Deal signs bill to expand access to tech schools


April 24, 2013

Governor Deal signs billGovernor Deal signs House Bill 732 to expand access to the HOPE Grant.

At the Technical College System of Georgia 2013 Leadership Summit, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law legislation that will lower the GPA requirement for the HOPE Grant, which goes to students in the technical college system. By expanding access to the HOPE Grant, HB 372 will strengthen the state’s workforce development efforts.

“We need more college or technical college degrees in order to attract and fill the jobs of tomorrow,” Deal said. “This additional benefit will provide Georgians with greater access to school at a relatively small cost to the state.”

This bill will drop the GPA requirement for the HOPE Grant back to a 2.0 after it increased to 3.0 two years ago for budgetary reasons. Recent growth in Lottery revenues will cover the additional $5 million to $8 million this expansion will cost. In the first six months of this fiscal year, deposits were up $32 million, a 7.6 percent increase over the same period the year before.

“In recent years, Georgia has seen a large drop in technical college enrollment – much larger than in our University System,” Deal said. “For some students enrolled in a technical school, the loss of scholarship money put higher education out of reach. This law will provide greater access to school and to a brighter career for thousands of Georgians.”