Louisiana has several scholarships, grants, and awards available to its students, including the TOPS. Here’s what you need to know about this program, as well as others, plus additional details on where you can find further information in the state.
Louisiana College Grants
The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) is a large program dedicated to helping make college more affordable for Louisiana students. All public schools in the state and some private ones participate in the program, and the money granted will vary depending on the institution.
There are several grants under TOPS, with criteria varying depending on the program. All awards can be renewed as long as the student meets eligibility requirements during college, too.
All students interested in the program must
- Have attended a participating high school
- Meet academic requirements
- Be attending college as a freshman within a year after high school graduation
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Complete certain core classes
The different TOPS awards and their academic requirements include:
- Opportunity Award
- Minimum 2.5 GPA in core classes
- Minimum ACT score of 20 (or the SAT equivalent)
- Performance Award
- Minimum 3.25 GPA in core classes
- Minimum ACT score of 23 (or the SAT equivalent)
- Honors Award
- Minimum 3.5 GPA in core classes
- Minimum ACT score of 37 (or the SAT equivalent)
There is also the TOPS Tech Award which is for students pursuing their associate’s degree, a technical program, or a similar program.Find Student Loans
2. TOPS Early Start
For students who are getting an early start on their college education by taking college classes during 11th and 12th grade, there is the TOPS Early Start. Eligible students can receive up to $600 per semester to be put toward their education.
To apply, students must:
- Meet academic standards set by the high school
- Have a five-year education and career plan
- Have a minimum 2.0 GPA
- Score at least a 15 on the ACT (or the equivalent on similar tests, including the SAT)
- Enroll in an Industry-Based Occupational or Vocational Education Credential Program that is in high demand
The award can be renewed as long as the student continues to meet the eligibility requirements.
3. Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship
Pursuing a degree, graduate or undergraduate, in forestry, wildlife, or marine science? The Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship is dedicated to these areas of study, and eligible students can receive either $2,000 (undergraduate) or $3,000 (graduate) to put towards their education each year up to $12,000.
A 2.5 GPA is required for undergraduates and a 3.0 for graduates. Students also need to submit their FAFSA.
4. Go Grant
For nontraditional students and those who have demonstrated financial need, there is the Go Grant. Awards can range between $300 and $3,000 per academic year and they can be renewed. To apply, students need to
- Submit their FAFSA
- Be eligible for and receive the Federal Pell Grant
- Be attending school at least half time
- Have demonstrated financial need
5. M.J. Foster Promise Program
The M.J. Foster Promise Program is for students attending a two-year college or planning on pursuing a vocational or technical degree that is in high demand. The award grants up to $3,200 for those enrolled full-time and up to $6,400 over 3 years.
Eligibility criteria include
- Be attending an eligible institution
- Be 21 or over
- Complete the FAFSA
- Have not already earned a degree
- Agreement to work in Louisiana in their field for at least one year after graduation
- Participate in at least 20 hours of community service, internship work, apprenticeship work, or similar
- Be studying an area that is in high demand. Common industry sectors in high demand include information technology, construction, manufacturing, and healthcare
6. And More
A few other college grants and financial aid programs available to students in Louisiana include:
- Louisiana Geaux Teach Scholarship Program
- Chafee Educational and Training Voucher (ETV) Program
- John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program
- Strategies to Empower People (STEP) Vocational Education Program
- YCP: GO Youth ChalleNGe Program
- Regional Contract Program (RCP)
- BESE Tuition Program for Teachers
- Completers Grant
Where Can You Find More Information About Louisiana College Grants?
Additional details regarding the grants listed above and others can all be found on the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) website. The website also contains helpful articles, links, and resources for students planning to go to college. In addition, we highly recommend checking out their Monthly Scholarship list which details several awards available every month!
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