Only a third of Georgia students qualify for a HOPE scholarship to an in-state college or university. Before Georgia standardized what it meant by a B average, a majority of public school seniors qualified.
HOPE hasn’t boosted significantly the number of Georgia students who go on to college, says David Mustard, a University of Georgia associate professor of economics. Instead, the program has encouraged high school graduates to attend in-state colleges.
The minimally qualified don’t last very long.
In the past, fewer than half of HOPE scholars have stayed in school and had high enough GPAs to retain the award. Mustard also predicted that the toughened standards will persuade high school students to buckle down.
Several other states now promise college aid to students with less than a B average. Wisconsin requires a 2.85 average, Oklahoma a 2.5 and Indiana a 2.0 (C) average.