Incentivizing Georgia State University students to use academic and financial support to regain HOPE eligibility


How might we allocate funds for emergency financial aid to positively influence behavior?


Developed Keep Hope Alive (KHA) grants in the amount of $1,000 to help qualified first-year and sophomore students that lose GA HOPE eligibility to try to regain eligibility following successful completion of the grant program.


The KHA grant program at GSU—funded primarily through philanthropic and faculty donations—awards a $1,000 scholarship to first-year and sophomore student that lose GA HOPE eligibility and have a GPA between 2.75-2.99 after completing the program consisting of: targeted academic and financial advising, attendance of student success workshops, enrollment in a minimum of 30 credit hours in the following academic year, and submission of applications explaining the circumstances of losing HOPE and plans to regain eligibility. Some highlights of the program’s impact include:

  • After the 2009 pilot consisting of 20 students, the KHA program has resulted in 58% of participants regaining HOPE scholarships versus only 9% of non-participants
  • From a financial perspective from 2011-2014, awards of $1,000 were issued to 377 students at a total cost to GSU of $377,000; 219 of those students regained HOPE eligibility with an average HOPE award size of $6,990 per year, returning $1.52M per year to the university
  • Students who maintain GA HOPE Scholarship eligibility also graduate at a higher rate than students who do not: in 2008, only 21% of students who lost HOPE graduated; in 2011, 41% of students who lost HOPE graduated, driven in part by more students regaining HOPE thanks to KHA grants

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Pell Recipients


Students of Color


Net cost of Attendance

$30,357 (in-state)