Rose Asutaku
Dr. Matthews
English 1101 Honors
04/07/11
A Future With Less HOPE
Is there any HOPE left in Georgia??™s future Many of its residents are asking themselves that important question. Why Because a bill, known as House Bill 326, has just been signed which changes the requirements for the HOPE Scholarship. The new bill raises the GPA requirements, adds a needed SAT score, and eliminates the coverage of remedial classes. So, now the question rises. Why are these key changes being made to a scholarship that has been working just fine for almost two decades The main answer lies in the fact that the revenue from lottery ticket sales, which funds the scholarship, has decreased dramatically due to the tough economic times. As a result, the state does not have enough lottery money to fund HOPE the way it used to. Even though the lottery funds are decreasing, the requirements of HOPE should not be changed in the manner that the new bill advocates.
To the eyes of the State, the changes made to HOPE are very necessary and essential to prevent the state from spending more lottery money than it has. The funding for the scholarship can not afford to pay for HOPE. There??™s no more money left. In order for them to still have the provision available to those in need, they have to toughen the eligibility requirements so fewer students can qualify. In addition to the lack of funding, some scholars are saying that the new rules of HOPE will better prepare high school students for college. According to Fran Miller, the author of an article supporting the new changes, a large number of college freshmen who take learning support classes are recipients of the HOPE Scholarship. In 2009, about 43 percent of those students ???were out of the University System after their freshmen year. All of the money being spent on them went to waste because they were not ???better prepared??? for college. Many students though will not even be able to prepare themselves for college because they will not be able to afford it.
If the present bill stays in effect, thousands of Georgian students will lose the opportunity to experience college and build a bright future for themselves. Jan Jones and Jaid Zilani both contribute to an article about this topic in the AJC. Jones highlights that since the HOPE award has been offered ???more than 1.2 million students??? have received the reward and that number continues to grow. Without that provision, many of those students would have never attended college. In toughening the requirements for the scholarship, thousands of intelligent, self-motivated students will never have the chance to attend college, which is where they learn essential lessons of life. With them not receiving any higher education, the quality of their work in any job will not be as substantial as a college graduate.
I am one of the beneficiaries of the HOPE scholarship in its previous state, before all the changes were instituted. My family is considered a low-income family, so there were no way my parents would have been able to pay for me to go to any type of college. It is thanks to HOPE that I am sitting in a college classroom today, being taught the vital skills needed to survive in the tough job market in the real world. I am working hard to maintain a good GPA because I consider it a privilege to be where I am. I was fortunate enough to gain a full scholarship before all the changes started to come up with the scholarship, but what about the all the other students in my situation who are trying to follow in my footsteps Who is going to give them a chance
With the new requirements being so tough, it seems as if a majority of the people who are going to be given a chance are from the wealthy class. Laura Diamond, author of the article ???Study guide to HOPE changes???, informs the public that high school students will be required to ???take certain courses to get HOPE.???
Because the scholarship won??™t cover remedial courses in the university system anymore, lawmakers want to students to be better prepared by taking more rigorous classes in high school. The classes are advanced math, advanced science, advanced foreign language, or Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in core subjects. This requirement starts with the May 2015 graduating class. They will have to take at least two of these courses??¦
Now that sounds like a wonderful idea because they are pushing students to take more challenging classes, but there is one problem with that. The article by Vincent Lloyd and Devin Fergus entitled ???HOPE reduction creates new losers??? brings out that few to none of those classes are offered in rural areas, but all of them are offered in wealthier parts of Georgia. For example, ???while 40 percent of students from Alpharetta High School would qualify for full scholarships??¦ just 1.8 percent of students from Meriwether County would qualify.??? Those numbers are staggering, especially because the students who live in those low-income areas are the ones that need HOPE the most. Only a minute number of them will be able to take advantage of HOPE. Zaid Jilani proposed that the State should limit the award ???to students from low- and middle-income families???, a standard that was placed on the award originally. Re-installing that ???income gap on the program will do a great deal in saving the State money that was spent in giving aid to the wealthy people who don??™t need it.???
There are many other solutions that can be used to keep the HOPE scholarship just the way it is and has always been. Instead of the trying to preserve education, the State essay writer discount code??™s quickest and most convenient option is to take HOPE away from thousands of Georgian students. It is not just about an award, but so much more. It is our future that is on the line. The children of the generation to come are going to represent our state. Do we want our state to be filled with leaders, employers, or employees without higher education The answer is definitely NO. Word Count: 1,028Works Cited
Diamond, Laura. ???Study guide to HOPE changes??? Atlanta Journal and Constitution 13 March 2011: Metro News: 9b. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 30 March 2011
Jones, Jan and Zaid Jilani. ???Are the proposed changes the best way to preserve HOPE??? Atlanta Journal and Constitution 25 February 2011: Main Edition: 17A. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 30 March 2011.
Lloyd, Vincent and Devin Fergus. ???HOPE reduction creates new losers??? Atlanta Journal and Constitution 13 March 2011: Opinion: 19A. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 02 April 2011.
Miller, Fran. ???To Save HOPE, Toughen Eligibility Requirement??? Atlanta Journal Constitution
9 December 2010: Opinion 23A. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 30 March 2011

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