HOPE Scholarship offers Georgia students free tuition

Hope scholarships help Georgia students
Hope scholarships help Georgia students

Evan Karanovich can thank the lottery for his free college classes – and he never even had the winning ticket.

The junior at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA, is one of many recipients of the HOPE Scholarship, a unique award that offers Georgia residents full or partial tuition, funded by the state's lottery revenue.

The amount of the award of a HOPE Scholarship varies depending on the school, but qualified students can attend any public school in Georgia without charge for tuition, which can run up to $6,000 a year at some universities. Even private school students can earn a slice of the pot. Those who are eligible in the upcoming school year will receive a flat rate of $4,000 a year, up from $3,500 last year.

The HOPE Scholarship, however, does require more than powerballs and scratch-to-win cards. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA by the end of each spring term in order to keep the merit-based award.

For Karanovich, a political science major with a 3.7 GPA, that means "they are giving you money to be a good student."

"You are getting paid to go to school. It doesn't get any better than that," Karanovich, 19, said. "With HOPE, I am more worried about the test I have next week than how I am going to afford to live."