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Office of Financial Aid

Louisiana’s Taylor Opportunity Program “TOPS” For Students


If you are not going to be enrolled in at least 12 hours in the Fall and 12 hours in the Spring, there are steps you must follow to receive your TOPS. (Wintersession classes are not calculated in the 12 hour semester requirement for TOPS purposes)

You need to reach out to the ULM Financial Aid Office at finaid@ulm.edu or 318-342-5320.

If you do not reach out and complete the requirements for less than full time enrollment, you are at risk of losing your TOPS.

If you are less than 12 hours, your TOPS may be posted initially. However, it will be cancelled eventually if you do not reach out to us to see what needs to be completed to qualify to keep it. 

 

***If you are approved to take less than 12 hours and complete the required documentation, your TOPS will be prorated to the amount of hours you are enrolled in for that term. ***


The four different award components of the TOPS Program are:

The TOPS Opportunity Award

Standard Eligibility Requirements

*BESE-Approved Home Study Eligibility – ACT/SAT Score of 2 points above standard – Currently 22
*Louisiana Residents graduating from an eligible out-of-state/country high school – ACT/SAT Score of 3 points above standard – Currently 23

Renewal Requirements

1 Suspended Award will be reinstated if appropriate GPA regained within 24 months.
2 Failure to enroll full time, maintain continuous enrollment or earn 24 hours results in cancellation of award and it cannot be reinstated without an Approved Request for Exception to the Initial, Continuous, Full-Time Enrollment and/or 24 Hour Requirement.

 

How to Apply

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We strongly encourage you to submit your initial (first) FAFSA before July 1 immediately following your high school graduation so that you will receive TOPS credit on your college’s fee bill for the Fall semester after graduation. The absolute deadline to receive your initial TOPS application without a reduction in your award is July 1st following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation.

If you file your initial FAFSA after July 1 of your year of high school graduation, your TOPS payment will be made when your FAFSA has been received and your TOPS eligibility has been determined. Once you are determined TOPS eligible, your TOPS payments will be made beginning with the first semester you enrolled as a full time student in an eligible Louisiana college. Further payments will be made only if you meet the TOPS Continuing Eligibility Requirements.

If your initial TOPS application is received on or after July 2 but no later than October 29 following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation TOPS award will be reduced by one semester if received no later than August 30 or two semesters if received no later than October 29.

Students who can verify ineligibility for Federal Grants may forgo the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and apply via online application


The TOPS Performance Award

The TOPS Performance Award pays the TOPS Award Amount set by the administering agency for a student at a particular institution during the 2016-2017 academic year unless increased by Act of the Legislature plus an annual stipend of $400. If a student attends a college within the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the award amount will be the weighted average award amount that was set for public colleges and universities during the 2016-2017 academic year plus an annual stipend of $400.

Click here for the award amount at your school

 

Standard Eligibility Requirements

*BESE-Approved Home Study Eligibility – ACT/SAT Score of 24 (1 point above standard in lieu of core units and GPA)
*Louisiana Residents graduating from an eligible out-of-state high school – ACT/SAT Score 26 (3 points above standard in lieu of core units and GPA)

 

Renewal Requirements

– Minimum 3.00 GPA at the end of all Academic Years 1
– Maintain Steady Academic Progress at the end of all other semesters/terms (2.00 Cumulative GPA) 1,2
– Student must be enrolled full-time as of the 15th class day at a semester institution or as of the 10th class day at a quarter institution and maintain continuous enrollment3
– Earn at least 24 Credit Hours for Academic Year (the TOPS Academic Year begins with the fall term of the award year and concludes immediately before the next fall term commences. All intersessions and summer sessions are included) 3
– Hours earned during the Intersession between Fall and Spring Semesters will be counted toward meeting the 24 Hours Annual Requirement but not toward Full-Time Enrollment 

1 If Cum GPA less than 3.00 but 2.30 or greater with 24 – 47 hours, award will be continued as Opportunity Award (no Stipend); if less than 3.00 but 2.50 or greater with 48 and greater hours, award will be continued as Opportunity Award (no Stipend).
2 If Cum GPA less than 2.30 with 24 – 47 hours or less than 2.50 with 48 or greater hours, award will be suspended but will be reinstated if appropriate GPA regained within 24 months.
3 Failure to enroll full time, maintain continuous enrollment or earn 24 hours results in cancellation of award and it cannot be reinstated without an Approved Request for Exception to Initial, Continuous Full-Time Enrollment, and/or 24 Hour Requirement.

