TN Report: Most Tennesseans Want To Limit Lottery Scholarships

"Recent opinion polling suggests a substantial majority of Tennesseans favor limiting state lottery-funded scholarships to students in financial need," The Murfreesboro Post reports. "The current practice is to reward academic success regardless of family income or socioeconomic background. Released May 21 by Vanderbilt University’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, the poll showed 64 percent of respondents believe the HOPE scholarship program should award students demonstrating financial need, while 34 percent favored the current practice. ... State-sponsored scholarships that reward academic merit gained popularity after Georgia adopted such a program for its HOPE scholarship in 1993, which Tennessee’s scholarship largely follows. Critics say that such an approach often leaves out at-risk populations, such as minorities, in favor of students who would likely go to college regardless of receiving the scholarship. But a 2007 report from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators praised Tennessee for awarding academic achievement while still managing to include larger numbers of students by requiring students to meet either the GPA or ACT mark, rather than asking students to meet both marks."

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