School Choice & Charters

Ga. Scholarship Keeps Students In State

By John Gehring — January 31, 2001 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Georgia’s hope Scholarship program, which provides up to $3,000 a year in college aid to high school students who graduate with a B average, has enticed top-notch students to choose to attend in-state colleges and universities in greater numbers than ever before, a study concludes.

The study, conducted by two economists and a graduate researcher at the University of Georgia, found that the 7-year-old program’s broadest impact has been on influencing where students choose to go to college—rather than on widening access to postsecondary education.

“If your goal is to induce more people to go to college, this is probably not the scholarship plan to adopt,” said Christopher Cornwell, an associate professor of economics and the study’s co-author. “It is not clear the scholarship caused people to go to college who wouldn’t have otherwise.”

For More Information

Read the report, “The Enrollment Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid: Evidence from Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship,” (requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader), from the Terry College of Business.

Seventy-six percent of Georgia high school students with combined SAT scores greater than 1500, out of a possible 1600, now attend college in state, compared with just 23 percent in 1992, the researchers conclude in “The Enrollment Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid: Evidence From Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship.”

Georgia’s lottery-funded program, which has been copied in at least a dozen other states and served as the basis for President Clinton’s federal HOPE tuition tax credit, has distributed a total of more than $1 billion to more than 500,000 students since its inception in 1993.

Mr. Cornwell and David B. Mustard, an assistant professor of economics at the university’s college of business, found that the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally Scholarship has prompted an 11 percent increase in first-time freshman enrollment, mostly at four-year colleges and universities.

The two authors, along with researcher Deepa Sridhar, conclude the scholarship program has had a significant impact on African-American enrollment at Georgia’s four-year schools. From 1993 to 1998, 24 percent more African-American students enrolled at a state college or university, their research shows.

Even at more expensive private, four-year colleges, black enrollment from Georgia high schools increased by 12 percent, the study found. There was a 20 percent gain for all Georgia high school students at private, four-year colleges.

The scholarships reward students, regardless of income, who maintain at least a B average in high school with full tuition, mandatory student fees, and a book allowance at the state’s public colleges and universities. Students who attend private colleges receive $3,000 toward their tuition.

The study draws upon statistics from the Southern Regional Education Board, an Atlanta-based organization that works to improve school achievement in Southern states, and contrasts enrollment rates in Georgia with those in bordering states that enrolled the most Georgia high school graduates.

After the HOPE program began, the study shows, 18 percent fewer Georgia students enrolled in those colleges and universities. Overall, at schools throughout the 16-state SREB region, Georgia students’ out-of-state enrollment fell 7.5 percent in the same period.

About two-thirds of students lose their HOPE scholarships while in college because they fail to maintain a B average. But the researchers, whose work was financed by the National Science Foundation, say most of those retention problems occur at two-year community and technical colleges.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 31, 2001 edition of Education Week as Ga. Scholarship Keeps Students In State

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Mich. Public School Advocates Launch Effort to Stop DeVos-Backed Proposal
The former secretary of education is backing an initiative that advocates say would create an unconstitutional voucher system.
Samuel J. Robinson, mlive.com
4 min read
Student with backpack.
surasaki/iStock/Getty
School Choice & Charters The Pandemic Pushed More Families to Home School. Many Are Sticking With It
These parents have a common desire to take control of their children's education at a time when control feels elusive for so many people.
Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times
6 min read
Karen Mozian homeschools her sixth-grade son, Elijah, age 9, at their home in Redondo Beach, California on Jan. 13, 2022. Mozian says her son wasn't getting the kind of help he needed at school. On his study breaks, he enjoys skateboarding and practicing drums.
Karen Mozian homeschools her 6th grade son, Elijah, age 9, at their home in Redondo Beach, California on Jan. 13, 2022. Mozian says her son wasn't getting the kind of help he needed at school. On his study breaks, he enjoys skateboarding and practicing drums.
Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via TNS
School Choice & Charters Bloomberg Launches $750 Million Fund to Grow Charter Schools Amid 'Broken' K-12 System
Former New York City mayor and one-time presidential hopeful Michael R. Bloomberg aims to add 150,000 charter school seats over five years.
5 min read
New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, second from left, and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, far left, meeting with senior students at the Bedford Academy High School in New York on Dec. 3, 2013. Bloomberg campaigned on gaining control of the nation's largest public school system. left his mark by championing charter schools, expanding school choice, giving schools letter grades, and replacing scores of struggling institutions with clusters of small schools.
Then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, second from left, and former Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, far left, meet with senior students at Bedford Academy High School in New York in 2013.
Bebeto Matthews/AP
School Choice & Charters Opinion The Kind of School Reform That Parents Actually Want
Parents' inclination to focus on solving specific problems rather than system change helps explain the appetite for novel school options.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty