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Deal says HOPE will be expanded for tech grants

Gov. Nathan Deal returns to his office after presenting his budget plan to the House Appropriations Committee, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in Atlanta.

Gov. Nathan Deal returns to his office after presenting his budget plan to the House Appropriations Committee, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in Atlanta.

LAWRENCEVILLE — The president of Gwinnett Technical College is excited about the Governor’s recent proposal to lower students’ grade requirements to qualify for HOPE grants at the state’s technical schools.

“The Governor’s proposal is great news for our students,” said Sharon Bartels, Gwinnett Tech’s president. “Financial aid and the HOPE Grant play a vital role in the ability of so many of our students to stay in college, complete their education and then successfully enter the workforce.”

Added Bartels: “As the Governor has identified, our state’s and our community’s economic development hinges on having an educated, skilled workforce. Increasing the likelihood of a student’s ability to stay in college and complete their training benefits us all.”

The Republican governor was surrounded by legislators from both parties when he said Thursday that the threshold will be returned to a 2.0 grade point average. Lawmakers previously raised it to a 3.0 amid sagging lottery revenue projections, but Deal says an uptick in lottery proceeds allows for the flexibility.

Lower eligibility will increase HOPE spending by $5 million to $8 million annually, Deal said, and will benefit several thousand students. Enrollment in two-year technical programs has dropped since lawmakers raised the academic requirements.

The change will require a new act of the legislature, but officials at the Capitol say that is now a formality.

Comments

NewsReader 1 year, 10 months ago

I could almost swallow the 2.0 GPA for a student that has to work and pay their way through school. But to give a gov'ment handout for a 2.0 GPA? I don't think so. How many of you want to sign up for Little Johnny working on your car, your air conditioner, your roof, your deck, your you name it? This just provides incentive to do the absolute minimum to get a piece of paper - kinda like gov'ment school! If the best a student can achieve, perhaps this isn't where they need to be.

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kevin 1 year, 10 months ago

Is a 2.0 a "C?" If so, Deal is a joke. You are going to give away taxpayer funds to a C avg person is a disgrace too the taxpayer. If you can't make a B avg, you don't get public funds to sit around in a desk for 4 yrs. Ga. just keeps lowering all its standards. What good is a diploma here? I guess Deal did this to be sure he is re-elected.

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Susan 1 year, 10 months ago

If you get lower than a 2.0, don't you flunk out? Or is that not the case anymore? Can you graduate with a 1.0 average now?

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pcjohn 1 year, 10 months ago

Let's see how many of these 2.0 dummies can get into Ga Tech - a real technical school not just one with the word "technical" in its name. What a stupid idea to use these funds for an unqualified group of students who will probably flunk out anyway. Unless, of course, they go to a grade3 school like Gwinnett Tech.

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pcjohn 1 year, 10 months ago

Let's see how many of these 2.0 dummies can get into Ga Tech - a real technical school not just one with the word "technical" in its name. What a stupid idea to use these funds for an unqualified group of students who will probably flunk out anyway. Unless, of course, they go to a grade3 school like Gwinnett Tech. And let's take the word Scholarship out of the Hope Scholarship misnomer !

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dentaldawg83 1 year, 10 months ago

jees folks, not every student out there can be the next Carl Sagan. A kid can go to tech school, learn a needed trade or skill in a couple of years, enter the job market and pay taxes immediately..as opposed to a lot of "smart" kids who are attending overpriced colleges, working on worthless degrees only to fail to gain employment and lives at home for another 3-4 yrs...

and yep, I have no problem with an average intelligence person who is appropriately trained fixing my car.

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pcjohn 1 year, 10 months ago

You bring up a great point. My comments were based on the more literal use of the term "technical". In fact, my best friend is a Master Technician for a car dealer and, while not having gone to college, is one of the brighter folks I know. And I couldn't agree more with your statement pertaining to "worthless degrees". Thanks for the refreshing morning "eye-opener".

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NewsReader 1 year, 10 months ago

...and the point went right over your head dentaldawg83. Like I said, I can understand a 2.0 from somebody working a full time job, keeping up themselves and/or family while trying to go to school. I don't understand giving out gov'ment money to those who seek it to just get by on a 2.0. Sorry, I don't want to pay for it. If all you have to do is go to school, that is, in effect, your job. Just how far is it acceptable to you to dumb down the curriculum? It's certainly what is wrong with our public education system now. And BTW, I don't think any of us here are advocates of "every student being the next Carl Sagan." Our only expectation is that you do your personal best. And if your personal best is a 2.0 when all you have to do is your school work, then perhaps you are outside of your personal area of competency. At least a 2.0 would be an improvement at the drive-thru. Nonetheless, your comment about "smart" kids attending overpriced colleges working on worthless degrees is right on the money though.

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dentaldawg83 1 year, 10 months ago

"Sorry, I don't want to pay for it"...thendon't play the lottery..and as far as the 2.0 GPA, I believe we're talking about a high school record and frankly a kid with a 2.0 in high school really shouldn't bother with college...tech school is a better option and some money thrown in is a much better investment than what some kids are doing with it in college.

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NewsReader 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm sorry, but we'll just have to disagree on this one. And I don't think we're talking about high school. I think we're talking about maintaining a 2.0 in tech school. If your sole responsibility is to go to school and learn a trade, then you can do better than 2.0. Otherwise, go greet people at Walmart. I think the money could be better spent elsewhere on kids that do maintain a 3.0 or to expand the Pre-K program. And when I say that "...I don't want to pay for it...", that means what I just said above. I don't play the lottery, nor will I.

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