Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship: A victim of its own success?
About this analysis
Since its creation in 1993, the HOPE Scholarship has taken on the status of a birthright for Georgia students who want to go to college. More than 1.7 million of them have received substantial tuition assistance worth more than $8 billion. It’s no wonder that Georgians love HOPE and the opportunities it offers to families throughout the state.
Despite the abundance of cash from the Georgia Lottery, the public demand threatens to overwhelm available funding. The Committee to Preserve HOPE Scholarships wanted to determine if that could actually happen.
To help uncover and analyze the facts, the Committee hired award-winning journalist Nancy Badertscher to study HOPE from its beginning. Nancy covered politics, government and education for more than 30 years at Georgia newspapers, including the last 16 years at The Atlanta Journal- Constitution. She has won more than a dozen state and national writing awards and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
For months, Nancy searched through scores of documents and interviewed numerous experts, parents and students on all aspects of HOPE. Her mission was to help assess the financial future of HOPE. In simple terms, can it last?
“As a journalist, I’m naturally curious — and skeptical,” said Nancy. “I approached this assignment as I would any investigative piece of journalism: Drill down into the facts, and then let them speak for themselves.”
Committee to Preserve HOPE Scholarships