Lawmakers considering higher GPA requirement for TOPS eligibility

Lawmakers considering higher GPA requirement for TOPS eligibility

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Students looking for tuition help from the TOPS program may have to earn a higher GPA.

Louisiana lawmakers are now considering a bill that if passed would mean students will have to earn a 2.75 GPA to be eligible. Right now, a 2.5 is needed.

State Representative Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, is behind the legislation.

"I'm simply hearing from my constituents, they're frustrated by the uncertainty of TOPS, so I was looking for a possible solution to keep the program in tact," said Foil.

The House Education Committee voted to advance the bill Wednesday.

"It would greatly impair the low income and minority students. Because they are at the bottom. They would be eliminated to a great extent," said James Callier with the Taylor Foundation.

UNO student Megan Miller currently receives TOPS, she doesn't like the idea.

"If they keep on cutting TOPS like this and raising the bar it's going to be impossible for students to go to college at all with tuition raising," said Miller.

The bill now goes to the full House. The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance says the higher GPA requirement would mean about 1,800 fewer students would qualify. But, they would still be eligible for another TOPS award.

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