(Media release from the Office of Governor Brian Kemp):

Governor Brian P. Kemp on Tuesday announced the HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) Scholarship Program has helped more than 2 million Georgia students pursue postsecondary education in Georgia.

“The HOPE Scholarship Program has been a game-changer for our state and helped over 2 million Georgia students achieve greater opportunity,” said Governor Kemp. “With more than $12.6 billion awarded, HOPE has allowed Georgia students to pursue education beyond high school and laid the foundation for Georgia’s recognition as the number one state for business for eight years in a row.”

Funded by the Georgia Lottery Corporation, the HOPE Scholarship Program was created in 1993 by former Governor Zell Miller. HOPE continues to be one of the most generous scholarship programs in the country and has served as a model for state financial aid programs around the country.

“For almost 30 years, HOPE has allowed Georgians to pursue an affordable postsecondary education while keeping our best and brightest in the Peach State,” said Lynne Riley, Georgia Student Finance Commission President. “Thank you to Governor Kemp and members of the Georgia General Assembly whose generous support made this milestone possible.”

Today, the HOPE Program offers financial support to Georgia students, regardless of their field of study, through six subprograms: the HOPE Scholarship, the Zell Miller Scholarship, the HOPE Grant, the Zell Miller Grant, the HOPE Career Grant, and the HOPE GED Grant.

“Congratulations to every Georgian who has participated as a HOPE student within Georgia’s universities and technical colleges,” said Georgia Lottery President and CEO Gretchen Corbin. “The Georgia Lottery team goes to work every day for HOPE and Pre-K students, and today we celebrate our 2 million HOPE students and their educational and career accomplishments. The Georgia Lottery is appreciative to Governor Kemp, the Georgia General Assembly, and everyone who has worked to make 2 million HOPE students possible.”