TOPS and Go Grants: Louisiana’s Financial Aid Programs Reward Too Much Mediocrity and Provide Too Little for Those in Need

TOPS and Go Grants: Louisiana’s Financial Aid Programs Reward Too Much Mediocrity and Provide Too Little for Those in Need

For Louisiana to grow and prosper, we need more people to attain the skills needed to participate in a competitive economy. Those skills generally require some form of a postsecondary education, whether at a technical college, community college, or a four-year university. Unfortunately, many Louisiana students cannot afford the cost of tuition at these institutions without some form of state support.

Through its TOPS program, Louisiana has been a leader in providing financial aid to higher-education students. However, due to policy changes in 1998, TOPS was transformed from a need-based program to a merit-based program, with much of the money going to those who need it least. Spending on need-based aid is considerably out of line with that of other states. The recently enacted Go Grant program, designed to provide more need-based assistance, has been chronically underfunded.

Full report and press release attached…