STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE COMMISSION
|TOPS BULLETIN NUMBER:||T2003-10|
|DATE ISSUED:||September 10, 2003|
|EFFECTIVE DATE:||As Indicated|
College, University, and LAICU Chancellors, Financial Aid Offices, Business Offices, Registrars and Auditors, Technical College Campus Deans and Student Personnel Services Officers, System Governance, Board of Regents, Department of Education, Louisiana Officials, Louisiana Legislators, and Commission Members, Parish Branch Libraries, Loan Program Lenders and Schools
Procedures for Determining TOPS Eligibility for Students Returning From Out of State Institutions
To assure that your Scholarship and Grant Program Rules remain current, please record this document on your TOPS Bulletin index and retain it with your manual.
Act 63 of the 2003 Regular Session of the Legislature applies to students who graduated from high school in 2002 and years thereafter, who met academic, residency, and citizenship requirements for the TOPS Opportunity, Performance or Honors Awards, but elected to first enroll at an out-of-state, regionally accredited college or university. This legislation will allow those students to re-enter an eligible Louisiana postsecondary institution and regain eligibility for their TOPS Award. While enrolled at the out-of-state institution, these students must have maintained the academic standards required of a TOPS award recipient. These potential TOPS-eligible students will fall into one of two categories:
1. Filed a FAFSA by final deadline of July 1 and was awarded TOPS prior to their enrollment at the out-of-state institution.
- These students (Returning Students) should complete the "Application for a TOPS Award (For Use By Students Returning from Out of State Institutions)" found on our Web site (copy attached) and submit it with official copies of transcripts from all post secondary institutions attended.
- Returning Students who graduated in 2002 and who enroll in an eligible Louisiana college or university in the spring or fall semester of 2003, must submit all requested documents (form, transcripts, etc) no later than May 1, 2004.
- Returning Students who graduated in 2003 or years thereafter, must submit all requested documents no later than May 1 of the Academic Year (College) that the student first enrolls in an eligible Louisiana college.
2. Did not file the FAFSA prior to entering the out-of-state institution
- 2002 high school graduates returning to a Louisiana institution for the 2003 spring semester or 2002 winter/2003 spring quarter have until July 1, 2004 to file their FAFSA.
- For all other Returning Students, the FAFSA deadline is July 1 of the Academic Year (College) the student enrolls in an eligible Louisiana college or university. For example, a student entering a Louisiana college or university in the 2003 fall semester, will have until July 1, 2004 to file a FAFSA.
- Returning Students who graduated in 2002 and who enroll in an eligible Louisiana college or university in the spring or fall semester of 2003, must have submitted all requested documents (form, transcripts, etc) to LOSFA no later than May 1, 2004.
- Returning Students who graduated in 2003 or years thereafter, must have submitted all requested documents no later than May 1 of the Academic Year (College) that the student first enrolls in an eligible Louisiana college.
The period for which the student is eligible to receive the award will be reduced by the period the student was enrolled at the out-of-state institution. Following the determination of eligibility, a student's status code will be updated on the Master Roster and a new process code will appear to alert the school of the update. Regular status codes will be assigned to students whose awards have been considered for reinstatement, to reflect if the student is eligible, suspended or cancelled. The school may then process a payment request for eligible students. If students inquire at your office, please direct them to our Web site at www.osfa.state.la.us. The Application for A TOPS Award (For Use By Returning Out of State Students) can be found there. Click on Scholarships and Grants, then on Scholarships/Grants (TOPS) Forms.
Students and schools should be aware that, because this process is totally manual, award decisions may take up to six weeks from the time all required documents are received by LOSFA. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact LOSFA's Public Information and Communications division by phone toll free at (800) 259-5626, ext. 1012; or in Baton Rouge at (225) 922-1012; or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.