The future of the HOPE Scholarship

Taylor Moore contributor

According to the Georgia Student Finance Commission, more than 1.75 million students have been helped by the HOPE Scholarship since its creation.

The scholarship has been helping college and Pre-K students for many years, allowing them to attend HOPE eligible colleges and universities and Pre-K programs to help further their education.

Currently, the Georgia Lottery is raising money for the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) scholarship for college students. This program provides “bright students who otherwise would find it difficult to go to college” the ability to get a degree.

“The HOPE Scholarship has really helped me pay for school and I think it’s a great idea that the Georgia Lottery is raising money for HOPE,” Aaron Thomas, senior exercise science major, said.

The HOPE Scholarship provides partial tuition funding for Georgia students who have demonstrated academic achievement with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.69 and to those who are pursuing an undergraduate degree at a HOPE Scholarship eligible college or university in Georgia.

Steps taken

Over the past few years, there have been many measures and steps taken in order to raise more money for HOPE. According to some reports, the HOPE Scholarship could run out of money by 2028.

More recently, on Jan. 26, 2017, Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta introduced Senate Bill 79 (SB 79), the Destination Resort Act, which would have made the operation of two resort style casinos legal in Georgia.

Though the bill died in the year’s legislative session, the Destination Resort Casinos bill was an act that would have authorized the creation of three resort-style entertainment complexes, each requiring $1 billion in capital investment and $225 million in licensing fees and together generating annual state revenues of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The multi-use resorts would have included restaurants, hotels, limited gaming facilities, retail shops, convention and meeting centers, entertainment facilities and service centers.

This bill had three lead sponsors: Rep. Brian Wallace, Rep. Martin Walsh and Sen. Joan Menard.

Records set

This is the fifth-consecutive year lottery profits have set a record, a positive trend that comes as the lottery has strained to meet the needs of popular education programs that continue to grow. In total, the lottery raised about $1.1 billion, with profits exceeding last year’s by more than $117 million.

The Georgia Lottery says it is one of the most successful state-run lotteries in America. It is rich in sales and in delivering over a billion dollars to HOPE scholarships and pre-K programs.

Nakia Hardison, a junior communications studies major, thinks HOPE is a great thing for students.

Hardison said, “Unfortunately college is expensive. The lottery raising money for students is a great opportunity for us.”