Showing posts with label college tuition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label college tuition. Show all posts

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What is the Future of Georgia’s HOPE Scholarships?

The Committee to Preserve HOPE Scholarships has issued a new report saying that in 2018, funds for the general HOPE Scholarships will start to decline.  By 2022, funds for full-tuition Zell Miller Scholarships will exceed HOPE, and by 2028, HOPE could be in the red despite an expanding lottery.

“While the Georgia Lottery remains popular, the lottery proceeds cannot grow as fast as tuition at Georgia colleges and universities, along with other uses such as the state’s Pre-K and HOPE Grant programs,” explained Michael Wald, an independent economic analyst who reviewed the data that supported the report’s conclusions.

The report estimates that annual increases of 7.5% in tuition costs and 6% in Zell Miller Scholars, while expecting a 2.5% increase in lottery funds.

"Despite a tidal wave of cash from the Georgia Lottery, demand for tuition assistance among Georgia families is overtaking the ability to fund the scholarships as intended," according to Chip Lake, President of the Committee to Preserve HOPE Scholarships as reported on WXIA-TV.

The Georgia Student Finance Commission released a statement to 11Alive's Ryan Kruger saying: 

“The Committee to Preserve HOPE Scholarships is a private entity with no affiliation with the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). We just received this report and look forward to analyzing it over the coming days. As with any long-term projection, it is critical to understand that there are many factors that can impact program costs – tuition, enrollment, etc.”

A 2013 study by David Sjoquist and John Winters on “The Effects of HOPE on Post-Schooling Retention in the Georgia Workforce” listed the objectives of the HOPE Scholarship program as:

• Increasing academic achievement of high school and college students by promoting and rewarding academic excellence.
• Increasing the percentage of high school students who attend college by making college more affordable.
• Increasing the percentage of the “best and brightest” students who stay in-state to go to college.
• Increasing the quality of the workforce, in part by retaining the “best and the brightest” after they graduate from college.

Their study concluded that “HOPE altered the composition of students enrolled in the USG [University System of Georgia] and that the students who enrolled in the USG because of the HOPE Scholarship are less attached to living and working in the state after college than students who would have attended the USG regardless of HOPE. Policymakers should be conscious of post-schooling retention probabilities when making efforts to attract certain students to attend college in their state.”

A 2011 study by James Condon, published in the Journal of Student Financial Aid found that “the HOPE Scholarship Program has been a tremendous asset to the state of Georgia. The program has been so successful that other states have attempted to model their own programs after it.”

If The Committee to Preserve HOPE Scholarships is correct that the HOPE program will run out of money by the time current kindergarten students are ready to enroll in college, the question remains whether the HOPE program has proved its value and should be preserved or be allowed to phase out as funds fail to keep pace with costs?