Billing for Qualified Summer Sessions

Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Bulletin
May 17, 2000
As Indicated
DISTRIBUTION: College and University, Technical College and LAICU Chancellors, Financial Aid Offices, Business Offices, and Auditors, System Governance, Board of Regents, Department of Education, Louisiana Legislators, and Commission Members
TOPIC: Billing for Qualified Summer Sessions


To assure that your Scholarship and Grant Policy and Procedure Manual remains current, please record this document on your TOPS Bulletin index and retain it with your manual.

TOPS Bulletin 2000-16 described revisions to rules governing the TOPS Program and included a new definition, Qualified Summer Sessions, found in Louisiana Administrative Code (LAC), Title 28, Part IV, Chapter 3, Section 301. This bulletin promulgates the procedure that institutions must follow in billing for TOPS recipients who are enrolled in Qualified Summer Sessions.

Prior to May 4, 2000, rules prohibited TOPS awards from being used to pay tuition for summer session enrollments. There are some academic programs, notably nursing, allied health and geology, which require attendance during one or more summer sessions as prerequisite to graduation. Some students must attend a summer session in order to take a course required for the completion of a program because the course is only available in a summer session. There are also situations in which students can complete their degree requirements by scheduling their remaining courses in a summer session. These three scenarios comprise a Qualified Summer Session. The Student Financial Assistance Commission has ruled that award payments for summer sessions may only be made to TOPS recipients who are enrolled in Qualified Summer Sessions, with one notable exception. TOPS recipients who were formerly recipients of a Louisiana Honors Scholarship may, upon their request, continue to have a summer session paid for any full-time (minimum 6 credit hours) enrollment.

Beginning Summer 2000, schools may manually bill for these Qualified Summer Sessions by submitting the TOPS MANUAL PAYMENT REQUEST Form provided by LOSFA. It will be the institution’s responsibility, as outlined in LAC, Title 28, Part IV, Chapter 19, Section 1903.G, to determine that the student’s summer session meets the definition of a Qualified Summer Session, that the student did enroll in the Qualified Summer Session, that the student has been informed that accepting the award for a Qualified Summer Session will consume one semester of TOPS eligibility and that the student requested that TOPS pay for the summer term. Students who are eligible for stipends will also receive that component of their TOPS award for attendance during a Qualified Summer Session and the stipend should be billed on the manual payment request submitted by the institution. As required by §1903.F of the rules, institutions should retain documentation which supports their billing for a Qualified Summer Session.

As with any summer session, credit hours earned during a Qualified Summer Session shall not be counted when determining whether a student has qualified for continuation of their award by earning the minimum credit hours required during the academic year. A summer bill submitted by an institution will not be paid until the institution has reported the student’s grades for the prior academic year and the student has been determined eligible to receive a TOPS Award for the upcoming fall term.

Rules which already allow for payment of summer terms at Louisiana Technical Colleges remain unchanged.



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