Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Bulletin
DATE ISSUED: December 15, 2005

College, University and LAICU Chancellors, Financial Aid Offices, Business Offices, Registrars and Auditors; Parish Presidents and Superintendents; High School Principals and Counselors; Proprietary Schools; Louisiana Legislators, Officials and the Congressional Delegation; Higher Education Board; Libraries; Commission Members; Technical College Campus Deans and Student Personnel Services Officers


2005-2006 TOPS Funding

To assure that your Rules remain current, please record this document on your Bulletin index and retain it with your manual.


Act 67 (HB 156) of the 2005 1st Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature reduces state appropriations to match the loss of state revenues caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) was asked by the Legislature what the surplus might be in the 2005-06 TOPS appropriation due to the displacement and non-attendance of eligible students due to these disasters. Based on comparative data and making conservative assumptions, LOSFA estimated that approximately $5.114 million of the TOPS appropriation might not be expended during this academic year. Act 67 reduces the TOPS appropriation by this amount.

Based on statutory language, payment will still be made for billings for all students who are eligible for a TOPS award, even if funds are needed in excess of the reduced appropriation.

No change has been made to the amount that may be disbursed for an academic year. The TOPS award will be paid only for two regular semesters or three regular quarters and a qualified summer semester as defined in rule. Students enrolled in institutions whose fall semester was cancelled because of the storms will not be eligible to receive more than two regular semesters of their TOPS award during this academic year. Students for whom a TOPS award was paid as a visiting student during the fall semester will only be eligible to receive funding for one additional regular semester, even if they will return to their home institution for a full academic year that begins in January.

Additional TOPS Bulletins addressing Acts 64 and 65 of the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2005 regarding the waiver of certain statutory provisions relating to TOPS initial and continuing eligibility for students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will be released in the upcoming weeks. These bulletins will provide rules promulgated by LASFAC as well as procedures for implementing those rules.

Please refer questions regarding this information to Melanie Amrhein, Assistant Executive Director at mamrhein@osfa.state.la.us.