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Reversal of December 8, 1998 "Eligible Noncitizen" Definition Revision and Changes to TOPS Rules Effective January 12, 1999

Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Bulletin
February 8, 1999
As Indicated
DISTRIBUTION: Louisiana and Out-of-State High Schools, Colleges, Universities, Board of Regents, Department of Education, and Louisiana Officials
TOPIC: Reversal of December 8, 1998 "Eligible Noncitizens" Definitions Revision and Changes to TOPS Rules Effective January 12, 1999

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.

At its January 12, 1999 meeting, the Commission reconsidered the emergency rule adopted at its December 8, 1998 meeting which amended the definition of "eligible noncitizen". The Commission has decided to rescind its emergency rule on this issue and to leave the current rule in place until the State Legislature has had an opportunity to act on the issue. Therefore, for the 1998-99 high school graduating class, any student who is a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and who meets all other requirements for a TOPS award will be eligible.


Also on January 12, 1999, the Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission (LASFAC) exercised the emergency provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act [R.S. 49:953(B)] to amend rules of the Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (R.S. 17:3042.1 and R.S. 17:3048.1).

The emergency rules are necessary to allow the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance and state educational institutions to effectively administer these programs.

This declaration of emergency is effective January 12, 1999, and shall remain in effect for the maximum period allowed under the Administrative Procedure Act. Interested persons may submit written comments on the proposed changes until 4:30 p.m., March 20, 1999, to Jack L. Guinn, Executive Director, Office of the Student Financial Assistance, Box 91202, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9202.


Title 28

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

Chapter 17. Responsibilities of High Schools, School Boards, Special School Governing Boards, the Louisiana Department of Education and LASFAC on Behalf of Eligible Non-Louisiana High Schools

ยง1701. Eligibility of Graduates Based Upon the High School Attended

A.1 - A.3. ...

4. Out-of-State High Schools

a. all other public or non-public high schools located in one of the United States other than Louisiana, which have been approved by the state’s chief state or territorial school officer listed in the Louisiana Department of Education Bulletin 1462, or by the public body which is that state's equivalent of Louisiana's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and those high schools located in foreign countries which have been authorized or approved by a Department in the Executive Branch of the United States government to teach the dependents of members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed abroad;

i. graduates of out-of-state high schools are eligible to participate in the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship and the State Student Incentive Grant Programs;

ii. graduates of out-of-state high schools who are Louisiana residents or the dependents of a Louisiana resident serving on active duty with the Armed Forces or who have a parent who is a Louisiana resident are eligible to participate in TOPS.

b. a school will be deemed to be approved by the appropriate state agency if that state agency certifies:

i. that the high school in question received funding from the state to cover all or a portion of the costs of instruction; and

ii. that the high school in question adopted and does adhere to state and federal non-discrimination policies and statutes.


In addition, Louisiana High Schools will find enclosed a new compilation of the TOPS rules that includes the changes made to the out-of-state high school graduation requirements at the January 12, 1999 meeting of the Commission, as well as changes previously made at its meetings on October 13, 1998 and December 8, 1998.  We assume that the colleges, state agencies and Louisiana officials can access the rules compilation on our website at: To locate the TOPS rules compilation, click on "Information Center", then click on "Compilation of TOPS Rules".