Governor Deal signed a bill Tuesday hat will increase financial aid to Georgia's highest-achieving technical-college students. It's called the Zell Miller Grant. If technical-college students have a 3.5 grade point average or higher and are already eligible for the HOPE grant, they can receive free tuition for diploma or certificate programs.
"Our tuition is currently 85 dollars a credit hour. And currently the HOPE grant covers a portion of that tuition but not all," said Amy Holloway, vice president of academic affairs for Central Georgia Technical College.
Holloway says the majority of the than 7,000 students who attend Central Georgia Technical College receive financial aid.
Students like Alex Rountree , who has a 4.0 and Andre Moore, who has a 3.5.
"I'm studying electronics technology," said Moore.
"Electronic fundamentals," said Rountree.
Both students have tuition fully paid for by the HOPE and Pell grant. However, the Pell grant isn't a guarantee and students must re-apply each year. Moore is glad he has this new grant as a backup.
"People, they need the additional help for books and school and all. And people like myself, I'm a full-time student and worker, it's kinda hard sometimes to try and put that in with your bills," said Moore.
The legislation also gives you an option to contribute part of your tax refund to nonprofits that help students with educational expenses.