TOPS Payments To Partially Be Resumed By Louisiana Office Of Student Financial Assistance
Less than 24 hours after it was announced that all TOPS payments would be suspended indefinitely, LOSFA has announced that it would resume partial payments of TOPS scholarships.
[UPDATE from UL] From our sister station KPEL:
Dr. Joseph Savoie, President of UL Lafayette issued the following statement,
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is working to mitigate the impact of the potential reduction of TOPS state scholarship funding for our students. The university will fulfill the state’s commitment to students for TOPS funding for the 2015-2016 academic year, including the Spring 2016 semester. We are working with our state legislators to come up with short- and long-term solutions for TOPS stability. We are hopeful that the upcoming legislative sessions will yield outcomes that support students and this important program.
Other changes to TOPS may occur during the upcoming legislative session that begins Sunday.
Starting next week, LOSFA will resume partial payments of TOPS scholarships.
Director Sujuan Boutte says that LOSFA will resume payments for 80 percent of TOPS scholarships. The remaining 20 percent will be the responsibility of the college campuses.
"The universities are going to absorb about a $28 million reduction. No student is going to be given a tuition bill or be required to pay in the current semester," said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards in his State of the State address Thursday night.
A news release stated:
On Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance suspends TOPS payments to post-secondary institutions out of precaution due to the possibility of budget cuts. Following Governor John Bel Edwards address, LOSFA received clarification that the $28 million cut to the TOPS scholarship fund would be absorbed by each individual college or university.
Therefore, LOSFA will resume its regularly weekly TOPS payment processing next week, on Thursday, Feb. 18. The agency will allow post-secondary institutions to continue billing and LOSFA will pay up to its appropriation. The appropriation to LOSFA, for TOPS awards, is sufficient to pay 80 percent. Colleges and universities will absorb 20 percent.
At this point in time, other programs administered by LOSFA will not be affected.
Students should continue to make sure they are meeting TOPS requirements and completing the FAFSA. The impact to TOPS funding for the 2016-2017 academic school year will be determined by the outcome of the upcoming legislative sessions.
Questions regarding how each post-secondary institution plans to address the shortfall should be directed to the respective college or university.