Tag Archives: university of georgia

Time Flies…

This time of year I often feel like time is moving faster than I’m able to keep up with, somewhat like a gerbil racing in its wheel.  I also wonder if I’m accomplishing more at this faster pace or just spinning my own wheel.

As the new school year began 8 short months ago, I almost felt myself physically bracing for all the changes that lie ahead for my high school senior son and my college senior son, which inevitably will lead to an empty nest for my husband and I and our dear 12-year-old chocolate lab.  I considered recording all the “lasts” we would experience throughout the year to share on Facebook with catchy captions, but it somehow seemed too morbid so instead I just braced myself for the ride.

Here we are in the midst of our last high school baseball season after a 16-year run of watching both boys play.  How did we get here so fast?  When the last pitch is thrown, the last out is called, the last game is over and I watch my son walk off the baseball field for the last time, it will feel like it has been so much more than just a game, but instead a metaphor for the many seasons of raising children.

Throughout this 18-year time span so many decisions are made and lessons learned. Growing up can certainly be described as a team sport with fans, coaches, umpires, team mates, opposing teams, celebrations and defeats, knowing when to bunt or when to aim for the fence, while at times feeling alone at the plate.

As a mother, I’m grateful for a book club with other mothers, an insightful leader, and a wise author to guide us through this transition toward having adult children.  I highly recommend, Now That They Are Grown: Successfully Parenting Your Adult Children, by Ron Greer http://www.ronaldjgreer.com/now_that_they_are_grown As a mother in the group said, “We are the first generation to take on parenting with the intensity of a CEO only to work ourselves out of a job.”

As 2 graduations approach less than 2 months away, the tight grip I was trying to hold on to my children’s lives is slowly loosening as I tentatively yet faithfully try to change my focus to the journey that will unfold with many “firsts” instead of focusing on all the “lasts”.

Hope Scholarship could shrink even more in 2014

HOPE Scholarship could shrink even more in 2014 as lottery funds fail to meet demand

8:05 pm January 9, 2012, by Maureen Downey

Yikes. The AJC is reporting possible deeper cuts to HOPE starting with the fall semester in 2014. While HOPE once covered all tuition costs and some books and fees, it now covers 80 to 90 percent of tuition and no books and fees.

As I said in my first blogs about HOPE Lite last year: Start doubling up on those college savings as HOPE may eventually only cover the gas to Athens.

Earlier today, Tim Connell, president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, gave legislators a grim outlook.  To prevent further erosion of HOPE in 2014,  Connell said the state would need an additional $107 million for the 2014 fiscal year.

According to the AJC:

The gap is expected to increase to $163 million by 2016, Connell told a joint economic development committee of the Legislature on Monday.  Lottery revenue is projected to remain flat, and more students are expected to be entering colleges and be eligible for awards through HOPE.

Gov. Nathan Deal and lawmakers overhauled the popular scholarship last year, reducing payouts to prevent the program from running out of money. While Connell said those changes helped, the new rules include a provision over the use of reserves that would lead to a drop in the scholarship amount. The new rules require reserves to remain at a certain level, but the commission uses this money to supplement the funding provided by the Georgia Lottery. Reserves are large enough now that the commission can tap into that money to keep scholarship payments at the same level for the 2013 fiscal year. But starting in 2014, HOPE will have to rely just on lottery revenue, Connell said.

A drop in award payouts combined with expected increases in tuition and fees will result in students having a larger out-of-pocket expense for college.S While Georgia’s lottery is considered one of the most successful in the nation, it can’t keep up with soaring enrollment and tuition. More than 256,000 students received HOPE last year, while fewer than 200,000 received it a decade ago. “I’m not sure we can ever meet the demand doing what we’re doing currently,” said Margaret DeFrancisco, CEO of the Georgia Lottery.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

A Weekend at the University of Georgia

GO DAWGS !  I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to say that without a small giggle to myself. Having attended a small private liberal arts college, I missed out on that big school pride and love of college football.  At Rollins College, instead of cheering on my team, I took water skiing for P.E., went to class barefoot, and studied poolside. Being in Athens, GA this weekend for my son’s fraternity parents’ weekend, I got a huge dose of Bulldog love.  Passing by a group of elderly tailgaters set up bright and early all decked out in red and black with the traditional homecoming mum on their lapel, my husband said, “They don’t look like they’re having that much fun.”  To which I remarked, “they’ve probably been here every game day since they were students so it’s a tradition that must go on, love it or not.”

University of GeorgiaUniversity of Georgia mascot, Uga

It was one of those beautiful fall weekends that was made for college football and its fans.  Football fan or not, I couldn’t help but be caught up in the excitement and the pride the fans felt for their team, and feel the love for UGA. It’s even more amazing to think that this same love and pride was being felt on college campuses across the country.  So, what really makes the best school?  Possibly the courses offered, the beauty of the campus, the surrounding town, the professors, the parties, the athletic teams?  I’m sure the answers are all very personal yet similar depending on the school you love.  As much as I loved my own college experience, I know my son feels there’s no better place than UGA .