Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Georgia State University will match funds for Georgia’s new needs-based REACH Scholarship program. The privately funded REACH Scholarship will be awarded to any REACH Scholar throughout the state that is accepted and enrolls in the institution. Georgia State joins Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia in this partnership.
“This program is in keeping with Georgia State University's strong commitment to ensuring that students of all backgrounds succeed," said Georgia State University president Mark Becker. "With more than 50 percent of our incoming freshmen Pell Grant eligible, closing the needs gap is among our highest priorities."
The REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Scholarship, which was announced earlier this month, selects candidates in middle school who then sign a contract requiring they maintain a certain grade point average, abstain from drug, criminal, and behavior related issues and to meet with a volunteer mentor throughout their academic career until high school graduation. Their parents or guardians will sign a contract indicating they will support their student throughout their education. Students that meet the REACH Scholarship requirements will receive a renewable award of $2,500 to be used at any HOPE-eligible institution.
The REACH Scholarship will help cover the average gap between other needs-based scholarships, such as Pell, and the full cost of attendance. Georgia State’s commitment to matching these funds will help close the gap even further for REACH Scholars, expanding the possibility of a higher education for more of Georgia’s students.
This program began as a pilot project in the Bulloch, Douglas and Rabun County School systems, expanding to new districts each year. Middle School students that will be selected for the program this fall will enter college in the fall of 2017.
The REACH Scholarship is funded at the state level by private dollars contributed to a 501(c)3 tax-exempt foundation that is housed at the Georgia Student Finance Commission, which also administers the HOPE Scholarship.
More information on the REACH Scholarship program is available at www.gacollege411.org.