Student Financial Aid Bulletin
DATE ISSUED: July 18, 2003

Louisiana High School Principals and Counselors, City and Parish School Board Presidents, School Board Superintendents, 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


Acts of the 2003 Regular Session of the Legislature that Affect Student Aid

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

The following is a final update on legislation enacted during the 2003 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature that affects the programs administered by the Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission.

Rules implementing these Acts will be disseminated in follow-up bulletins.


1 Act 63
(Eff. 5-28-3) (SB 46)

Permits, subject to certain limitations, subsequent use of TOPS awards at eligible Louisiana institutions by otherwise qualified students who attended out-of-state colleges or universities.

2 ACT 81
(Eff. 5-28-3) (HB 98)
Extends time for military personnel to declare Louisiana their state of legal residence for TOPS eligibility from 60 days after reporting to 180 days.
3 Act 214
(Eff. 6-5-3) (SB 364)
Adds residency of the student for the last two academic years in a Louisiana high school prior to graduation as an alternative to the current residency requirements and revises the citizenship requirements to allow eligibility for permanent residents.
4 Act 220
(Eff. 6-5-3) (SB 459)
Provides for the eligibility of the dependent child of a military member who is not and does not become a state resident, but who resides in the state under permanent change of station orders.
5 Act 401
(Eff. 6-18-3) (HB 347)
Permits certain students under specified circumstances to receive TOPS Opportunity, Performance and Honors award benefits for postgraduate study.
6 Act 1121
(Eff. 7-2-3) (HB 1657)
Starting with the class of 2008, the core curriculum requirements for Opportunity, Performance and Honors awards will increase the computer requirement to 1½ units.
7 Act 1235
(Eff. 7-7-3) (HB 439)
Permits high school students completing at least 10 honors courses and having a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 calculated on a 4.0 or greater scale to qualify for TOPS Performance Awards if they have at least a 24 on the ACT. Continues the Alternate Performance Award for 3 years.
8 Act 1237
(Eff. 7-7-3) (HB 549)
Provides that the ACT composite score needed by certain students to be eligible for a TOPS Opportunity Award shall never be less than 20. Provides relative to residency, citizenship, and other initial and continuing eligibility requirements, certain required agency rules, and eligibility for multiple awards and refers to court-ordered custodians rather than legal guardians.
1 Act 221
(Eff. 6-5-3) (SB 471)

Makes a technical change in the names of the state match and its associated fund, amends the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act to provide the circumstances a START account will be presumed abandoned, disallows payment of interest for deposits when a START account is open less than 12 months, creates a new account to permit donors or philanthropies to donate college funds to needy children, amends the Public Records law to protect the identity of purchasers and beneficiaries of education savings accounts and the amounts used or refunded. (Commission requested.)

1 Act 885
(Eff. 7-1-3) (HB 1923)

Creates an incentive program to encourage certified, highly qualified teachers to seek employment at schools designated as "failing" by BESE.

2 Act 826
(Eff. 7-1-3) (SB 607)

Establishes a program providing tuition of skill training at public technical colleges for graduates from the La. National Guard's Youth ChalleNGe Program who earn a GED.

3 Act 982
(Eff. 7-1-3) (HB 1619)

Provides for a guaranteed loan program for certain nursing students and loan forgiveness in return for service. (Program is not funded for FY 2003-2004.)

1 HCR 213

Requests Bd. of Regents to study including certain agriscience courses as a TOPS core curriculum science option and report findings and recommendations in writing to the House and Senate education committees by 12-15-03

2 HSR 16

Requests the House Committee on Education to study the effectiveness of the TOPS.

1 Act 393
(Eff. 6-18-3) (HB 259)

Repeals various student financial assistance programs, provides for the continuance of certain tuition payments, and deletes provisions relative to the review of certain applications.