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Senate Approves Bill That Would Limit TOPS Scholarships

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The dream of a higher education for deserving students in the state of Louisiana may have just become a victim of the state’s budget shortfall. The Louisiana Senate voted yesterday to approve legislation that would effectively put a cap on the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students.

The full Senate yesterday voted to approve Mandeville Senator Jack Donahue’s legislation that would limit the TOPS benefits for students and then set a limit for what that benefit might be. Under the legislation passed by the Senate TOPS awards would not increase even if the cost of tuition increased.  Senator Donahue spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network about his legislation. He says with out these changes the program won’t last.

“If we continue to go like we’re going, we won’t be able to afford it,”


Senator Donahue’s concerns were echoed by a number of other Louisiana Senators. Including J.P. Morrell of New Orleans who said,

“Do not mislead people that continuing to fund TOPS at this level keeps higher ed solvent. You’re running higher education out of business.”
There has been wide speculation that the TOPS program was going to eventually run out of money even if the state had not suffered the current budgetary crisis it finds itself in. Governor Jindal is already on record in opposition of the measure. The legislation will now proceed to the Louisiana House for further debate.

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