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Georgia State University-2016--Financial Aid Interventions

Campus Strategy: 
Demonstration of Priority and/or Impact: 

With 59% of Georgia State students coming from Pell-eligible households (where the annual household income last year was less than $30,000), the Hope scholarship can be a mixed blessing.  The $6,000+ scholarship provides access to college for thousands of Georgia State students, but for the student who does not maintain a 3.0 college GPA, the loss of Hope often means the student has to drop out for financial reasons. In 2008, the graduation rates for students who lose the Hope scholarship were only 20%, 40-points lower than the rates for those who hold on to it. Gaining the Hope Scholarship back after losing it is a statistical longshot: only about 9% of Georgia State students pull this off.   Keep Hope Alive provides a $500 stipend for two semesters to students who have lost Hope as an incentive for them to follow a rigorous academic restoration plan that includes meeting with advisors, attending workshops, and participating in financial literacy training—all designed to help students improve their GPAs and to regain the scholarship. Since 2008, the program has helped to almost double the graduation rates of Georgia State students who lose the Hope scholarship.

Summary of Activities: 

By signing a contract to receive $500 for each of the first two semesters after losing Hope, students agree to participate in a series of programs and interventions designed to get them back on track academically and to make wise financial choices in the aftermath of losing the scholarship. 

Scholarship Criteria:

  • Program is open to freshman and sophomore students with a 2.75 – 2.99 HOPE grade point average.
  • Student must pursue a minimum of 30 credit hours within the next academic year (fall, spring, and summer semesters).
  • Students must attend Student Success workshops facilitated by the Office of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Students must meet with their academic coach on a regular basis.
  • Students are required to attend mandatory advisement sessions facilitated by the University Advisement Center.

During the coming academic year, we are exploring models for the use of KHA for our associate-degree seeking students.

Metrics and Measures: 

Baseline Status

Retention rates for students receiving the HOPE scholarship were 50% in 2008.

Six-year graduation rates for students who lost their HOPE scholarship at some point in their academic career were 21% in 2008

Interim Measures of Progress

For students in KHA in the period from 2011 to 2015, better than 55% gained the scholarship back at the next marker, in the process leveraging our $1,000 scholarship investment by gaining between $6,000 and $12,000 of Hope dollars back again.

Measures of Success

Since 2008, institutional HOPE retention rates have increased by 50%, from 49% to 75% in 2015.

Compared to 2008, the six-year graduation rate for students who lost their HOPE scholarship at some point in their academic carrier has almost doubled, from 21% in 2008 to 38% in 2015.


Lessons Learned: 

Losing the HOPE scholarship puts students far more at risk than losing a 3.0 GPA.  

Keep Hope Alive
Point of Contact: 
Dr. Eric Cuevas, Director of Student Success Programs