Baton Rouge – Governor John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation on September 18, 2020, which suspends specific provisions of the TOPS awards for students who live in a parish affected by Hurricane Laura.
These parishes include:
Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lasalle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, and Winn.
TOPS, which is administered by the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA), provides a portion of tuition to more than 54,000 Louisiana students who enroll at an eligible Louisiana institution.
For 2020 high school graduates, this proclamation will suspend the September 30th deadline in which students had to achieve a qualifying score on the ACT or SAT for TOPS purposes. The deadline is suspended for students living in a parish affected by Hurricane Laura or if their test site was closed due to actions taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
These students are encouraged to register to take the ACT on or before December 31, 2020. LOSFA will re-evaluate a student’s TOPS eligibility if a new ACT score is received.
For current high school students who live in a parish severely impacted by Hurricane Laura and have enrolled at a school in another state, the proclamation suspends the requirement that a student must live in Louisiana and complete their last four semesters of high school in the state.
For students who are now being homeschooled, the Governor’s proclamation suspends the requirement that a student must begin a home study program no later than the end of their 10th-grade year.
The proclamation also suspends the requirement for students completing the TOPS core curriculum and having a higher ACT score, should they have to stay in another state to complete their high school education.
Current college students who live in or attend school in a parish that FEMA declared a disaster area, will receive an automatic exception to the TOPS 24-hour requirement so their award will not be canceled. The requirements to meet steady academic progress and minimum GPA are also suspended for these students.
For more questions related to how this proclamation affects high school students and college students’ TOPS awards, click here.
To view the governor’s proclamation, click here.