Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Bulletin
DATE ISSUED: December 29, 2000
DISTRIBUTION: Louisiana High School Principals and Counselors, City and Parish School Board Presidents, School Board Superintendents, Department of Education, Louisiana Officials, Louisiana Legislators, and Commission Members
TOPIC: TOPS High School Online Certification

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.

A new feature has been added to the on-line web certification page for high schools. If a student who did not graduate from your school appears on your certification, you may now indicate such by clicking on "Student Not At This School" on the student certification screen. That student's name will be removed from your certification list and we will follow up to determine the location of the student.

If a listed student did graduate from the certifying high school but did not meet minimum GPA and/or core requirements, do not leave the information blank, but complete the fields with the student's actual information. At least one field must be populated for the student to be removed from the certifying high school's list. Once the information is evaluated, the program will determine that the student is NOT eligible for a TOPS award and the student will no longer be listed on the high school screen.

As a reminder to high schools with online web certification, TOPS Bulletin Number T2000-23 dated September 12, 2000, requested that certifying personnel maintain diligence in checking the LOSFA web site at http://www.osfa.state.la.us for their 2000 graduates for whom TOPS certification is still pending. Recent legislative changes in TOPS award eligibility included a provision allowing LOSFA to consider a late application for TOPS, filed up to 120 days beyond the published deadline of July 1, with an assessed penalty of up to one Academic Year (AY) of eligibility. These applications will be received and processed by us through the end of this year. A recent query has revealed a large number of students who remain in a pending status due to lack of reported Grade Point Average (GPA) or Core Units. We recommend that high schools with electronic certification capability continue to check the web site for these students through January of 2001.

For schools that still certify students manually using the paper certification forms, our office will generate one final paper certification for year 2000 graduates in early January 2001, once all eligible FAFSA records are received.

If you have questions or information to report concerning TOPS certification, please direct them to us at 1-800-259-5626, ext. 1012, or by e-mail at custserv@osfa.state.la.us.



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