UGA will join in the effort of awarding scholarships to low-income students through the state’s new needs-based Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen Program. The university will match the scholarship award for any REACH Scholars who are accepted to and enroll in UGA. The Feb. 10 announcement by Gov. Nathan Deal makes UGA the second state school, joining Georgia Tech, to make this commitment since the launch of the scholarship earlier this month.
“It is imperative that our state’s students have the opportunity to achieve higher education regardless of their family’s income,” said Deal. “The REACH Scholarship is a way to help Georgians succeed in their academic endeavors by rewarding those who show good moral character and dedication to their studies. UGA and Tech’s decisions to get involved with REACH will give a lifeline to a world-class education for deserving students who have worked hard but still need a helping hand to afford college. I hope that schools across the state will note this leadership and decide to get on board and continue to expand the scope and promise of the REACH scholarship.”
Selected in middle school, REACH Scholars will sign a contract to maintain a certain grade point average, remain free of crime, drugs and behavior issues and meet with a volunteer mentor until they graduate from high school. Their parents or guardians will sign a contract to support their student through their education. Students meeting the requirements will receive a renewable yearly tuition scholarship of $2,500 to be used at any HOPE-eligible institution. UGA’s announcement commits it to matching the first-year awards.
“Gov. Deal’s newly announced need-based scholarship program fits well with UGA’s growing focus on providing financial aid for those who most need it,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “With the ready support of the UGA Foundation for this effort, we are pleased to be able to match the REACH Scholarship funding for any student who qualifies for admission to UGA under the scholarship during its first year.”
The program is beginning as a pilot project in school systems in Bulloch, Douglas and Rabun counties, with additional districts to be added each year. Middle school students selected for the program this fall will enter college in fall 2017.
The REACH Scholarship is funded at the state level by private dollars contributed to a 501(c)3 tax-exempt foundation housed at the Georgia Student Finance Commission, which also administers the HOPE Scholarship. Likewise, UGA’s matching of funds would come through the private University of Georgia Foundation.
More information on Georgia scholarship programs is available at www.gacollege411.org