According to a presentation made this week by the Georgia Student Finance Commission to a Joint Economic Development & Tourism Committee, the Class of 2016 (this year’s incoming high school freshman class) will receive less than 50% of college tuition costs from the HOPE Scholarship. Because of a widening gap between Georgia Lottery revenues and college tuition costs, HOPE scholars can expect to have significantly higher out-of-pocket costs.

Because of the problem, Georgia Lottery officials discussed with legislators the possibility of permitting video lottery terminals at several locations around the state as a means of increasing revenues for HOPE. Georgia Lottery President Margaret DeFrancisco told lawmakers she does not believe the current menu of games can provide a significant enough of an increase in revenue to meet the demand of lottery-funded education programs. According to Lottery Board Chairman James Braswell, the agency will not add video lottery terminals without a broader discussion with the public and elected officials.