TN Lawmakers Debate Halving Some Scholarships

Murray, KY – A proposal to cut some students' lottery scholarships in half is becoming a hot topic this legislative session. The plan from a panel of state lawmakers would reduce by 50 percent the lottery scholarship awards for students who do not meet both standardized testing and high school grade requirements. Right now, students can get a scholarship worth $4,000 for each of four years if they either earn a 3.0 grade point average in high school or score a 21 on their ACT college entrance exam. The plan is estimated to generate about $13 million in savings the first year and $17 million each year thereafter. But opponents of the plan say it's unnecessary because the lottery scholarship program currently has nearly $400 million in reserves and tickets for the Tennessee Lottery's popular Powerball game have increased by a dollar, which will likely mean additional revenue.