Rallo: Positive discussions during first LaSTEM meeting
Posted on 9/14/2017 3:18:00 AM.

Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo says the first LaSTEM Advisory Council meeting was successful in discussing how to increase the amount of students who will succeed in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Rallo says right now, if we don’t engage, Louisiana will not catch up with neighboring states when it comes to STEM jobs.
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Joe Rallo, STEM, Higher Education, LaSTEM Advisory Council

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

Board of Regents tables proposal to raise credit hour requirement for TOPS
Posted on 2/24/2017 3:14:00 PM.

The Board of Regents decided not to move forward on a recommendation to increase the credit hour requirement to 30 hours for TOPS students and instead tabled the idea for more study. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo supports the board’s decision to hold off on upping the hourly requirement from 24 hours.
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Joe Rallo, higher education, TOPS, Board of Regents,

Board of Regents to finalize recommendations on TOPS changes
Posted on 2/24/2017 4:03:00 AM.

TOPS is not fully funded under the governor’s spending plan for next fiscal year. Officials say it will take more than 80 million additional dollars to pay for the scholarship program. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo has concerns about how students will react to TOPS once again being funded at only 70%.
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Joe Rallo, TOPS, Board of Regents, higher education

Higher education officials urge lawmakers to tap into Rainy Day Fund to offset budget deficit
Posted on 1/19/2017 3:22:00 AM.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says the budget deficit for fiscal year 2017 is $304 million , so how will this shortfall impact higher education? Higher Ed Commissioner Joe Rallo says there has been talk of using the state’s Rainy Day Fund to offset some of the deficit. But Rallo says if lawmakers decide against, it could be detrimental to higher education.
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budget deficit, Joe Rallo, Higher Education, Rainy Day Fund

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

Louisiana voters decide not to give tuition autonomy to universities
Posted on 11/9/2016 11:16:00 AM.

Constitutional amendment number two was shot down in last night’s election. The proposal would have given tuition autonomy to colleges and universities, rather than the legislature. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo says its clear voters don’t want to see tuition go up, but he says he doesn’t think they’re opposed to funding higher ed. He believes the public wants to see colleges and universities funded at the level they used to be.
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Joe Rallo, higher education, constitutional amendment, election 2016

Higher Ed. Commissioner Rallo visits with stakeholders in north Louisiana
Posted on 10/31/2016 11:19:00 AM.

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Joe Rallo is visiting north Louisiana this week to engage stakeholders and learn about issues facing that region of Louisiana. Rallo says he will provide an overview and an update on the realities of higher education. He says the upcoming legislative session and how it will impact universities will be a big topic of discussion.
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Higher Education, budget cuts, TOPS, north Louisiana, Joe Rallo

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