The TOPS Tech Award pays for tuition for skill or occupational training at any schools within the Louisiana Community and technical College System, Louisiana approved Proprietary and Cosmetology Schools or Louisiana Public Colleges and Universities that do not offer a baccalaureate degree. If a student pursues skill or occupational training at a college within the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities or one within the Louisiana Public Colleges and Universities that offer baccalaureate degrees the award amount will be the average award paid to students attending public institutions that do not offer a baccalaureate degree.
Standard Eligibility Requirements
- Minimum High School GPA of 2.50 (GPA computed on core courses only)
- 17 Tech Core Units for Option 1
- 19 Tech Core Units for Option 2
- Minimum ACT Score (or SAT Equivalent) of 17
- Must enroll full time as a first time freshman, by the first semester following the first anniversary of high school graduation
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident
- Meet TOPS Louisiana Residency requirements
*BESE-Approved Home Study Eligibility – ACT/SAT Score of 19 (2 points
above standard in lieu of core units and GPA)
*Louisiana Residents graduating from an eligible out-of-state high school – ACT/SAT Score 20 (3 points above standard in lieu of core units and GPA)
- Minimum Cum GPA of 2.50 at end of every Spring Semester. 1
- Minimum Cum GPA of 2.00 (Steady Academic Progress) at end of all other semesters. 1
- Enroll full-time (as defined by your institution) as of the 15th class day at a semester school or as of the 10th class day at a quarter school every semester or quarter they enroll and maintain continuous enrollment; 2 and
- Earn 24 or more hours for Academic Year (Fall Semester, Spring Semester and Summer Session). 2
- For more information on courses that will and will not fulfill the 24 Hours annual requirement click here.
1 Award will be reinstated if 2.50 GPA regained within 12 months.
2 Failure to enroll full time, maintain continuous enrollment or earn 24 hours results in cancellation of award and it cannot be reinstated without an Approved Request for Exception to the Initial, Continuous, or Full-Time Enrollment and/or 24 Hour Requirement.
How to Apply
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We strongly encourage you to submit your initial (first) FAFSA before July 1 immediately following your high school graduation so that you will receive TOPS credit on your college's fee bill for the Fall semester after graduation. The absolute deadline to receive your initial TOPS application without a reduction in your award is July 1st following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation.
If you file your initial FAFSA after July 1 of your year of high school graduation, your TOPS payment will be made when your FAFSA has been received and your TOPS eligibility has been determined. Once you are determined TOPS eligible, your TOPS payments will be made beginning with the first semester you enrolled as a full time student in an eligible Louisiana college. Further payments will be made only if you meet the TOPS Continuing Eligibility Requirements.
If your initial TOPS application is received on or after July 2 but no later than October 29 following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation TOPS award will be reduced by one semester if received no later than August 30 or two semesters if received no later than October 29.
CAUTION: IN THE EVENT OF A BUDGET SHORTFALL, STUDENTS COMPLETING THE TOPS ON-LINE APPLICATION INSTEAD OF THE FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID WILL BE THE FIRST TO LOSE THEIR TOPS AWARD!
Transfer Degree Guarantee (TDG): A CLEAR PATH TO SUCCESS
The Transfer Degree Guarantee helps students to easily transfer from a 2-year or community college to a 4-year university in the state of Louisiana. It provides guidance and saves time and money.
TDG ensures that a community college student can transfer to a Louisiana 4-year public university and immediately enroll with Junior-level status in most majors.
Whether you are a student, advisor, counselor or parent the following site provides you with detailed information regarding the TDG: http://www.latransferdegree.org