Deal Proposes Need-Based Scholarship

Source: Laura Diamond / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gov. Nathan Deal proposed creating a needs-based scholarship Monday that has the potential to help thousands of poor Georgia students afford college.

Eligible students can receive an annual tuition scholarship of $2,500. The award will cover the gap between other needs-based scholarships, such as the federal Pell Grant, and the full cost of attending a college, he said.

The REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Scholarship will be privately funded and Deal announced a $250,000 donation from AT&T.

The program will target middle school students who will be asked to sign a contract promising to maintain good grades, stay out of trouble and ultimately earn a high school diploma. Students will be assigned a mentor to help them stay on the right track. Their parents must also sign a contract promising to help their children do well in school.

The program will start with 25 scholars from three school systems — Douglas, Rabun and Bulloch county schools – and additional districts will be added each year, Deal said.

The announcement was made at Georgia Tech where President Bud Peterson said the college will match the REACH scholarship for any recipient who enrolls at the school.

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