Georgia going proactive in college admissions

Published 2:08 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

ATLANTA – Since not every Georgia high school senior will reach out to one of the state’s universities, colleges or technical colleges, the schools are about to come to them.

Gov. Brian Kemp unveiled GEORGIA MATCH Thursday, the largest direct-to-college admission initiative in the nation.

Starting next week, more than 120,000 high school seniors in Georgia will receive a personalized letter from the governor listing the public universities, colleges and technical colleges they are academically eligible to attend. The letters will explain how students can claim a spot being held for them at the institution of their choice.

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“This program will engage all learners and households, including those who don’t typically consider higher education an option,” Kemp said at the start of the inaugural Governor’s Workforce Summit near the state Capitol. “All they have to do is claim their spot.”

Georgia’s workforce development needs drove the planning for GEORGIA MATCH. an effort the Governor’s Office put together in collaboration with the Georgia Student Finance Commission, the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, and the state Department of Education.

With 38,406 new jobs created in Georgia in just the last fiscal year and just for projects in which the state played a direct role, GEORGIA MATCH is aimed at helping to keep up with the growing demand for workers. Only one out-of-work Georgian is seeking a job for every three job postings listed, according to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

“Our workforce needs are the biggest challenge to our state’s status as the No.-1 state to do business,” Kemp said.

All of Georgia’s high school seniors will receive a personalized letter declaring them eligible for admission to the state’s 22 technical colleges, which do not require minimum high school grade-point averages. Letters to students with higher GPAs will also list up to 23 public colleges and universities those students are eligible to attend.

Three university system institutions – the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia College & State University – are not participating in the program because they have different, more stringent admission requirements.

All GEORGIA MATCH participating institutions will waive application fees next month for students who apply through the program’s portal. Kemp has declared November Apply to College Month in Georgia.

The program is expected to cost $1.3 million during its first year, funding that is included in the Georgia Student Finance Commission’s fiscal 2024 budget.

“Our aim is to make GEORGIA MATCH as well known as the HOPE Scholarship and HOPE Grant in the years to come,” Kemp said.

Interested high school seniors and their families can log onto GAfutures.org for more information on GEORGIA MATCH.