Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Bulletin
Replaces April 16, 2004 TOPS Bulletin No. T2004-3
DATE ISSUED: April 23, 2004

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 and Parish Branch Libraries.


New Status Codes for Students Attending Technical Programs

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.

Amended text is underlined.

The definition in rule of “Program Year” has the effect of allowing recipients enrolled in non-academic programs to utilize hours earned in a summer session to fulfill the TOPS requirement to earn 24 hours for the Program Year.  Non-Academic programs include those offered at all campuses of the Louisiana Technical College, and those offered at 2-year and 4-year public and private colleges and universities.  Use of a summer session to meet the 24-hour requirements is not restricted to TOPS Tech recipients, but to any TOPS level student enrolled in a non-academic program.

To provide for the identification of students whose eligibility for continuation in TOPS must be evaluated at the end of a summer session, two new status codes have been added to the TOPS Master Roster.  The following status codes will appear on the Master Roster following the end of the spring semester/term to identify students whose eligibility for continuation will be checked at the end of the summer sessions.

Status Code 43: Recipient has neither achieved the Cum GPA of 2.50 nor earned the required 24 hours within the first two semesters of the Program Year. Schools may not bill for the summer session for a student in this status. The student is suspended for GPA, but may enroll and pay for summer session in a TOPS Tech eligible program to acquire the 24-hours necessary for renewal of a TOPS award. Students in this circumstance who elect to enroll in a summer session must enroll full time. If the student has earned 24 hours at the end of the summer session, but has not regained the necessary GPA, the student will remain suspended (status code 42). If the student earns 24 hours and regains the necessary GPA at the end of the summer session, the student will be eligible for TOPS funding in the succeeding fall semester (status code 01).
Status Code 45: Recipient has achieved the Cum GPA of 2.50 or greater, but has not earned 24 hours within the first two semesters of the Program Year. The student is eligible to receive TOPS payment for summer session for full time enrollment. If the student has earned 24 hours by the end of the summer session, the student will be renewed for the succeeding fall semester (status code 01).

Schools offering technical programs are asked to inform those TOPS students that do not complete 24 hours for the fall/spring semesters of the option to attend the summer session to earn the hours necessary for the continuation of their TOPS award.  LOSFA also encourages these schools to promptly submit spring/semester term academic information to allow sufficient time for students to be notified of this option prior to the beginning of the summer session.

Award Duration Clarification

A student awarded the TOPS TECH Award may receive funding for a maximum of two (2) years, or upon the completion of a technical or skill training program, whichever occurs first.  Summer sessions are optional, but are included in the two years.  Normally this will translate to award payments being allowed for four regular semesters (fall/spring) and two (2) summer sessions.  Unused summer sessions cannot be utilized for further fall or spring semester payments.

Students awarded the TOPS Opportunity, Performance, or Honors awards who enroll in non-academic programs may also receive funding for two years (four regular semesters (fall/spring) and two (2) summer sessions), however the payment for summer sessions will be deducted from the total semesters allowed for the award.  In the event the student transfers to an academic program, the student’s remaining semesters may be used.  In no event will payment requests be paid for more than two (2) years for students enrolled in non-academic programs.