BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's been a rough time for parents of incoming LSU freshmen because of the uncertainty facing the TOPS program.
"Absolutely it's frustrating. It's a function of our government not being able to do its job," says Peter Schneider, a parent of a prospective LSU student. Parents expressed a lot of concern at LSU's freshmen orientation on Monday.
While the Louisiana legislature tries to figure out the future of the TOPS, new Tiger families have to figure out their finances if the scholarship program loses money. With the first day of class just two months away, the pressure is on.
Velvet Crow, another parent, says, "The application process is already pretty difficult, and then not knowing what's coming and when, is also pretty difficult. We're very surprised that at this late of a date, we haven't had more information."
Parents told WAFB News that financial advisers at the orientation weren't much help because they too have no idea how much money will be available through TOPS.
Glen Sigur, another parent, says, "They were showing all the different funding, and behind TOPS, there were question marks." With so much uncertainty around TOPS, parents say they're looking at other options such as student loans, which unlike TOPS scholarship money, has to be paid back.
"We'll certainly look at loans. You cut back on certain things to save more for education. You don't take as many vacations or you don't buy a new car," Schneider says.
When the special session ends on Thursday, parents should have a clearer picture of how much money will be available through TOPS. Until then, they're going to keep money tight. "All we can do is put enough money aside and sacrifice what we have to sacrifice," Sigur closes.