Since its inception, the HOPE scholarship has provided a low-cost education for Georgia’s best and brightest students.
Gov. Nathan Deal, legislative leaders and educational stakeholders are working tirelessly to pass legislation that will address the most appropriate and efficient way to restore funding to Georgia’s educational system. Maintaining the HOPE Scholarship and other key programs are crucial not just for our students, but for our state’s ability to develop a strong workforce and attract new businesses.
One of the main goals of the HOPE scholarship is to incentivize top students to attend a college or university within the state and become contributing members of Georgia’s workforce. The HOPE Scholarship should never be based on family income; instead, it should solely be based upon the hard work of Georgia’s students.
At present, the HOPE Scholarship is the most generous grant program in the nation. When HOPE was originally created, eligibility was partially based on family income levels; this restriction was removed in 1995. If the income cap was reinstated, some high achieving students from upper income families might choose to attend an out-of-state institution. While low-income families have access to millions of dollars in financial aid, Georgia’s highest achieving students should always have the opportunity, regardless of income level, to receive financial aid based on their hard work throughout their scholastic careers.
The HOPE Scholarship isn't just a reward for the student's hard work - it is also a reward for the parents who continually encouraged their students to do well, and stayed actively involved in their child’s education. By supplying grants to our state’s highest achieving students, we’re able to secure a more prosperous future by investing in the education of our future leaders.
We need our “best and brightest” to remain in a state undergoing tremendous economic growth. Georgia is home to the headquarters of 14 Fortune 500 companies with combined revenues of $283.77 billion. While companies have expanded operations or relocated to our state for several reasons—including location proximity to the Savannah Ports and tax credits—the ability of our state to provide an educated and reliable workforce is an attractive incentive to businesses. We need to be able to supply the workers necessary to fill the jobs these companies provide, and ensure our universities and colleges are able to provide students with the essentials for success.
As a representative of the 56th Senate District, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to protect the HOPE Scholarship for Georgia’s highest achieving students for years to come.