Now, recently, I've had some news that's both angered and concerned me. Governor Nathan Deal signed something not too long ago that will bring changes to the Georgia HOPE Scholarship and Grant. The Grant will now pay only about 90% of tuition and will not pay any mandatory fees or books.
I am just so outraged by this decision. The books, and maybe the fees, are okay to cut out, but some people (my family included) likely can't afford to pay 10% of tuition! What annoys me is how they're bragging about how they're "saving the program" by making cuts. In my opinion, they might as well cut the whole program altogether. I don't think my family or I can afford to pay even 10% of tuition, so what does it matter if it still covers 90%? I mean, really!?
I'm just disgusted by that decision. What makes it worse is that part of the reason that was probably done is because the officials are so hung up on making the Grant based on academic achievement only. I understand why they want to have it that way, and normally, I would support that, but when a government's got a bad budget, I think it would be a better use of money and more of a relief for poor families and college students to use the money to help pay for the education of people who don't have high incomes. I'm sorry, but I just don't think that a government needs to pay for a rich person's education - especially not when the state has an insufficient budget. But no, these dang government officials HAVE to make the Grant "academic only," and thus, they have no money to pay 100% tuition, and so those people who really can't afford to go to college can't pay the 10%.
As I said, I'm just furious about this. I understand that the state doesn't have an unlimited amount of money, but as I said before, a lot more money could be pumped into the system by setting an income cap. I'm very well aware that a lot of people are against that idea, but to truly help those who can't afford college, I really strongly wish everyone would reconsider.
And what about student loans? I don't have a credit rating, and I don't know about anyone else's rating that could possibly co-sign for me. Besides, I don't like the idea of loans anyway - especially since I don't have the cash upfront anyway or a decent credit rating. A loan just seems like an overwhelming obligation for me at this point in time. My current philosophy is to either pay the bill in full upfront or get a scholarship that can do that. And since I probably can't do either at this point in time, well...come fall 2011, I'm not sure if I'll be able to go to college. I really don't know what I'm going to do.