State advises high school and college students to consider other avenues of financial aid

State advises high school and college students to consider other avenues of financial aid

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Students concerned about the possibility of losing their TOPS scholarships should start exploring other options, according to the Executive Director for the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, Sujuan Boutte, PhD.

Students and parents across the state have made it clear, they are paying close attention to the decisions being made at the State Capitol this legislative session. No one knows that better than perhaps, Dr. Boutte. She said since funding cuts for the state TOPS scholarship became part of the discussion, the phones in her office have been ringing. She said callers want to know whether the eligibility requirements have changed and who might be impacted.

If cuts are made the state estimates, based on current TOPS recipients, 33,897 students could be impacted, leaving 17,297 in line to get the scholarship. Those are merely guesses. Dr. Boutte said, in the meantime, incoming and current college students should also apply for federal aid, which puts applicants in touch with several other sources of funding.

"The FASFA puts you in line for application for TOPS, an application for the Louisiana Go gr ant, an application for the Pell Gr ant which is federal aid, work study, student loans, and some institutional aid," Boutte said.

She also encourages high school students to earn the highest score possible on the ACT, and college students to make and maintain the best grades possible.

"Keep doing what you need to do, such that when funding is restored, you will have done your part just like lawmakers and the governor are doing their part to try to do all they can to mitigate the situation," Boutte said.

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