The TOPS Performance Award pays for tuition and certain fees at any of the Louisiana Public Colleges and Universities 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 tuition of public-degree granting schools plus the annual stipend of $400.
Standard Eligibility Requirements
- Minimum High School GPA of 3.00 (GPA computed on core courses only)
- 19.0 Core Units
- Minimum ACT Score (or SAT Equivalent) of 23
- Must enroll full time as a first time freshman, by the first semester following the first anniversary of high school graduation
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident
- Meet TOPS Louisiana Residency 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)
- 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
- For more information on courses that will and will not fulfill the 24 Hours annual requirement click here.
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.
CAUTION: IN THE EVENT OF A BUDGET SHORTFALL, STUDENTS COMPLETING THE TOPS ON-LINE APPLICATION INSTEAD OF THE FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID WILL BE THE FIRST TO LOSE THEIR TOPS AWARD!
Transfer Degree Guarantee (TDG): A CLEAR PATH TO SUCCESS
The Transfer Degree Guarantee helps students to easily transfer from a 2-year or community college to a 4-year university in the state of Louisiana. It provides guidance and saves time and money.
TDG ensures that a community college student can transfer to a Louisiana 4-year public university and immediately enroll with Junior-level status in most majors.
Whether you are a student, advisor, counselor or parent the following site provides you with detailed information regarding the TDG: http://www.latransferdegree.org