Lawmakers looking to raise standards for TOPS eligibility

Lawmakers looking to raise standards for TOPS eligibility
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POSTED: Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 7:11pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 3, 2014 - 11:28am

Some in Louisiana are pushing for higher standards for TOPS recipients.

Many students in Louisiana rely on TOPS to get them through their higher education, such as Jillian Dean, who said she and many of her friends use the state aid to attend LSU.

"The majority of my friends have tops and I won't say that they are only in college because of tops, but it does help a great amount," explained Dean.

But leaders with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber are behind a new push to up the standards for tops recipients to help fill funding gaps. Many on LSU’s campus support the stricter standards.

"I would definitely agree with upping the requirements just because like I said before, a lot of in-state students get tops really easily when out-of-state students have to work twice as hard almost to get, not even the same amount of scholarships," said Taylor Smith, a student at LSU.

"I feel like they should push for higher standards because you're essentially getting free money, so I think you should have higher scores and higher GPA for free money," said Alex Ghallyni, an LSU Student.

A bill filed Thursday morning would raise the minimum tops eligible GPA from a 2.5 to a 2.75. Dean said making that TOPS money harder to get, could have some unintended consequences.

"You would basically refuse education to some people, if they don't meet the criteria then they might not be able to go to college and get an education and become something that we may need," explained Dean.

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is pushing for even higher standards, officials there announced that they would like to raise the minimum GPA to a 3.0.

Comments News Comments

Raising TOPS seems like a good idea at first glance but new students in engineering schools and other very difficult majors face math classes that can crush a GPA. Once your GPA is down it can many 4.0 classes to bring it back up. All while still taking a full course load to continue to qualify for tops. If the goal is to disqualify students then I believe it will work out fine for them.

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