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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

HOPE Scholarhip, Budget Cuts, and Homeschoolers

With serious budget cuts on the horizon, there are a lot of grumblings about how the HOPE Scholarship should be cut.

It seems that most Georgians want to return the scholarship to it's original intent and draw a top income line cutting off upper income families... (they seem to forget there was also a lower income cut off too as you could not get PELL and HOPE at one time.)  As a homeschooler,  whose children have different and more stringent set of rules of earning the HOPE scholarship, my family would just miss that upper cut off amount and my kids would not get the scholarship if this happens.  But I am not fretting over it because I am not counting on it anyway, because homeschoolers have to be beyond exceptional to get the scholarship first year anyway.  Beyond that first year, my kids could get HOPE if they don't place the income restrictions, unless they use the sliding scale (also suggested), in which case my kids would probably get 80%.  But regardless, come hell or high water, as my mother used to say, if my kids want to stay in college, they will figure it out... I did. ... Although I might help them more than my parents helped me.

Anywhooo...  my point is this.  If homeschoolers need to score in the 85th percentile (SAT approx 1800, ACT 26)  to qualify for the HOPE scholarship first year, why are public school kids getting the scholarships with "B" averages only? And then, if they get the "B" average, why do they need remedial math and writing classes.  HMMMM...  Homeschoolers have to jump through these extra hoops because there is a fear that homeschooling moms will inflate grades.  Meanwhile there is no doubt that schools are inflating grades.

Fair is Fair.

In all fairness, I propose that anyone who can get into the 75th percentile on the ACT or SAT (SAT approx 1680,  ACT 24)  should be eligible for the HOPE scholarship.  Period. This is less than what is expected of homeschoolers... it is what should be expected of ALL students including homeschoolers.

Ok, but there are arguments that the SAT and maybe even the ACT is culturally biased.  So let's make an exception.  If the student does not fall into the 75th percentile on the ACT or SAT, but is in the top 25 percentile in his class based on GPA then he should also be eligible for the HOPE scholarship.  This exemption would leave homeschoolers out, but we are already used to waiting a year to qualify for the HOPE scholarship, and our kids still seem to manage to pay for that first year of college.

So either 75% or higher on the SAT or ACT OR top 25% in class rank and a student could get the HOPE scholarship.  These simple guidelines would eliminate any extra administration on figuring out who gets the Scholarship, and would still cut out the possibility of student who are not ready for college getting the scholarship based on inflated grades.  But to be fair to those students, if they can get a 3.0 average in their Freshman year, they should also be eligible for the grant.

Just saying...

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