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Hoppe urges legislators to oppose lottery scholarships for private colleges

April 22, 2003

APSU President Sherry Hoppe wrote a letter to state legislators encouraging them not to support a plan that would give students attending private institutions the same level of lottery scholarships as students attending public institutions.

Hoppe said that while she understood the argument that the state would save on appropriations for public institutions if more students attended private institutions, private schools already have a state-funded program in place.
April 22, 2003

APSU President Sherry Hoppe wrote a letter to state legislators encouraging them not to support a plan that would give students attending private institutions the same level of lottery scholarships as students attending public institutions.

Hoppe said that while she understood the argument that the state would save on appropriations for public institutions if more students attended private institutions, private schools already have a state-funded program in place.

Through the Restoration Grant Program, private institutions not only receive a disproportionate share of funds through the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation but also have a built-in mechanism for automatic increases, Hoppe said.

In 2002-03, private institution students received average awards of $4,468, while public institution students received an average award of $1,224.

Under the current program, students at private schools received a maximum grant award of $5,202. The proposed maximum for public students is $2,130.

"While educating 19 percent of the higher education population in Tennessee, private institutions received 38.2 percent of total awards," Hoppe said. "It seems inherently unfair to provide another equalization program in addition to one that grows annually with state-appropriated funds."

Hoppe encouraged legislators not to support an equalization component in any lottery proposal but asked that they eliminate the Restoration Grant Program if they did consider such a component.