The Republican governor was surrounded by legislators from both parties when he said Thursday that the threshold will be returned to a 2.0 grade point average. Lawmakers previously raised it to a 3.0 amid sagging lottery revenue projections, but Deal says an uptick in lottery proceeds allows for the flexibility.
Lower eligibility will increase HOPE spending by $5 million to $8 million annually, Deal said, and will benefit several thousand students. Enrollment in two-year technical programs has dropped since lawmakers raised the academic requirements.
The change will require a new act of the legislature, but officials at the Capitol say that is now a formality.