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More rigor for HOPE starts in 2015

5/30/2014, 6 a.m.

Students graduating from high school on or after May 1, 2015, will have to meet new academic requirements to qualify for the HOPE Scholarship.

The new requirements were included in bipartisan legislation signed and enacted in 2011 that made significant changes to the HOPE Programs, including the creation of the Zell Miller Scholarship Program. When the legislation was introduced, Gov. Nathan Deal said it is designed to stabilize the lottery-funded programs, including pre-k.

The minimum number of courses required prior to graduation increases from two in 2015 to three in 2016, then to four in 2017. New requirements also are included in House Bill 697 signed by Deal on April 29, 2014. Among requirements:

n Advanced math, such as Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry, Math III, or an equivalent or higher course taken at an eligible high school or taken for degree level credit at an eligible postsecondary institution;

n Advanced science, such as Chemistry, Physics, Biology II, or an equivalent or higher course taken at an eligible high school or taken for degree level credit at an eligible postsecondary institution;

n Advanced placement courses in core subjects;

n International baccalaureate courses in core subjects;

n Courses taken at a unit of the University System of Georgia in core subjects where such courses are not remedial and developmental courses; or

n Advanced foreign language courses taken at an eligible high school or taken for degree level credit at an eligible postsecondary institution.

For more information, visit http://www.gsfc.org.