I know the importantance of receiving a scholarship to assist with paying for college. Today, we are looking at a program that is on the verge of disappearing. The politicians are trying to figure out ways to preserve this scholarship. What are some things that can be done in order to make sure the scholarship will be available for future generations.
First, the Board of Regents needs to stop increasing the tuition cost. Over the last few years, the cost of going to college has grown at a rate that exceeds the rate of inflation. Colleges have less full time professors that are working in the classroom. Professors are no longer teachers, they spend their time doing "research," while they employ Teacher Assistants to run the classrooms. At the current rate of increase in the cost of tuition in Georgia, in the near future it will be cheaper to be an out of state student in Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee than to stay in Georgia and be a resident student.
Second, the politicians need to stop using the HOPE fund to fund unrelated projects. When the program began receiving funding in 1993, the funding came in so fast and exceeded what was needed to fund the scholarships that were awarded. The politicians began taking the excess funds to pay for projects in departments that ran out of money.
Third, an income cap needs to be in place. Originally, the scholarship had an income cap for students who went to public colleges. However, no income cap was given to students who went to Oglethorpe, Emory, Mercer, or the various other private colleges in the state. Once the public found that out, they began to demand income caps for private colleges. Instead, the politicians removed the income caps for all students. I applaud anyone who has been successful, but when you are making $300,000 a year you are making pretty good business decisions and know how to budget. With that in mind, the state shouldn't be funding your kid's college education.
Last, the public school system does not need to receive funds based on how many students that graduate and receive the scholarship. Many students that who receive the scholarship lose it at the end of their first year. You may say that many of these students flunk because they are partying too much. Overall though, personal behavior does not change too much from one year to the next. The behavior of these students are the same in high school as they will be in the first year of college. High School grades are given, not earned. Removing the bonus funding based on number of scholarships received will reduce the amount of grades given. Many students today cannot handle going from an environment where they are told that they are special and given grades and being placed in an environment where teachers could care less who you are, where you are from, or if you pass. If students had to earn their grades, they would have better study habbits, a better outlook on education, and be able to handle the stress and workload of a college level education.
Do these changes, and you'll see the HOPE Scholarship lasting further in the future.
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