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TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program for Students) Scholarship

Questions & Answers

The ULM Scholarship Office is located in Sandel Hall, Suite 102.  TOPS requirements are different from the Academic Scholarships awarded by ULM.

It is the student’s responsibility to meet all of the TOPS requirements (hours and GPA).  All appeals (exceptions) are submitted directly to the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA).

The TOPS website is www.osfa.la.gov.  The TOPS phone numbers are 1-225-219-1012 or 1-800-259-5626. 

1. Do you have to fill out a FAFSA every year to receive TOPS?

The first year, a student must complete a FAFSA.  After the first year, a FAFSA is not required, but recommended. If the funding becomes limited, the students who filed a FAFSA will be awarded first. 

2. Do you have to be a full-time student in order to receive TOPS?

In order to receive TOPS, students are required to be enrolled full-time (12 or more hours) by the 15th day of classes each semester. If a student is not in full-time status by the 15th day, TOPS will be cancelled.   Exceptions are provided for students who are graduating at the end of the specific semester. A ULM TOPS Graduating Form signed by your dean/advisor must be submitted to the Scholarship Office (Sandel Hall, Suite 102).

3. What terms and sessions count toward the TOPS 24 hour rule?

Students are required to earn 24 hours during the academic year. Students are able to take summer and intersession terms to meet the TOPS renewal requirements. Students are required to be enrolled full-time (12 or more hours) by the 15th day of classes to receive TOPS. 

4. Can a student drop below 12 credit hours?

A student is required to be enrolled in minimum of 12 credit hours by the 15th class day each semester. After the 15th class day, a student can drop below the 12 hours, but will be required to earn the 24 hours for the year. 

5. What GPA is required to maintain TOPS?

A student is required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0 at the end of each fall semester, summer session and intersession.  At the end of every spring semester, a student with less than 48 credit hours must earn at least a 2.3 cumulative GPA, and a student with 48 or more credit hours is required to have a 2.5 cumulative or higher GPA.  If a student receives TOPS Performance or the TOPS Honors Award, a 3.0 cumulative GPA is required.   A student must successfully complete 24 or more hours during the academic year. The academic year for TOPS is defined as the Fall semester, Wintersession, Spring semester, Maymester, and Summer sessions.

6. What GPA is used for TOPS?

The TOPS GPA calculated by LOSFA will be used to determine eligibility for TOPS. You may review your TOPS GPA and additional information at www.osfa.la.gov. After logging on to the website, click on TOPS portal on the left side of the menu, then Student Logon.  

7. Is GPA checked every semester?

The GPA is checked at the end of every fall semester, spring, intersession and summer session.  Hours and GPA are checked at the end of the spring semester.  Hours will be checked on all students at the end of summer who failed to meet the 24 hour rule at the end of the spring semester.

8. How would a student lose TOPS?

Students will lose their TOPS, if they do not earn 24 credit hours during the academic year and maintain the required GPA. Students have up to two years to improve their GPA from the date they lost their TOPS award to apply for reinstatement.  Students must remain in school full-time while trying to improve their GPA.

9. What happens if a student misses a semester?

Students are required to be enrolled full-time in continuous semesters.   Students who are not enrolled in a semester will lose their TOPS. A student may complete an appeal form to request for an exception to the continuous or full-time enrollment requirement for reinstatement and send it to the TOPS office (LOSFA – Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance). This form should be completed before the student plans on missing a semester.  The form can be located on the following website:  www.osfa.la.gov.

10.  Will TOPS pay for a summer session/term?

It is to be determined whether TOPS will pay for upcoming summer sessions.

11. Questions not answered?

Please contact the ULM Scholarship Office at 1-318-342-5321 or email scholarships@ulm.edu.  More detailed information can be found on the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance TOPS website or call 1-225-219-1012 or 1-800-259-5626.