Senate refuses proposed changes to TOPS program
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana won't raise eligibility standards for the state's free college tuition program called TOPS.
The state Senate voted 23-16 Monday against a proposal by Finance Committee Chairman Jack Donahue that would have increased the minimum grade point average and ACT score required to get a TOPS award for future students.
Donahue, a Republican from Mandeville, said he was trying to control costs in a program growing to $250 million next year. Louisiana has among the most generous tuition aid programs in the nation.
Opponents argued the state shouldn't be reducing tuition assistance, crediting TOPS with helping more students get college degrees.
Donahue could try to bring the bill up again before the session ends, but passage seemed unlikely.