Louisiana senators refuse to make TOPS grads stay or repay – News – Leesville Daily Leader – Leesville, LA – Louisiana News

Louisiana senators refuse to make TOPS grads stay or repay – News – Leesville Daily Leader – Leesville, LA – Louisiana News

College students who receive tuition payments through the TOPS program won’t face new residency or repayment requirements for their awards.

College students who receive tuition payments through the TOPS program won’t face new residency or repayment requirements for their awards.

State senators Thursday rejected a proposal that would have mandated TOPS students live in the state for several years after graduation or reimburse Louisiana for a portion of their tuition costs.

Sen. Jay Luneau, an Alexandria Democrat, said his proposal was aimed at trying to persuade college graduates to say here as taxpayers, rather than taking TOPS money to help get a degree and then bailing on Louisiana.

“Maybe it’s the encouragement that they need to stay in the state and become productive citizens here,” Luneau said.

The repayment money, he said, could be put back into TOPS to help cover the costs of a program whose price tag has skyrocketed with campus tuition increases. Lawmakers only provided enough money this year to pay about 70 percent of tuition costs for students who received TOPS awards, and a similar amount is proposed for next year, rather than full tuition coverage.

“We have to make this program sustainable, and that means making changes,” Luneau said. “We have to make some hard choices.”

But his argument was unable to sway enough of his colleagues. The Senate Education voted 4-2 to shelve Luneau’s bill.

Several senators said they understand Luneau’s worries about TOPS’ ballooning cost, but they questioned his approach. They said the state doesn’t have enough jobs to…

click here to read more.

Share this post

Post Comment