Georgia students can now apply for low-interest loans aimed to help families that need extra help paying for college.

State lawmakers set aside $20 million this year for the program as part of an overhaul to the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship that cut back the awards for most students. But The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that fewer than 6,000 students will get loans.

Tim Connell, president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, told the newspaper that the average loan award will be $3,500 with a maximum award of $10,000. If requests exceed the money available, a computer will randomly select who gets loans.

Loans will have a 1 percent interest rate. To qualify, students must graduate high school with a 2.5 GPA and maintain at least a 2.0 in college.

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