Changes Proposed To TOPS Program
Paying for college. if you’ve ever had to do it, are currently doing it or one day hope to do it for your children, then you need to understand TOPS.
The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students was created to give deserving students money for college. This eases the burden on all Louisiana families and also helps keep brighter and more talented students in the state’s university system.
The trouble with TOPS is that it’s getting to be very expensive. As you might have heard budgets for the state and for higher education are really tight. So the way the state pays for the TOPS program is being scrutinized.
One suggestion that will be discussed in the 2014 session of the state’s legislature is the capping of TOPS. That bill has been pre-filed by Jennings Representative Dan “Blade” Morrish. It is Mr. Morrish suggestion that capping award increases at 10% per year would still give students and families the money they need. It would also help the state maintain better control of TOPS expenditures. According to Representative Morrish calculations the program is costing $200 million dollars more now than it did in 1998.
Another cost saving change suggested is that lawmakers might consider allowing institutions themselves to set their own tuition and also change the standards for earning the TOPS award. The 2014 session begins in Baton Rouge on March 10.