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Hope Scholarship Vote in Georgia

Once again students in the Peach State continue to lose hope about the security of their Hope Scholarship.

For Valdosta State students, music is not only their major, but their passion in life. Unlike other majors at VSU, both the music and art departments require students to earn 134 hours to graduate instead of the standard 127.

These two programs qualify for an extension of the Hope Scholarship, an extension which lawmakers are now trying to eliminate.

Doug Tanner, VSU Financial Aid Director, says, "It limits the Hope Scholarship to 127 absolute hours. In the past there have been some programs where it paid for some extra hours."

The cap recently received a thumbs up from the Georgia House and now heads to the Senate. If approved there, the students say they won't be singing for joy.

Emily Cook, a VSU music major, says, "With this taken away from me I might have to take out loans and I was hoping to go straight into my graduate work, and that might not work out."

These students say the bill discriminates against their course of study.

John-Alan Gourdine, a music education major, says, "I think it's completely unfair. I think we actually work harder considering we take on at least three more hours than the average student."

They’re extra hours that could cost music and art students at a handful of Georgia universities a substantial amount of money.

The bill was approved Tuesday afternoon by the House with a vote of 93 to 76.


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