Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Bulletin
DATE ISSUED: September 10, 2003

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.

2. Did not file the FAFSA prior to entering the out-of-state institution

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 custserv@osfa.state.la.us.