How to Apply

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We strongly encourage you to submit your initial (first) FAFSA before July 1 immediately following your high school graduation so that you will receive TOPS credit on your college’s fee bill for the Fall semester after graduation. The absolute deadline to receive your initial TOPS application without a reduction in your award is July 1st following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation.

If you file your initial FAFSA after July 1 of your year of high school graduation, your TOPS payment will be made when your FAFSA has been received and your TOPS eligibility has been determined. Once you are determined TOPS eligible, your TOPS payments will be made beginning with the first semester you enrolled as a full time student in an eligible Louisiana college. Further payments will be made only if you meet the TOPS Continuing Eligibility Requirements.

If your initial TOPS application is received on or after July 2 but no later than October 29 following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation TOPS award will be reduced by one semester if received no later than August 30 or two semesters if received no later than October 29.

Students who can verify ineligibility for Federal Grants may forgo the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and apply via online application


The TOPS Honors Award

The TOPS Honors Award pays the TOPS Award Amount set by the administering agency for a student at a particular institution during the 2016-2017 academic year unless increased by Act of the Legislature plus an annual stipend of $800. If a student attends a college within the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the award amount will be the weighted average award amount that was set for public colleges and universities during the 2016-2017 academic year plus an annual stipend of $800.

Click here for current TOPS Award Amounts by Institution.

 

Standard Eligibility Requirements

*BESE-Approved Home Study Eligibility – ACT/SAT Score of 28 (1 point above standard in lieu of core units and GPA)
*Louisiana Residents graduating from an eligible out-of-state high school – ACT/SAT Score 30 (3 points above standard in lieu of core units and GPA)

Renewal Requirements

– 3.00 GPA at the end of all Academic Years 1
– Maintain steady Academic Progress at the end of all other semesters/terms (2.00 Cumulative GPA) 1,2
– Student must be enrolled full-time as of the 15th class day at a semester institution or as of the 10th class day at a quarter institution and maintain continuous enrollment3
– Earn at least 24 Credit Hours for Academic Year (the TOPS Academic Year begins with the fall term of the award year and concludes immediately before the next fall term commences. All intersessions and summer sessions are included) 3
– Hours earned during the Intersession between Fall and Spring Semesters will be counted toward meeting the 24 Hours Annual Requirement but not toward Full-Time Enrollment 

1 If Cumulative GPA less than 3.00 but 2.30 or greater with 24 – 47 hours, award will be continued as Opportunity Award (no Stipend); if less than 3.00 but 2.50 or greater with 48 or greater hours award, will be continued as Opportunity Award (no Stipend).
2 If Cumulative GPA less than 2.30 with 24 to 47 hours or less than 2.50 with 48 and greater hours, award will be suspended but will be reinstated if appropriate GPA regained within 24 months.
3 Failure to enroll full time, maintain continuous enrollment or earn 24 hours results in cancellation of award and it cannot be reinstated without an Approved Request for Exception to the Initial, Continuous, or Full-Time Enrollment, and/or 24 Hour Requirement.

 

How to Apply

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We strongly encourage you to submit your initial (first) FAFSA before July 1 immediately following your high school graduation so that you will receive TOPS credit on your college’s fee bill for the Fall semester after graduation. The absolute deadline to receive your initial TOPS application without a reduction in your award is July 1st following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation.

