Taylor Opportunity Programs for Students (TOPS)
BPCC participates in the LOSFA-administered state tuition program known as TOPS. TOPS is a merit-based scholarship program. The master roster identifies students who are eligible for TOPS based on FAFSA information, high school core curriculum requirements, ACT scores, and GPA. BPCC receives this roster and applies the TOPS award amount to the accounts of students who are enrolled or planning to enroll at BPCC (based on FAFSA information).
Students who fail to maintain steady academic progress at the end of any semester or quarter shall have payment of their award suspended. Steady academic progress is defined as a 2.00 cumulative GPA.
Students are strongly encouraged to reapply annually (prior to July 1 each year) for TOPS by completing the FAFSA or renewal FAFSA. Students must complete the FAFSA annually if they qualify for federal grant aid. In the event of a budget shortfall, students who do not reapply by submitting a FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA will be the first to lose their TOPS award. Students who are receiving other forms of financial aid must submit the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA each year to continue receiving aid. Students should check their renewal status by creating an account on the “Louisiana Award System” located on the LOSFA web site www.osfa.la.gov.
Additional links for TOPS Information
Retaining Your TOPS award
As a TOPS recipient, you must enroll as a full-time student during each semester, quarter or term during the academic year, remain continuously enrolled, and must earn 24 hours of credit during the academic year. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of your TOPS award. The Academic Year begins with the fall semester, quarter or term and continues through all semesters, quarters, terms and intersessions until the following Fall semester, quarter or term begins.
Exceptions to the requirements to enroll full-time or to remain continuously enrolled or to earn 24 hours of credit each Academic Year may be granted by the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) for extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. Students seeking an exception to these requirements must submit a request for exception form (Available from LOSFA or on our Web site at www.osfa.la.gov/exceptionform) and provide all necessary documentation. If approved and all other continuation requirements are met, the award will be reinstated. Requests for exception must be received no later than six months after the date of the notice of cancellation.
Earning 24 credit hours each Academic Year is the responsibility of the student. (Summer terms and intersessions are now part of the Academic Year and credits earned will be counted toward the Academic Year requirement of 24 credit hours). Advanced Placement credits cannot be used to meet the 24 hour requirement. Hours earned in remedial courses which are required by your school and hours earned in intersessions held between the beginning of the Fall semester and the beginning of the next fall semester (Academic Year) will count toward your 24-hour requirement. TOPS Tech Award recipients can use hours earned in summer sessions to meet their 24-hour per Academic Year requirement as well.
Students who fail to maintain steady academic progress at the end of any semester or quarter shall have payment of their award suspended. Steady academic progress is defined as a 2.00 cumulative GPA. Earning 24 credit hours each Academic Year is the responsibility of the student. (Summer terms are now part of the Academic Year and credits earned will be counted toward the Academic Year requirement of 24 credit hours).
Cancellation vs. Suspension
When a TOPS award is suspended for GPA or Steady Academic Progress, students have an opportunity to have their award reinstated once they have re-attained the minimum required cumulative GPA provided the period of ineligibility does not exceed two years (one year for the TOPS-Tech Award or a student using an Opportunity, Performance, or Honors Award to pursue a technical program).
Students whose awards are suspended for failure to maintain the required GPA or steady academic progress may be reinstated upon attainment of the required GPA provided that the period of ineligibility did not persist for more than two years (one year for the Tech Award) and the student has met the requirements noted in the first paragraph.
Cancellation of an award due to hours is permanent unless a student is granted an exception. Students must apply for an exception within 6 months of the award cancellation date. If the exception is approved, it is still possible for the student to be placed on suspension for GPA or Steady Academic Progress.
What Opt Out Is?
Opt out is only available when there is a TOPS budget shortfall and should be used when a student chooses not to accept his TOPS Award due to a budget shortfall.
What Opt Out is Not?
Opt Out is not a replacement for the Request for Exception process. A student should use the Request for Exception process when circumstances beyond his control prevent him from attending school, require him to go to school on a part-time basis, or cause him to earn less than 24 hours during an academic year.
If you are granted an exception through the TOPS office, you must submit a copy your exception letter from LOSFA to the Financial Aid Office.
TOPS Amount Awarded Per Award Year
The TOPS award does not cover your entire fee bill. When viewing your account summary on LOLA, please note that the TOPS award pays the full- time (12 hour) tuition amount listed on your account summary. This amount is coded as “Tuition-Resident-Fall” or “Tuition-Resident-Spring”. (“Resident” means, Louisiana resident). You are responsible for paying all fees/amounts that TOPS does not pay. If you have other aid that will cover the portion of your fee bill that TOPS does NOT pay, but the aid is not posted to your account, you MUST contact the Financial Aid Office before the payment deadline.
|2018 – 2019 TOPS Award Amounts|
|TOPS Award||Tuition Award Amount (per semester)||PLUS Stipend Amount (per semester)||Annual Amount|
|Tech *||$1,607.07/1607.08||No stipend||$3,214.15|
* The TOPS Tech Award pays for tuition for skilled or occupational training at any school within the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, Louisiana approved Proprietary and Cosmetology Schools or Louisiana Public Colleges and Universities that do not offer a baccalaureate degree. TOPS Tech recipients must be seeking a major that complies with the above listed requirements as set forth by LOSFA. The following programs of study at Bossier Parish Community College meet those requirements:
- Technical Diploma
- Technical Competency Area Diploma (TCA)
- Associate of Applied Science
- Associate of Science in Nursing
The Go Grant is state grant that does not have to be repaid. Eligibility criteria may be found at the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance web site. Funding is limited. Eligible students will receive the following award amounts per year:
- Full-time (at least 12 credit hours) – $1,000 ($500 per semester; fall/spring)