ATLANTA (WRCB) -- Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation Wednesday which would lower the GPA required to receive a HOPE Grant.

HOPE grants are awarded to students in technical colleges. The GPA requirement was changed from 3.0 to 2.0.

Deal says the change will strengthen the state's workforce development efforts.

"We need more college or technical college degrees in order to attract  and fill the jobs of tomorrow," Deal said. "This additional benefit will provide Georgians with greater access to school at a relatively small cost to the state."

The GPA requirement was raised two years ago to 3.0 for budgetary reasons, but recent growth in lottery revenue will cover the additional $5 million to the expansion cost.