Gov. Deal: HOPE will be expanded for tech grants

Gov. Deal: HOPE will be expanded for tech grants

Gov. Nathan Deal announced an agreement to lower the grade requirements to qualify for HOPE grants at Georgia technical schools. (Photo by Lloyd Alford/myfoxatlanta) Gov. Nathan Deal announced an agreement to lower the grade requirements to qualify for HOPE grants at Georgia technical schools. (Photo by Lloyd Alford/myfoxatlanta)
ATLANTA -

Gov. Nathan Deal and state lawmakers have reached an agreement to lower the grade requirements to qualify for HOPE grants at Georgia technical schools.

The Republican governor was surrounded by legislators from both parties when he said Thursday that the threshold will be returned to a 2.0 grade point average. Lawmakers previously raised it to a 3.0 amid sagging lottery revenue projections, but Deal says an uptick in lottery proceeds allows for the flexibility.

"We believe that this will provide greater access to our schools and access to a brighter career future at a relatively small cost for our state," Deal said.

Lower eligibility will increase HOPE spending by $5 million to $8 million annually, Deal said, and will benefit several thousand students. Enrollment in 2-year technical programs has dropped since lawmakers raised the academic requirements. 

Close to 9,000 technical college students lost the HOPE grant last year because they did not meet the higher grade point average.

The change will require a new act of the legislature, but officials at the Capitol say that is now a formality.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press Modified. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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