Gov. Edwards signs TOPS cost containment bill into law
BATON ROUGE - Awards from Louisiana's TOPS program are no longer guaranteed to fully cover tuition if the costs grow.
Gov. John Bel Edwards' office announced Tuesday the governor has signed a bill that locks in the TOPS payment rate at next year's tuition level.
If tuition grows larger but lawmakers don't agree to raise TOPS payments, students will have to pay more in the 2017-18 school year and beyond.
Supporters say they were trying to make sure Louisiana can continue to afford TOPS, which is estimated to cost nearly $300 million next year. Opponents say the change to "decouple" TOPS from tuition rates violates an agreement with Louisiana's students.
Because of state budget gaps, it's unclear if students would even get full tuition funding next year.