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Governor suspends certain TOPS rules for students affected by Hurricane Laura

1 year 4 months 3 days ago Thursday, September 24 2020 Sep 24, 2020 September 24, 2020 9:24 AM September 24, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) announced Thursday that Governor John Bel Edwards has suspended certain requirements of the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) award for students who live in parishes affected by Hurricane Laura.

The Governor signed Proclamation Number 124 JBE 2020 last Friday, which suspends certain TOPS rules for students who live in Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lasalle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, and Winn.

TOPS, which is administered by LOSFA, provides a portion of tuition to more than 54,000 Louisiana students who enroll at an eligible Louisiana institution.

For 2020 high school graduates, Proclamation 124 suspends the September 30th deadline by which students had to achieve a qualifying score on the ACT or SAT for TOPS purposes.

The deadline is suspended whether the student lives in a parish affected by Hurricane Laura or their test site was closed due to actions taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These students are encouraged to register to take an ACT that occurs on or before December 31, 2020. LOSFA will re-evaluate a student's TOPS eligibility if a new ACT score is received.

For current high school students who live in a parish severely impacted by Hurricane Laura and have enrolled at a school in another state, the proclamation suspends the requirement that a student must live in Louisiana and complete their last four semesters of high school in the state. For students who are now being homeschooled, the Governor’s proclamation suspends the requirement that a student must begin a home study program no later than the end of their 10th-grade year.

The proclamation also suspends the requirement that a student must complete the TOPS core curriculum and have a higher ACT score, should they have to stay in another state to complete their high school education.

Current college students who live in or attend school in a parish for which FEMA declared a disaster, will receive an automatic exception to the TOPS 24-hour requirement so their award will not be canceled. The requirements to meet steady academic progress and minimum GPA are also suspended for these students.  

For more questions related to how this proclamation affects high school students and college students’ TOPS awards, click here.

To view the governor's proclamation, click here.

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