What is TOPS?
Definition:Louisiana’s Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) is a comprehensive program of state scholarships and one of the most innovative and progressive student assistance programs in the nation.TOPS has four award components.
How and When to Apply for TOPS?To apply for all TOPS awards, you must first submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the academic year you enroll as a full-time student at a Louisiana college or university.For example, if you will graduate from high school in the school year 2004-2005 and enroll during the 2005-2006 academic year, submit the 2005-2006 version of the FAFSA.Students who can demonstrate that they do not qualify for federal grant aid and are not interested in obtaining other forms of federal student aid, such as loans or work-study, may submit an abbreviated FAFSA (must be filed in its paper form) or complete the On-Line Application found at http://osfantweb.osfa.state.la.us/TOPSPort.nsf.Contact LOSFA for assistance in filing an abbreviated FAFSA or the On-Line Application.The FAFSA may be filed after January 1, and will be given priority consideration, if received by May 1, and must be received by July 1 to avoid penalties.A FAFSA received more than 120 days after July 1 will not be considered.A FAFSA may be obtained from your high school guidance counselor or college financial aid office or by calling the Office of Student Financial Assistance at (800) 259-5626, Ext. 1012 or you may apply over the Internet at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
For more information contact:
Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance
PO Box 91202
Baton Rouge, LA70821-9202
(225) 922-1012 or (800) 259-5626, Ext. 1012
TOPS and the Military
If a student earns all of his/her credit in a state-approved high school for his/her final two years of high school (is enrolled for the full junior and senior years) he/she is eligible for TOPS as a Louisiana resident, assuming he/she meets all academic requirements.
If a military family moves into the state during the last two years of the child’s high school attendance, the parent who is in military service has up to 180 days to establish residence.*
- Considered a resident for purposes of TOPS if:
- Member changes personnel records to establish Louisiana as the member’s home of record within 180 days of reporting for duty, and
- Complies with Louisiana income tax laws thereafter, and
- Submits to the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) an affidavit of residence and a DD Form 2058.
For further requirements, see the TOPS Brochure.
The telephone number to the Fort Polk military liaison office is 337-531-9481.