published Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Georgia House OKs lower GPA for HOPE grants for tech colleges

ATLANTA — Lawmakers in the Georgia House of Representatives have given their approval to a plan to lower grade requirements for those seeking HOPE grants to attend the state’s technical colleges.

Lawmakers voted 169-1 on Thursday to approve the plan and send it to the Senate for consideration. The bill is likely to pass since it has the backing of legislative leaders and Gov. Nathan Deal. The plan would return the qualifying grade point average to 2.0.

Backers say the move could benefit several thousand students at an estimated cost of $5 million to $8 million annually.

Two years ago, state lawmakers had raised the grade point average to 3.0 to address what was then a decline in lottery revenues that fund the HOPE program.

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