Could Big Changes Be Coming to TOPS?
After being on the chopping block and underfunded for years, one lawmaker wants to make some big changes to the TOPS program. Republican Senator Blade Morrish wants to change the TOPS program to an achievement based award system.
Under Morrish's plan, students with a GPA of 2.5 and an ACT score of 20 or more would receive a flat 4 thousand dollars a year. Students with higher grades and higher act scores would receive more money. For instance, students with a GPA of 4.0 and an ACT score of 30 or higher would get the full cost of tuition and include a $2,500 stipend.
Critics of the plan say $4,000 won't cover tuition at any major Louisiana University because the average tuition cost is $5,600. They also claim that the changes would severely impact the African American community.
Morrish says $4000 is still a generous sum and the most lucrative, state given scholarship amount in the country. He also added that his plan would reduce the overall cost of TOPS by about $20 million annually.