How to Qualify for the Louisiana TOPS Program

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By Charles Mckenzie

The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, more commonly known as TOPS, is a
scholarship program that is offered to students attending higher education within the state of
Louisiana. The scholarship program is one of the most inclusive and expansive that Louisiana
has to offer and provides financial assistance to thousands of students and their families across
the state each year. As great as this program is, not everyone qualifies for the aid… So what
does it take to qualify?

In order to qualify for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, the student must be
a current resident of Louisiana, or have a parent or guardian that lives in Louisiana, and
complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Any other questions about
eligibility and exceptions can be answered on Louisiana’s Financial Aid website.

The TOPS program operates within a tier system, with each higher tier receiving more
financial aid as a reward for higher test scores and higher grade point averages throughout high
school. The amount that each tier provides per semester can be seen here.

Tier 1 – The TOPS Opportunity Award

The student must have a minimum ACT composite score of 20 with a high school GPA
of 2.50 and above. In order to continue to receive benefits, a student must be enrolled full time
(complete at least 24 credit hours) at their respective institution, maintain a minimum 2.30 GPA
at the end of the first Academic Year, a minimum 2.50 GPA for each Academic Year after the
first year, and have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA throughout college.

Tier 2 – The TOPS Performance Award

The student must have a minimum ACT composite score of 23 with a high school GPA
of 3.25 or above (increased from 3.0 for the graduating class of 2022). In order to continue to
receive benefits, a student must be enrolled full time (complete at least 24 credit hours) at their
respective institution, maintain a minimum 3.00 GPA at the end of the Academic Year, and have
at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA throughout college.

Tier 3 – The TOPS Honors Award

The student must have a minimum ACT composite score of 27 with a high school GPA
of 3.50 or above (increased from 3.25 for the graduating class of 2022). In order to continue to
receive benefits, a student must be enrolled full time (complete at least 24 credit hours) at their
respective institution, maintain a minimum 3.00 GPA at the end of the Academic Year, and have
at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA throughout college.

Amanda Vincent

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