There are four main types of TOPS awards: TOPS Opportunity Award, TOPS Performance Award, TOPS Tech Award, and TOPS Honor Award. The TOPS awards were created to assist students afford the cost of tuition and fees at eligible public colleges and universities in the state of Louisiana. A full list of eligible institutions can be found at this website: http://www.osfa.state.la.us/linksto.htm#LA_colgs.
Below is additional information regarding each of the four different TOPS scholarships:
TOPS Opportunity Awards: These awards are open to high school graduates who have at least a 2.50 grade point average. Students must meet a minimum SAT or ACT score (the exact score requirement varies each year), plan to enroll in college right after graduation, and be a first time college freshmen. Additionally, only permanent residents or U.S. citizens are eligible for the award. Applicants must reside in Louisiana. These awards are eligible for renewal. Additional information can be found at this website: http://www.osfa.state.la.us/TOPS_O.htm.
TOPS Performance Awards: These awards are open to students who hold at least a 3.0 grade point average and who graduate high school. Applicants must have scored at least a 23 on the ACT, be a resident of the U.S. and Louisiana, and plan to enroll on a full time basis in a college or university in LA upon high school graduation. Students who remain in good standing and who hold at least a 3.0 college GPA may be eligible to renew their awards. Additional information can be found at this link: http://www.osfa.state.la.us/TOPS_P.htm.
TOPS Tech Awards: These awards are open to college bound students who have at least a 2.50 grade point average. Applicants must have at least a 17 on the ACT exam and be a resident of both the United States and Louisiana. The award can be renewed provided that the student maintains at least a 2.5 grade point average. Additional information can be found here: http://www.osfa.state.la.us/TOPS_T.htm.
TOPS Honors Awards: These awards are open to high school graduates who have at least a 3.0 GPA and who scored at least 27 on the ACT. Students must be residents of both the U.S. and Louisiana.
The amount of the TOPS awards range from $3,500 to almost $4,000 for the Spring 2016 semester. The exact amount of the award varies each year. All students are required to complete a FAFSA application in order to be considered for the scholarship prior to July 1st. Under some conditions, students may use their TOPS award to pay for summer courses provided that they have at lest 60 credits of coursework completed. TOPS awards may also be used for eligible study abroad programs. If students have remaining semesters of eligibility left when they graduate, they can apply the remaining semesters of TOPS eligible funding to a graduate program if the money is used within one year.