Georgia budget includes fully funding HOPE scholarship

This Spring, Georgia legislature voted to fully fund the HOPE scholarship – leading to new questions about the various grants associated with the funds


Aspen Ricca

Graduates of the Class of 2019 celebrate with a traditional cap toss.

Since 1993, Georgia’s HOPE scholarship is a scholarship that allows students with a B average to receive tuition. This means that students do not have to pay extra tuition funds as long as they can maintain a B average. On April 6, Georgia’s lawmakers signed an agreement for the $32.6 million budget starting on July 1 to change the coverage of tuition. The Georgia funding is coming from extra funds from lottery revenues. According to an article from the Associated Press “the agreement also boosts the amount for HOPE scholars recipients who attend private colleges in Georgia.”  This change goes into effect on July 1.

Previously, HOPE covered only about 90 percent of funding for tuition, according to a 2018 story “As HOPE marks 25 years, some say changes could aid more students,” in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Students at McIntosh are excited about their new possible future and students who are attending a private college are excited that private colleges are finally getting HOPE tuition. 

“[This] is helpful because generally tuition for private schools [is] higher. [This will] help take some of the weight off [students attending private schools],” senior Camryn Jordan said. 

Students are thrilled about the more opportunities that they are given because of HOPE. 

“The idea of HOPE being able to fully fund means that I have a lot more of a range of opportunities of places that I could go instead of being shut down to just a very small amount of schools,” junior August Moss said. 

Students who struggled with keeping both HOPE and the Zell Miller grant now feel this will make it easier for them and other students who struggle to get the GPA requirement in high school.

“I’ve been right on the edge between Zell Miller and HOPE for a while, so having HOPE cover it all makes it easier so it’s [a] guarantee if you just get a B average, and I think a lot of kids that would need that tuition aren’t going aren’t necessarily be the kids that are going to earn high A’s in all their classes,” senior Reagan Vetter said. 

Senior Sophia Campbell agrees with Vetter. 

“I had a hard year last year and it dropped my GPA. This year I’m trying to make sure I get HOPE because if I don’t get it, then the first year I’lll have to go to a smaller college rather than the college I want to go to,” Campbell said. 

McIntosh School Counselors went in depth with GA Student Finance to find out more about this situation, but on Monday, May 1, they were unavailable to comment about any follow-ups. 

“[We] spoke to Georgia Student Finance and [they told us] they will push out information to us as counselors once they receive word [about any changes],” School Counselor Diana Le said. 

Students are hoping HOPE continues to be fully funded tuition so students who need this coverage have the coverage. 

“I’m completely ecstatic and I hope that [a fully funded HOPE scholarship] will continue for more and more generations,” Moss said. 

Students interested in learning more about their potential HOPE award should reach out to their school counselors, can visit the GAFutures website and also use the GAFutures Award calculator.