Lotto lawmaker opposes lower qualification standards for Hope scholarships

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The congressman who as a state lawmaker spearheaded the creation of the lottery-funded scholarship program says the General Assembly should focus on increasing the size of the grants instead of lowering qualifying standards.

Congressman Steve Cohen, a Memphis Democrat, says he supports lowering the grade point averages needed to retain the scholarships once in college. But he says lowering the high school GPA needed to get a scholarship would be setting students up for failure.

High schoolers need either a 3.0 grade point average or a 21 on the ACT college admissions test to qualify for the $4,000 scholarship.

Cohen says that income limits to qualify for an extra $1,500 Aspire Award should be raised to help more middle-class families.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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