Gov. Nathan Deal (File Photo)
ATLANTA -- Nearly two years after Georgia students took to the state capitol to protest HOPE scholarship cuts, Governor Nathan Deal announced a proposal that would add money to the HOPE program.
In his State of the State address last week, Gov. Deal said he plans to increase money for HOPE by three percent. A surprisingly successful lottery year accounts for more than half of a $100 million surplus in the state's HOPE and pre-kindergarten fund.
According to the Georgia Student Finance Commission, the additional $45 million is a result of fewer students receiving the HOPE grant.
Gov. Deal has also announced changes to the HOPE grant program: students majoring in nursing, early childhood education or commercial truck driving will receive additional money.
"One of our initiatives is to direct more of the HOPE grant funds to those professional areas where jobs currently exist in order to fill that vacuum," Deal said in a press conference Thursday.
For most HOPE recipients, a three percent increase would amount to a $30 to $90 increase.
But for Georgia State junior Andrew Mixon, who just paid $1000 out of pocket last semester, the possibility is exciting.
"That would definitely help," he said. "Even if it just covers a couple of books, it gives me that money to be able to spend on other things."