Taylor opportunity program for students TOPS – All you need to know

Taylor opportunity program for students TOPS

What is TOPS?

The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) is a program tailored to Louisiana residents. This program is cutting-edge, progressive, and among the best of its kind in the United States.

What if I get other scholarships as well? Can I still get TOPS?

Yes, scholarships, financial aid, and TOPS are available for the university attended. Tuition fees, on-campus lodging and board or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students, book allowances, transportation, child care, and disability-related charges, among other things.

How do I apply for TOPS?

First and foremost, after graduating from high school, you must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The application for the 2021-22 college academic year will be available for free online and must be submitted between Oct. 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022, in order to earn TOPS assistance for the semester after high school graduation. Data from the student’s and parents’ 2019 federal income tax returns will be required for the FAFSA in 2021-22.

What if I do well on my ACT but my TOPS core GPA in high school is below a 2.5?

Students with GPA of 2.5 are not eligible for TOPS.

Can a student use TOPS for any postsecondary school?

Not in the least. For students, the Taylor opportunity program TOPS can only be used at public postsecondary schools in Louisiana, including all campuses of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and regionally accredited private (independent) colleges and universities that are members of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

TOPS will be provided to students attending an accredited private college or university in an amount equal to the amount paid at a public four-year school. TOPS are also given to students who want to attend Louisiana’s accredited cosmetology and proprietary schools.

Does TOPS cover all of my tuition?

TOPS is fully funded for the academic year 2021-22. Tuition and/or tuition hikes are no longer related to funds. The amount available for TOPS is determined by the Legislature’s annual allotment. If the available funds are insufficient to completely finance the program, the available funds will be dispersed fairly to accommodate both new and returning users.
TOPS honors award recipients will receive an additional $400 per semester stipend for other approved higher education expenses.

TOPS performance award winners also receive a $200 stipend each semester. These monies are likewise subject to appropriation by the Legislature on a yearly basis.

Do I have to be full-time to keep TOPS?

Yes, you will forfeit your TOPS award if you do not enroll full-time for an academic year or withdraw from school before graduation.

What GPA do I need to keep TOPS?

To renew your Opportunity award, you must maintain a cumulative 2.3GPA after earning 24 hours and 2.5 after earning 48 hours. Meanwhile, recipients of performance and honors awards must maintain a cumulative 3.0GPA at the end of each session to keep their accolades.

At the end of each session, the tech recipient must maintain a 2.5 GPA.

What happens if I drop below my assigned GPA?

Unfortunately, your award will be suspended, and you will have two years (one year for TOPS Tech) to improve your overall GPA and reclaim your TOPS.
Also, for Taylor opportunity program for students TOPS performance and honors award recipients, if your GPA falls below the required 3.0 level for TOPS renewal but you meet the requirement for renewal at the Opportunity award level, your award will not be suspended but will be reduced to the Opportunity award level.
Unlike the opportunity level, your award cannot be reinstated if you decline from performance and honors to opportunity.

Furthermore, if your cumulative GPA falls below the acceptable level for renewal of your TOPS Tech award, your award will be suspended, and you will have one year to raise it to the appropriate level and reclaim your TOPS Tech award.

Where can I get more information about TOPS?

The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, a program of the Louisiana Board of Regents, administers TOPS. Visit the LOSFA website or send an email to custserv@la.gov for more information on how to qualify for TOPS.

Louisiana TOPS requirements 2021-2022

• The applicant must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Louisiana.

• By the end of the semester following the first anniversary of high school graduation, the applicant must enroll as a first-time, full-time student at an eligible Louisiana school.

• The FAFSA form must be completed every year.

• All academic and nonacademic requirements must be met, including a minimum ACT composite score of 20 (or 17 for a TOPS Tech award) and a GPA of at least 2.5 in TOPS core high school subjects.

ACT QUALIFYING SCORES FOR 2018

TOPS Tech: 17

TOPS Opportunity Award: 20

TOPS Performance Award: 23

TOPS Honors Award: 27

NOTE!

Starting in 2021, the TOPS core grade point average necessary for a TOPS Performance Award will increase from 3.00 to 3.25, and for a TOPS Honors Award, it will increase from 3.00 to 3.50.

Also, keep in mind that the ACT TOPS code 1595 or the TOPS SAT number 9019 is the same for all test registrants. Your exam results must be sent to both the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance and the colleges to which you apply!

National Guard Eligibility for TOPS

If you’re qualified for both institutional National Guard (NG) tuition waivers and Taylor opportunity program for students TOPSawards, you must accept the institutional National Guard tuition waiver 1. If you qualify for the National Guard, your TOPS award will be decreased.

 

Award

 

Initial Eligibility Requirements

                                                                             Award Per Semester

 

TOPS National Guard ACT Score of 20

GPA 2.50 (TOPS Core Curriculum)

National Guard Tuition Waiver

 

$300 TOPS NG Award

 

 

TOPS National Guard

Performance

 

 

ACT Score of 23

GPA 3.0 (TOPS Core Curriculum)

National Guard Tuition Waiver

$300 TOPS NG Award

$400 Performance Stipend

 

 

TOPS National Guard Honors

 

ACT Score of 27

GPA 3.0 (TOPS Core Curriculum)

 

   National Guard Tuition Waiver

$300 TOPS NG Award

$800 Honors Stipend

Louisiana National Guard students are not eligible for the tuition exemption waiver or the normal rate of TOPS Opportunity/Performance/Honors awards, according to Louisiana Revised Statute 17:5002 and RS 29:36.1.

Application process for TOPS 2022

• You must submit your FAFSA application by July 1 of each year.
• The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance will send you an official TOPS award letter via email (LOSFA). The notification is expected to arrive in the last week of June or the first week of July.

TOPS Award Amount and Requirements

 

Award

 

ACT

 

GPA

 

Fall Award

 

Spring Award

TOPS Honors Award 27 3.0 $3226.11 $3226.10
TOPS Performance Award 23 3.0 $3026.11 $3026.10
TOPS Opportunity Award 20 2.5 $2826.11 $2826.10
TOPS Tech Award (Industrial Technology AAS) 17 2.5 $1190.00 $1190.00

How many hours do you need to keep Taylor opportunity program for students TOPS?

To obtain TOPS payment, students must complete the following conditions each semester:

• You must be enrolled full-time by the 15th day of the semester.
• Earn 24 credit hours per year in the following semesters: Fall, Spring, Summer, Intersessions, and Terms.
• Earned Credit Hours Must Meet Minimum GPA Requirements:
2.00 GPA for less than 24 hours worked
Earned hours: 24-47 – 2.30 GPA
Earned 48 hours or more – 2.50 GPA
Recipients of Performance and Honors – 3.00 GPA
• Maintain continuous enrollment for the fall and spring semesters in a row.
· Maintain the minimum GPA required for each TOPS award.
• To obtain the Spring award, you must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of each Fall semester.

Things to Consider when applying for Taylor opportunity program for students TOPS

• TOPS can only be used within one year of high school graduation; students must become familiar with the TOPS Award Recipients Rights and Responsibilities.
• If used within one year, the remaining semesters of TOPS eligibility can be used for graduate school.
• If a student loses TOPS eligibility, he or she can request that the circumstances be taken into account. Exception LOSFA should receive the forms directly.
Students can contact LOSFA at 1-800-259-5626 or custserv@la.gov with any queries about initial eligibility, award retention, or loss of eligibility.