A grant that enables certain technical education students in Georgia to receive free tuition now has a name that better reflects the grant’s goals.
The HOPE Career Grant, formerly known as the Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant, is available to HOPE Grant-qualified students who enroll in select majors specifically aligned with one of 12 industries in which there are more jobs available in Georgia than there are skilled workers to fill them. These industries were identified by Governor Deal’s High-Demand Career Initiative and the General Assembly as strategically important to the state’s economic growth. They are among the many forms of financial assistance available through the Georgia Student Finance Commission.
“We continuously seek ways to help our Georgia students attain a high-quality, affordable education that leads to a productive career,” said Gov. Deal. “This grant is an important piece in our tool kit of educational assets, and helps students prepare to enter those industries in the state that have the greatest workforce needs.”
“A Georgia student who qualifies for one of these grants pays absolutely no tuition, and in some cases the grants cover fees and equipment as well,” said Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), which offers more than 200 programs in the industries targeted by the grant. “This is a great opportunity for students in our 22 colleges and the Georgia companies who seek them. We believe the new name will help students understand that a rewarding career is the end goal of the grant.”
The grant, which was implemented in 2013 for three key industries, now benefits qualified students who enroll in the following 12 program areas:
- Certified Engineer Assistant
- Commercial Truck Driving
- Computer Programming
- Computer Technology
- Diesel Equipment Technology
- Early Childhood Care and Education
- Health Science
- Industrial Maintenance
- Movie Production/Set Design
- Practical Nursing
- Precision Manufacturing
- Welding and Joining Technology
To receive the HOPE Career Grant, students must first qualify for the HOPE Grant, which applies to diplomas and certificates only rather than the HOPE Scholarship, which applies to Associate and Bachelor degrees. The HOPE Grant is available for students of any age. A student can attend college part-time and does not have to have a specific high school GPA, but must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA after enrolling in college.
The HOPE Career Grant is also available to recipients of the Zell Miller Grant, which, in addition to HOPE Grant requirements, stipulates that students must maintain at least a cumulative 3.5 GPA at the end of each college term.
While the HOPE Career Grant opportunities are open for any qualified student pursuing a certificate or diploma at a public college in Georgia, students within the Technical College System of Georgia have been the main beneficiaries. The number of certificates or diplomas in these 12 areas awarded to technical college students in the 2016 academic year was 16,514, up from 11,289 in 2013.
“The opportunity to have a grant that paid my tuition meant the world to me,” said Skylar Huggett, a 2017 welding graduate from Savannah Technical College and the TCSG Technical Education “GOAL” Student of the Year. “The Pell Grant, Zell Miller Grant, HOPE Career grant and my part-time job collectively made it possible for me to enter the welding career I’m passionate about.”
About the Technical College System of Georgia
The 22 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) are Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers. TCSG offers world-class training in 600 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs to students who are trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors who are experts in their fields. The system also houses Georgia’s Office of Adult Education, which promotes and provides adult literacy and education programs, including the GED® testing program, throughout the state. In addition, TCSG partners with companies through Quick Start, the nation’s top customized workforce training program, and through its individual colleges, who work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions. For more information, visit www.TCSG.edu