If you file your initial FAFSA after July 1 of your year of high school graduation, your TOPS payment will be made when your FAFSA has been received and your TOPS eligibility has been determined. Once you are determined TOPS eligible, your TOPS payments will be made beginning with the first semester you enrolled as a full time student in an eligible Louisiana college. Further payments will be made only if you meet the TOPS Continuing Eligibility Requirements.

If your initial TOPS application is received on or after July 2 but no later than October 29 following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation TOPS award will be reduced by one semester if received no later than August 30 or two semesters if received no later than October 29.

Students who can verify ineligibility for Federal Grants may forgo the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and apply via online application


TOPS Tech

Where Can I Use My TOPS Tech Award? 

Click here for the TOPS Tech Usage document.

Standard Eligibility Requirements

Renewal Requirements

1 Award will be reinstated if 2.50 GPA regained within 12 months.
2 Failure to enroll full time, maintain continuous enrollment or earn 24 hours results in cancellation of award and it cannot be reinstated without an Approved Request for Exception to the Initial, Continuous, or Full-Time Enrollment and/or 24 Hour Requirement.

How to Apply

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We strongly encourage you to submit your initial (first) FAFSA before July 1 immediately following your high school graduation so that you will receive TOPS credit on your college’s fee bill for the Fall semester after graduation. The absolute deadline to receive your initial TOPS application without a reduction in your award is July 1st following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation.

If you file your initial FAFSA after July 1 of your year of high school graduation, your TOPS payment will be made when your FAFSA has been received and your TOPS eligibility has been determined. Once you are determined TOPS eligible, your TOPS payments will be made beginning with the first semester you enrolled as a full time student in an eligible Louisiana college. Further payments will be made only if you meet the TOPS Continuing Eligibility Requirements.

If your initial TOPS application is received on or after July 2 but no later than October 29 following the one year anniversary of your high school graduation TOPS award will be reduced by one semester if received no later than August 30 or two semesters if received no later than October 29.

Students who can verify ineligibility for Federal Grants may forgo the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and apply via online application


 

*BESE-Approved Home Study Eligibility – ACT/SAT Score of 19 (2 points above standard in lieu of core units and GPA)
*Louisiana Residents graduating from an eligible out-of-state high school – ACT/SAT Score 20 (3 points above standard in lieu of core units and GPA)

* The minimum test scores for the awards above are higher for students enrolled in an approved home study program.

** The TOPS awards are funded for 4 years/8 semesters by the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) and are subject to change. Eligible students must continue to meet renewal requirements.

*** It is the student’s responsibility to comply with all governing statutes and rules applicable to the TOPS program, which may change, whether disclosed or not. For more information, you may refer to the Rights and Responsibilities issued by The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, also found on your Student Hub account via Louisiana Awards System’s website.

 


 

 Questions & Answers 

Visit the following site for LOSFA FAQ Information

https://mylosfa.la.gov/students-parents/scholarships-grants/tops/

 

Questions not answered?

Please contact the ULM Office of Financial Aid at 1-318-342-5320 or email finaid@ulm.edu. More detailed information can be found on the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance TOPS website                                (www.mylosfa.la.gov). You may also contact them by email at (custserv@la.gov).


 

 

For more information, please visit our website(s) listed below:

 

For more information on TOPS, please visit our TOPS FAQ information or use the LOSFA link above or contact LOSFA at the contact information below:

https://mylosfa.la.gov/about/contact/

 

For more information on Scholarships, contact:
ULM Admissions & Scholarships | Sandel Hall 102| Phone: 318.342.5321 | Email: scholarships@ulm.edu


To discuss other financial aid options, including education loans, please contact:
Financial Aid Services | Sandel Hall 115| Phone: 318.342.5320 | Email: finaid@ulm.edu


To discuss Fee Bill questions or concerns, please contact:
Student Account Services | Coenen Hall | Phone: 318.342.5128 or 318.342.5124 | Email: sas@ulm.edu 

 

 

 


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