Saturday, April 30, 2011

The New HOPE

Gov. Nathan Deal has brought the new HOPE scholarship into effect, which will be effective fall 2011. Many have criticized this new plan, including both parents and students who are currently enrolled in college or soon going. Unlike the original HOPE, which was created years ago, under the watch of Zell Miller. The new HOPE isn’t quite as easy to obtain. A 3.7 grade point average is now required, which many believe could be very crucial for those students already enrolled in college. But along with the critics, there are others who believe that this could have a more positive effect.

Mark Branch, a student at Kennesaw State University, feels that the new HOPE could encourage students to work harder in school, “I think the change could actually create brighter students. In the past, HOPE scholarship has basically been given to students. A 3.0 isn’t the hardest GPA to obtain.”

Branch seems to be one of the few who believe that there is hope for HOPE, “Most people don’t like change, so when something new comes along which requires more work, people get scared and want to complain. I don’t believe that Gov. Nathan Deal did this to ruin the lives of students, but it will definitely make all students working towards it appreciate it more. We could easily be like the rest of the nation, and not even have a HOPE scholarship.

KSU financial aid worker Abbey Smith also feels positive about the change: “HOPE is something that students should definitely be grateful to have. Georgia is basically the only state that has anything like it.”

She continued, “I do understand student concern on every level, especially if that student has managed a 3.0 GPA the entire time. A switch up could be hard for anyone. I’m interested to see how this all turns out and how many students are still able to obtain it.”

I contacted the offices’ of Gov. Nathan Deal to see if I could speak to someone who could give me some more insight. The governor was unable to speak to me about the issue, but I did get to speak to one of the receptionists Julia McKenton.

Mckenton expressed her thoughts on the new HOPE, “The governor definitely values all of his Georgia students. He surely doesn’t have the intent to make it hard on any student to go to college.”

Only time will tell how this change effects Georgia students, but hopefully it will only be for the better.

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