After changes were made to Georgia's popular HOPE Scholarship this summer, Reinhardt College stepped up to help prospective students who have been negatively impacted. Reinhardt has created a new grant -- the HOPE Scholarship Replacement Grant -- to be awarded to 2007 high school graduates who were HOPE-eligible before these recent changes, but now find themselves ineligible.
A law passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 2004 changed the HOPE Scholarship qualification standards in two significant ways:
The Georgia Student Finance Commission now calculates each grade-point average (GPA) for determining eligibility, instead of individual high schools; and
To qualify, a student must have at least a 3.0 GPA for a college preparatory diploma or 3.2 GPA for a career/technical diploma. This new scale replaces the previous numeric averages needed to qualify.
All over the state, there have been drastic drop-offs in the number of students who qualify as HOPE Scholars. About 18,000 fewer high school seniors qualified this year, compared with the average for the last two years. Most years, more than half of Georgia's public school seniors met the award's requirements, but this year only about a third will qualify. Cherokee County, where Reinhardt's main campus is located, had one of the sharpest declines in HOPE qualifiers.
"We understand that the new method of computing eligibility for HOPE awards by the Georgia Student Finance Commission has caught some students and families by surprise," Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood said. "At Reinhardt College, we want to help. We have created a special program for students who would have been eligible under the previous system for calculating HOPE Scholarship eligibility, but now are not. We recognize great potential in these young people and want to do all we can to help them enjoy the Reinhardt experience and receive a quality, personal, challenging and supportive education from people who care."
Students qualifying for the College's new one-time grant will receive $2000 for the academic year, $1000 for fall 2007 and $1000 for spring 2008.
Julie Cook, Reinhardt's associate dean for enrollment services, has mailed several letters about the program to the College's incoming freshmen impacted by the change. "We hope this new grant will motivate our students to perform academically so they can receive the HOPE Scholarship from the state after their freshman year," she said.
Students who have at least a 3.0 GPA after earning 30 college credit hours are eligible to receive the state-funded HOPE Scholarship of $3000 per year, or $1500 each semester.
For more information about this unique program, please call the College's Office of Admissions at (770) 720-5526 or 1-87-REINHARDT. Admissions representatives can also be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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