How's Hope Holding Up? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/30/02

How's Hope Holding Up?

Gov. Barnes in Savannah today.

It's helped more than 600,000 Georgia students get a college education. But now, some think it may soon outgrow its funding. The Hope scholarship is still going strong, but some state officials are worried it's growing too fast. However, the state's top democrats say that's not likely to happen.

"Protecting Hope is my most important job and I intend to make sure that it's available for every student while I'm governor," said Governor Barnes, in town for the meeting.

Senator Zell Miller, the man who created the Hope scholarship when he was governor of Georgia, agrees with Barnes that Hope is in no danger of any kind of failure.

"Georgia is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation," he said. "People are coming into Georgia by the hundreds of thousands a year. And so it's going to continue to grow, so that means it's going to be more people that will continue to play the lottery."

Of course more lottery players translates into more scholarship money for students like Antoinette Ellis.

"It actually lets me know that the state actually cares about my education," she said. "And they want to see me succeed along with a lot of my peers and other people who have gone ahead and finished college before me."

Statistically, 70 percent of college graduates find jobs in the state where they graduated. The goal of Hope is to keep talented Georgians here at home giving our state an educated work force ready to compete in today's global economy.

Reported by: Ron Wallace

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