Governor Deal signs bill to expand access to technical colleges
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 higher education 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.”
“The change in HOPE grant GPA requirements,” stated Dr. Glenn Deibert, president of Okefenokee Technical College, is good news to individuals who otherwise would not be able to attend college. OTC faculty and staff are committed to student success and a qualified workforce, so at the end of the day, this change benefits everyone, the entire community. We appreciate the efforts of our local legislative delegation who helped make this happen.
Governor Nathan Deal took a few moments for photos after affixing his signature to HB 372 at the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Leadership Summit in Atlanta. Among those bearing witness to his action were Commissioner Ron Jackson (at the Governor’s right hand) and OTC President, Dr. Glenn Deibert (far left in photo).