Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Bulletin
September 11, 2000
As Indicated
DISTRIBUTION: Louisiana High School Principals and Counselors, City and Parish School Board Presidents, School Board Superintendents, College and University, Technical College and LAICU Chancellors, Financial Aid Offices, Business Offices, and Auditors, System Governance, Board of Regents, Department of Education, Louisiana Officials, Louisiana Legislators, and Commission Members
TOPIC: TOPS Legal Guardian, Orphan, SAT Scores, TOPS—Tech, and Attendance at Ineligible Institutions for High School Graduates in 2001 and Thereafter

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.

The Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission has revised TOPS rules (Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 28, Part IV) to:

* Provide definitions for "Legal Guardian" and "Orphan" for the purpose of determining a student’s residency as a qualification for TOPS.
* Provide that students request the College Board to report their SAT scores electronically to LOSFA. When student’s complete their SAT test registration form, they should enter ‘9019', which is the appropriate SAT code for LOSFA, and ‘TOPS’ as the institution.
* Clarify that courses that are equivalent to those required in the TOPS Core Curriculum for Honors, Performance, and Opportunity awards also may substitute for core curriculum requirements for TOPS—TECH.
* Provide that students graduating from high school in 2001 and thereafter may not claim a financial commitment or acceptance of an academic or athletic scholarship or grant to attend a postsecondary institution outside of Louisiana as an exceptional circumstance for waiver of the TOPS requirement to enroll in an eligible institution

The full compilation of TOPS rules with all changes incorporated to date may be viewed on our website at http://www.osfa.state.la.us. The revisions follow*:

Part IV. Student Financial Assistance—Higher Education Scholarship and Grant Programs

Chapter 3. Definitions
§301. Definitions

        Legal Guardian—an adult appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction to have custody and care of a minor, and who demonstrates the requirement to provide the primary support for such minor.


        Orphan—a person who does not live with either parent because the parent(s) is/are dead or has/have abandoned him or the parental rights of the parent(s) has/have been severed by competent authority.


Chapter 5. Application; Application Deadlines and Proof of Compliance
§509. American College Test (ACT) Testing Deadline
        E.  ...
        B. The student may substitute an equivalent score, as determined by the comparison tables used by LASFAC, on an equivalent Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) taken on or before the official April test date in the Academic Year (High School) in which the student graduates. In order to substitute a SAT score, the student must direct the College Board to send the score to LOSFA so that the score is electronically reported to LOSFA by the College Board within 45 days of the final test date allowed by Section 509. SAT scores received in any other manner shall not be considered.
       C.-E.       ...

Chapter 7. Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Opportunity, Performance, and Honors Awards
§703. Establishing Eligibility
A.1. - 5.a.i.
                          ii. for purposes of satisfying the requirements of 703.A.5.a.i., above, or 803.A.6.a., the following courses shall be considered equivalent to the identified core courses and may be substituted to satisfy corresponding core courses:

Core Curriculum Course

Equivalent (Substitute) Course

Physical Science

General Science

Algebra I

Algebra I, Parts 1 and 2

Applied Algebra IA and IB

Applied Mathematics I and II

Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry

Integrated Mathematics I, II and III

Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, or Comparable Advanced Mathematics

Pre-Calculus, Algebra III, Probability and Statistics, Discrete Mathematics, Applied Mathematics III*


Chemistry Com

Fine Arts Survey

Speech Debate (2 units)

Western Civilization

European History

*Applied Mathematics III was formerly referred to as Applied Geometry

Chapter 8. TOPS-TECH Award
§803. Establishing Eligibility
            A. - A.6.c. ...
                      d. Any courses that may be substituted for TOPS core curriculum course requirements in §703.A.5.a.i. may be substituted for the comparable TOPS-TECH core curriculum course requirements.

                      d. e. for purposes of satisfying the core curriculum requirements for a TOPS-TECH award, a student may substitute for a core curriculum course those courses listed as equivalent courses in §703.A.5.a.ii.

Chapter 21. Miscellaneous Provisions and Exceptions
§2103. Circumstances Warranting Exception to the Initial and Continuous Enrollment Requirements
            A. - D.3. ...
            E. Qualifying Exceptions to the Initial and Continuous Enrollment Requirement
            A student who has been declared ineligible for TOPS because of failure to meet the initial or continuous enrollment requirements may request reinstatement in TOPS based on one or more of the following exceptions: 
                                         1. - 10.c....
                                       11.   Exceptional Circumstances
                                          a.   Definition. The student/recipient has exceptional circumstances, other than those listed in §2103.E.1-10, which are beyond his immediate control and which necessitate full or partial withdrawal from, or non-enrollment in an eligible postsecondary institution.
                                                i.    The following situations are not exceptional circumstances:
                                                    (a) - (h) ...
                                                    (i) For students graduating from high school in 2001 and thereafter, making financial commitments or accepting an academic or athletic scholarship or grant to attend a postsecondary institution outside of Louisiana.
             E.11.a.ii. - E.11.c. ...

*Words in struck through type are deletions from the existing rules; words underscored are additions.



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