LOSFA stops all TOPS payments to Louisiana universities Thursday

Kate Jamison, Online News Editor

The potential for state budgets cuts caused the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance to halt all Taylor Opportunity Program for Students payments to colleges and universities on Thursday, according to reports from The Advocate. 

For the 2016 spring semester, Tulane University is expecting $1.6 million in TOPS payments from the state of Louisiana, according to Mike Strecker, executive director of public relations. 

TOPS is a state-funded scholarship. Students who have graduated from a Louisiana high school and who have lived in Louisiana for at least two years are eligible for the scholarship. The scholarship amount is equal to the average cost of a public college in Louisiana. 

Universities are refunded by the state for tuition of eligible students. Tulane sends LOSFA a bill for the amount that is covered by TOPS for eligible students. Billing generally begins after the 14th day of the semester, which was three weeks ago for Tulane.

Tulane has already sent LOSFA a bill for this academic year for the what University Financial aid said is approximately 626 students scheduled to receive TOPS scholarships. These students receive on average $2,557 per semester. 

“If we don’t receive any TOPS funding from the State, we will need to strategize as to what other funding options we might provide those students who are being impacted,” Strecker said. 

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