE’s financial woes.
HOPE doesn’t have to fail. You can help.
5 Easy Things You Can Do Now
There are 5 easy things you can do now to help save HOPE Scholarships.
- Find out who represents you and your neighborhood. Find your nine-digit ZIP code on your driver’s license and enter it in the search box at www.votesmart.org. Click to open the “State Legislative” plus sign and find their contact information.
- Tell your lawmakers how the changes to HOPE Scholarship impact you. Call them, visit their office or send an old-fashioned letter by the U.S. Post Office. Download a template to follow here: Save HOPE Scholarship (PDF)
- Learn about proposed changes to HOPE with weekly email updates. Sign up here: HOPE4Ga.com
- Tell your friends, family and co-workers about what’s happening with HOPE.
- Get social. ‘Like’ Hope for Georgia on Facebook or follow @HOPE4GA on Twitter.
Now, that’s not so bad is it. Don’t be discouraged by how impossible the task sounds. Take one small step today and others will follow.