Governor Announces New Scholarship Program while at Georgia Tech

REACH Scholarship available to middle schoolers

With Georgia Tech as his backdrop, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal unveiled the state’s new need-based college scholarship program, the REACH Scholarship (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen), on Monday. REACH targets middle school students, encouraging them to stay in school, maintain a certain grade point average and remain crime, drug and behavior-issue free. The governor made the announcement on Tech Walkway outside Clough Commons.

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Governor Nathan Deal announces the REACH Scholarship Program while at Georgia Tech on February 6, 2012. Courtesy: Georgia Institute of Technology

“The REACH Scholarship continues our state’s ongoing commitment to providing access to higher education for all Georgians, regardless of their income,” said Deal. “This scholarship will reward students for self accountability, promote parent involvement and provide motivation and support ­­– all factors that we know are critical in student educational achievement.”

REACH Scholars will be selected in middle school. Students will sign a contract, promise to maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average and stay out of trouble. They’ll also meet with a volunteer mentor until they graduate from high school. Students who complete program requirements will receive a renewable yearly tuition scholarship of $2,500 to be used at any HOPE-eligible institution. This amount will cover the average gap between other need-based scholarships, such as Pell, and the full cost of attendance.

At Monday’s press conference, Georgia Tech agreed to match the scholarship for any REACH Scholars who enroll at the Institute.

“I want to thank Dr. Peterson and his team for joining our quest to reward those who perform well in school and need extra help to ensure they are able to enroll in college,” he said. “I also encourage other campus leaders across the state to follow Georgia Tech’s lead in making this a successful program for years to come.”

The REACH Scholarship will be funded entirely with private dollars, and a 501(c)3 tax-exempt foundation has been established to spearhead fundraising efforts. AT&T, which donated $250,000, is the program’s first corporate sponsor.

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