HB 801 was enacted in 2016 to amend Georgia Code Section 20-3-519.2 (Eligibility requirements for a HOPE scholarship). Among other things, this bill provided for weighted scores for certain college coursework to be used in calculating college grade point averages for the HOPE scholarship.
View HB 801 here.
View Georgia Code Section 20-3-519.2 here.
Beginning in academic year 2017-2018, the cumulative grade point average calculated pursuant to this subsection shall include weighted grades for specific science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) college courses identified by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in consultation with the Technical College System of Georgia, the Department of Economic Development, and private eligible postsecondary institutions, by increasing the grade assigned by the instructor to the student for any such course by an additional 0.5 point if such grade is a B, C, or D. Such courses shall be academically rigorous and required for or leading to employment in high demand fields in Georgia in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Beginning with the completion of the 2017-2018 academic year, the Georgia Student Finance Commission shall provide a biennial report to the chairpersons of the House Committee on Higher Education and the Senate Higher Education Committee at the following general session of the legislature. The report shall include the fields identified as high demand fields and associated workforce shortages in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health care; the courses identified as academically rigorous and their relevance to such fields; and any other pertinent information that the Georgia Student Finance Commission deems relevant. The Governor shall be authorized to convene a task force to identify high demand fields and associated workforce shortages and may recommend to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia initial science, technology, engineering, and mathematics college courses to receive additional weight.
The Governor appointed an HB801 Task Force to determine which courses would be included. Courses were originally selected because they were tied to a career field that had been identified by the State as “high-need”. Eligible courses are typically STEM courses offered during the first two years of college. Every HOPE-granting institution in Georgia was given the opportunity to provide input into which courses would be eligible for the HOPE GPA boost. The University System of Georgia (USG), The Georgia Independent Colleges Association (GICA) and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) worked together to refine and create a list of courses that meet the intent of the bill. Proposed additions to the list of courses eligible for the 0.5 boost to the HOPE GPA calculation are reviewed on an annual basis by a group representing the USG, the TCSG, and GICA.
Only courses listed on the STEM Weighted Courses Directory on the GAFutures website of the Georgia Student Finance Commission are eligible to receive the 0.5 point boost. You can view the STEM Weighted Courses Directory on the GAFutures website here.