In March the Georgia legislature, facing declining revenue from its lottery, coupled with increasing college costs, decided to cut its HOPE scholarship program dramatically.

Starting in the fall, the old HOPE, which provided essentially free college to Georgia residents who met certain basic requirements, will be gone.

The state didn’t grandfather anyone in so next semester college, which provided essentially free college to Georgia residents who met certain basic requirements and attended state schools, is going to get dramatically more expensive. So students, stuck now in colleges they can’t really afford, are trying to get as many classes in before HOPE cuts jack up tuition.
According to an article by Laura Diamond in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Across the state, some students… are rushing to get as many credits as they can during the final days of full HOPE. While final numbers won’t be in for months, colleges are seeing a modest uptick in summer school enrollment.

As of last week, Georgia Southern University reported a summer enrollment increase of more than 5 percent, and Southern Polytechnic State University is up by more than 4 percent. Georgia Tech is up by about 1.5 percent, and Kennesaw State University reported a 1 percent increase.

The HOPE scholarship program will still exist, but now instead of providing free tuition, plus money for books and other fees to all high school students with a GPA higher than 3.0, HOPE will provide full tuition to only about 10 percent of recipients.

High school valedictorians, salutatorians and those with at least a 3.7 GPA will still get full tuition but for people with that lower 3.0 GPA, their benefits will be tied, not to their own academic effort, but state lottery intake.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer