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Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Hal Knight

Committee Members

James H. Lampley, Harold Lee Daniels, Catherine H. Glascock


Since 1993 when the first lottery ticket was sold in Georgia, over 1.4 million students have received over $5.4 billion in grants and scholarships (more than any other merit-based program in the country) to attend colleges in Georgia through the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) Scholarship program. Students who graduate from high school with a B average in a college preparatory curriculum can receive tuition, HOPE approved fees, and a book allowance of up to $300 per year at public colleges in Georgia.

The purpose of this study was to determine if there was an identifiable profile of the academically successful associate degree seeking HOPE Scholarship recipient at a 2-year college within the university system of Georgia. For the purposes of this study, academic success was defined as persistence towards graduation and retention of the HOPE Scholarship. Variables analyzed include high school grade point average, high school attended, composite SAT score, major, ethnicity, gender, other grant aid received, student loans received, and credit hours earned at credit hour checkpoints. Using the variables listed above, 2 research questions were posed. Is there a predictive model of a HOPE Scholarship recipient who is likely to retain the HOPE Scholarship, and is there a predictive model of a HOPE Scholarship recipient who is likely to earn a degree?

These questions were analyzed using the population of first-time, associate degree seeking students at a 2-year college in 1998. The results of the analysis showed that while composite SAT scores, high school grade point averages, and GPAs at 60 attempted hours partially explained the success of HOPE Scholars, a clear model was not established that would identify students upon entry to college, or even partially through their academic careers, who were going to retain the HOPE Scholarship and earn a degree.

The findings of this limited study support the theories that there are other factors such as student engagement that are less easily quantified that play a significant role in student persistence.

Document Type

Dissertation - restricted


Copyright by the authors.