Louisiana leads the nation in FAFSA applicants
Posted on 7/9/2018 6:49:00 PM.

Louisiana now leads the nation when it comes to student applications for federal aid to attend college. Louisiana had one of the lowest FAFSA completion rates in the nation in 2015, and Stephanie Markham with the Louisiana Department of Education says there's now a policy requiring all graduating high schoolers to fill out financial aid forms.
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FAFSA, Higher Ed, Department of Education, Stephanie Markham

No tuition increases at Louisiana community colleges and technical schools
Posted on 6/15/2018 4:00:00 AM.

Despite a budget that calls for deep cuts to higher ed, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System will not raise tuition or fees for the 2018-19 school year, continuing a two-year trend of keeping costs stable for students. LCTCS President Monty Sullivan says the state cannot continue to place the cost of education on the backs of students.
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LCTCS, Higher Ed, TOPS, Monty Sullivan, budget cuts

TOPS expected to be fully funded in budget
Posted on 6/8/2017 2:54:00 AM.

Budget negotiations continue at the Capitol, but the House and Senate say they plan to fully fund TOPS next fiscal year. Higher Ed Commissioner Joe Rallo says education leaders are still holding their breath until the session ends this evening. He says funding TOPS gives students some certainty, but its possible scholarship recipients will have to pay some money towards tuition costs.
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Joe Rallo, TOPS, higher ed, budget, regular session

House committee advances bill to increase TOPS GPA requirement
Posted on 5/10/2017 2:28:00 PM.

The House Education Committee advances a bill to increase the minimum GPA requirement for TOPS from 2.5 to 2.75. Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil authored the measure. He says he’s hearing a lot of frustration from voters about the uncertainty of the scholarship program.
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Franklin Foil, Barry Irwin, James Callier, TOPS, higher ed

Board of Regents looking at changes to TOPS
Posted on 1/9/2017 4:45:00 PM.

The staff of the Louisiana Board of Regents is proposing several changes to the TOPS scholarship program. Higher Ed Commissioner Joe Rallo says the board is reviewing their report, and the final recommendations will be made in February. He says they are looking at a variety of ways to change how the scholarship is awarded, after the state failed to fully fund the program for the first time this year.
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Joe Rallo, TOPS, higher ed

Higher ed leaders propose raising hourly requirement for TOPS
Posted on 12/16/2016 10:35:00 AM.

With budget shortfalls still looming, higher education leaders are looking at more potential changes to the TOPS scholarship program. Higher Ed Commissioner Joe Rallo says one option being discussed is raising the hourly requirement for the scholarship from 24 credits per year to 30. He says the idea is to encourage students to graduate more quickly, as TOPS only covers 8 semesters.
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Joe Rallo, TOPS, higher ed

TOPS students told to prepare to pay more than half their spring tuition
Posted on 11/15/2016 5:03:00 AM.

This week thousands of Louisiana college students will have a difficult decision to make, as they’re reminded they will owe almost 60% of their semester’s tuition in January. For the first time in its history, TOPS will not cover a recipient’s entire tuition because the legislature was not able to fully fund the program. Higher Ed Commissioner Joe Rallo says some students could be forced to drop out.
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Joe Rallo, TOPS, higher ed, tuition

Dardenne: TOPS only funded at 93% for fall semester
Posted on 8/9/2016 3:59:00 AM.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne announces that TOPS students will have to pay a small portion of their scholarship for the fall semester. When the second special session ended, lawmakers approved legislation so that TOPS students would be fully covered in the fall semester, but Dardenne says the actual breakdown will be.
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Jay Dardenne, TOPS, higher ed

Governor's proposed budget calls for big cuts to healthcare and TOPS
Posted on 4/12/2016 10:52:00 AM.

Governor John Bel Edwards presented his proposed budget for the next fiscal year to lawmakers today. The proposal contains $792 million in cuts to state spending. Under the proposed spending plan, health care and the TOPS scholarship program would see big reductions in state funding. Edwards says this is not the budget he wanted to present to lawmakers and it’s why another special session is needed.
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John Bel Edwards, budget proposal, higher ed, healthcare

Govenor-elect Edwards forms higher ed transition committee
Posted on 12/4/2015 11:31:00 AM.

Governor-elect John Bel Edwards forms a higher education transition committee to make policy recommendations on ways to improve Louisiana’s colleges and universities. Edwards says he wants the state put more money into higher ed and also make it more affordable for students to go to college. More

governor-elect, John Bel Edwards, higher ed, Barry Erwin, CABL

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