Georgia launches new scholarship for technical school students - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Georgia launches new scholarship for technical school students

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - A new Georgia law that goes into effect Tuesday benefits students at technical schools across the state. News 3's Naomi Keitt spoke with officials at Columbus Technical College and says students with good grades will get 100% of their tuition covered. House Bill 697 will give tech students with a 3.5 GPA a little more money in their pockets to spend on other expenses. College representatives say they hope it will boost enrollment and encourage students to do better in the classroom.

Abraham Maynard is working to get his GED and then plans to enroll at Columbus Technical College. He says now that tech students can get 100% of tuition covered, he's encouraged to do better in school so he can keep a little more money in his pocket.

"Maybe buy some supplies for school and everything. That extra money will be towards something that you need," said Maynard.

Tara Askew, the VP of Student Affairs at Columbus Technical College, says before Tuesday, the 4000 Columbus Tech students could get a maximum of 75% of their tuition covered.

"They're very interested in 'What is it that I can do in order to gain this full 100% tuition,'" said Askew.

Askew says students have to maintain a 3.5 GPA in order to qualify for the Zell Miller grant. There is no previous high school GPA requirement and first year students can be reimbursed if they successfully maintain that 3.5 GPA during their first semester at a technical school.

"I'm very excited for our students. I'm very excited for the college. It's just another opportunity to assist our students to graduate. At the end of the day our ultimate goal is to have our students to enroll but also for them to graduate," said Askew.

For students at Columbus Technical College, a full semester load costs a little over $1,000. The grant will save them about $275 in tuition each semester. Maynard says it'll help him prepare for his future.

"If I want to do something better in life. I will need my education," said Maynard.

The scholarship is only available to Georgia students but active duty military personnel and their dependants stationed at Fort Benning do qualify for Hope and the Zell Miller grant.

For more information you can visit http://gov.georgia.gov/press-releases/2014-04-29/deal-enacts-zell-miller-grant-tech-system-students.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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