Atlanta- With college costs on the rise, one Georgia lawmaker is trying to make tuition free for more students.
A new House Bill would make it so that students in Georgia who are not eligible for the Zell Miller scholarship coming out of high school would be able to earn it once they get to college. If passed, the bill would allow college sophomores, juniors and seniors to apply for the Zell Miller scholarship which covers 100% of tuition for in-state students in Georgia.
UGA student Brooke Walton isn’t eligible for free college tuition. She says she just missed the necessary grade point average to qualify for the Zell Miiller 100% college scholarship. Since starting UGA–her grades are now within the guidelines…but she’s still not eligible. She said, “I started realizing, ‘Oh, I am paying more than other people are paying…and it’s all because of my grades in high school.”
The Zell Miller scholarship requires students to leave high school with a 3.7 GPA and a 1200 SAT. But if they, like Walton, don’t meet the criteria out of high school then it doesn’t matter how well they do in college. They’re out of luck. State Representative Stacey Evens wants to change that. She said, “If you can handle that for two semesters then you have proven that you can handle the rigor and should be able to get the scholarship.”
UGA student government activist Megan Ernst saying that the student governent association fully supports the bill. She said, “We’re really hopeful that this is gonna be a change we we get to see happen on campus soon.”
Representatives from both parties support the bill. Evans is hopeful that it will get through the legislature and then be signed into law.
The bill is currently in the House Appropriations Committee.
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