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Tennessee's lottery scholarship should have more need-based qualifications, Gov. Phil Bredesen told state university leaders at budget hearings last week.

Bredesen said legislators will take a look at the HOPE scholarship's effectiveness before the end of the session, and he's recommending a two-tiered system to reward the highest achievers while helping the students most in need.
Tennessee's lottery scholarship should have more need-based qualifications, Gov. Phil Bredesen told state university leaders at budget hearings last week.

Bredesen said legislators will take a look at the HOPE scholarship's effectiveness before the end of the session, and he's recommending a two-tiered system to reward the highest achievers while helping the students most in need.

As it stands, first-time freshmen receive the $4,000 scholarship with a 3.0 high school grade-point average or a 21 on the ACT. Nearly three-fourths of students lose the scholarship before graduating after failing to maintain the required grade-point average, a report by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission revealed.

Bredesen told a panel that included Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Charles Manning and University of Tennessee President John Petersen the numbers indicate the scholarship isn't a motivator for higher grades.

He offered one example in which students with a high school grade-point average of 3.5 or higher would receive the scholarship regardless of need. Students with a grade-point average between 2.5 and 3.5 would be considered on a need-based scale. (The Tennessean, Nov. 30, 2007)