Changes to TOPS Rejected in House Committee
The House Education committee rejects a proposal to increase the GPA a college student must maintain to keep TOPS money. The panel also turned down a bill to make a TOPS recipient pay back some or all of their scholarship if they fail or withdraw from school. New Orleans Representative Walt Leger says changing tops to a loan makes it less of an opportunity for students.
"It's not necessarily a failure for a student to make a decision not to pursue their degree and you're certainly changing the opportunity that's being presented to many students."
Kenner Representative Julie Stokes authored the proposal to make students who don’t graduate pay back their TOPS scholarship. She says a lot of students get to college and have too much fun, then they end up dropping out.
"I'm actually trying to help these kids get their education so they'll take it seriously."
Hammond Representative Chris Broadwater proposed a bill that would make TOPS a partial scholarship, in which recipients would get more money every year. That idea also didn't make it out of committee. Broadwater says lawmakers must do something to save the TOPS program for future generations.