Some tech college students may lose HOPE grants

ATLANTA (AP) - Thousands of Georgia's technical college students could lose the HOPE grants that pay their tuition under changes the state is making to the cash-strapped program.

Many are working moms and laid-off factory workers who flocked to the colleges for training in a different profession after the economy faltered.

More than 75 percent of technical college students rely on the $2,700-a-year award to pay tuition, but 20,000 of them may lose it entirely. That's because for the first time ever, they'll be required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average to keep getting the money.

The changes to HOPE signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal were made as part of a plan to slash $300 million in spending by lottery-funded programs predicted to go broke by next year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)