Legislature attempting to fully fund TOPS
BATON ROUGE – This year, college students had about one third of their TOPS scholarships cut. While the program is fully funded under the House's proposal, that could change in the Senate.
With the school year at universities about to end, Louisiana students say the cut to TOPS did not make things easy.
"It took away a lot of it which you were kind of banking on to begin with," LSU sophomore Joe Tullos said.
"I had to get a lot more scholarships and work harder and work more," said Rebekah Rainey, another sophomore at LSU.
The program was fully funded until last year. Representative Franklin Foil proposed to the House a way to fully fund the program using casino money, however his colleagues were not impressed and the proposal was deferred.
Another option Foil has to fully fund the program is to limit the amount of students who qualify.
"We need to contain the cost.. So it's reasonable to raise the GPA from a 2.5 to 3.0," Foil said.
Recently, Senator Jay Luneau made an attempt to limit the program's cost, however it failed too. He said he is hoping that the one-third cut to TOPS does not become the new normal.
"I hope that's not the new standard. But until we get a funding source that's more stable we're going to have to look at doing something different," Luneau said.
Students say they feel let down, however they remain hopeful.
"It's great that they mostly fund it. I wish it was fully funded, but if not it is what it is," Rainey said.
There are still several bills to be heard that could either fund TOPS or cut the program's cost.