Title 17. Education

Chapter 50. Taylor Opportunity Program for Students

Part I. General

Subpart A. Awards

 

17:5002      Awards and amounts

 

A. A student shall be eligible for an Opportunity, Performance, Honors, or TOPS-Tech Award based on his academic achievement.

 

B. Any student who is eligible for an Opportunity, Performance, or Honors Award pursuant to this Chapter and who has enrolled:

 

(1) In any public college or university in this state, shall be awarded by the state an amount determined by the administering agency to equal the tuition charged by the public college or university.

 

(2) At any regionally accredited independent college or university in the state which is a member of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities to pursue an academic undergraduate degree, shall be awarded by the state an amount to be determined by the administering agency to equal the weighted average of amounts paid under this Section for students attending public colleges and universities that offer academic undergraduate degrees at the baccalaureate level.

 

(3) In a school that has a valid and current certificate of registration issued by the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology in accordance with law and that is accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the United States Department of Education or in any proprietary school that has a valid and current license issued by the Board of Regents in accordance with law and that is accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the United States Department of Education, shall be awarded by the state an amount determined by the administering agency to equal the weighted average of amounts paid under this Section for students attending public colleges and universities who are enrolled in the permitted skill or occupational training, as may be applicable.

 

(4) In an out-of-state college or university that is specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard-of-hearing students under R.S. 17:5027(C), shall be awarded an amount determined by the administering agency to equal the weighted average of amounts paid under this Section for students attending Louisiana public colleges and universities that offer academic undergraduate degrees.

 

C. (1) A student who is eligible for the Performance Award shall receive the sum of two hundred dollars per semester or four hundred dollars per academic year in addition to the amount provided for in Subsection B of this Section.

 

(2) A student who is eligible for the Honors Award shall receive the sum of four hundred dollars per semester or eight hundred dollars per academic year in addition to the amount provided for in Subsection B of this Section.

 

D. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this Subsection, a student who is eligible for a TOPS-Tech Award pursuant to this Chapter and who is enrolled:

 

(a) In an eligible public college or university that does not offer an academic undergraduate degree at the baccalaureate level in those associate’s degree or other shorter-term training and education programs that are aligned to state workforce priorities as determined by the Board of Regents and the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council shall be awarded by the state an amount determined by the administering agency to equal the tuition charged by the college or university. If the Board of Regents and the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council determine that a program is no longer aligned with those priorities, an otherwise eligible student who had previously received an award and enrolled in that program may continue to use the award.

 

(b) In an eligible college or university other than as provided for in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph in those associate’s degree or other shorter-term training education programs that are aligned to state workforce priorities as determined by the Board of Regents and the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council shall be awarded by the state an amount determined by the administering agency to equal the weighted average of amounts paid to students attending an eligible public college or university that does not offer an academic undergraduate degree at the baccalaureate level. If the Board of Regents and the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council determine that a program is no longer aligned with those priorities, an otherwise eligible student who had previously received an award and enrolled in that program may continue to use the award.

 

(2) A student who graduated prior to the 2016-2017 school year, who is eligible for a TOPS-Tech Award pursuant to this Chapter, and who is enrolled:

 

(a) In an eligible college or university that does not offer an academic undergraduate degree at the baccalaureate level shall be awarded by the state an amount determined by the administering agency to equal the tuition charged by the college or university.

 

(b) In an eligible college or university other than as provided for in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph shall be awarded by the state an amount determined by the administering agency to equal the weighted average of amounts paid to students attending an eligible public college or university that does not offer an academic undergraduate degree at the baccalaureate level.

 

E. (1) No student shall be eligible for tuition payment pursuant to this Section for the Opportunity Award, the Performance Award, or the Honors Award for more than eight semesters or an equivalent number of units in an eligible institution which operates on a schedule based on units other than semesters, unless an extension is granted by the administering agency in accordance with its rules.

 

(2) No student shall be eligible for tuition payment pursuant to this Section for the TOPS-Tech Award for more than two years unless an extension is granted by the administering agency in accordance with its rules.

 

(3)(a) Any student receiving an Opportunity, Performance, or Honors Award who successfully completes an academic undergraduate degree in less than the eight semesters or its equivalent of award benefits provided by this Subsection shall be eligible to continue to receive all applicable award benefits, in accordance with the limitations as specified in Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph, for any remaining semester or semesters or the equivalent thereof of eligibility not used to obtain the undergraduate degree if the student pursues a postgraduate academic degree at an eligible institution and the student continues to meet all academic and other requirements provided by this Section and by rule of the administering agency for continued receipt of the award as an undergraduate except as such requirements, including requirements provided by this Section for undergraduate students, may be modified by the administering agency as necessary to apply such requirements to postgraduate study.

 

(b) In developing rules to implement this Paragraph, the administering agency shall establish reasonable time lines and deadlines for receipt of any information required to implement this Paragraph both for current and subsequent students receiving Opportunity, Performance, or Honors awards and for any student previously receiving such an award who successfully completed an academic undergraduate degree in less than eight semesters. Such rules shall also provide for appropriate notice to all such students of the time lines, deadlines, and rules governing implementation of this Paragraph.

 

(c) The amount of the award benefits as provided for in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph shall not exceed the amounts determined by the administering agency to equal the tuition charged for the postgraduate study or for undergraduate full-time enrollment charged by the highest cost public college university in the state, whichever amount is less.

 

F. No student shall receive a grant pursuant to this Section in an amount greater than the tuition charged by the institution attended or, if the student is the recipient of a Performance or an Honors Award as provided for in Subsection C of this Section, the amount stipulated therein. The institution shall credit any amount in excess of the cost of tuition to the student’s account to pay room and board or other cost of attendance.

 

G. In lieu of the payment of tuition as provided in this Section, any student participating in the program provided by R.S. 29:36.1 for persons serving in the Louisiana National Guard shall receive the tuition exemption as provided therein. However, in addition to any other payments provided for by R.S. 29:36.1:

 

(1) For any student who is participating in the tuition exemption program provided by R.S. 29:36.1 and who also meets the qualifications provided in this Section for receipt of an Opportunity Award or a TOPS-Tech Award, the state shall pay on behalf of such student a sum of three hundred dollars per semester or six hundred dollars per academic year to be applied toward the cost of books and other instructional materials.

 

(2) For any student who is participating in the tuition exemption program provided by R.S. 29:36.1 and who also meets the qualifications provided in this Section for receipt of a Performance Award, the state shall pay on behalf of the student a sum of three hundred dollars per semester or six hundred dollars per academic year to be applied toward the cost of books and other instructional materials plus the sum of four hundred dollars per semester or eight hundred dollars per academic year for other educational expenses as defined by the Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission.

 

(3) For any student who is participating in the tuition exemption program provided by R.S. 29:36.1 and who also meets the qualifications provided in this Section for receipt of an Honors Award, the state shall pay on behalf of the student a sum of three hundred dollars per semester or six hundred dollars per academic year to be applied toward the cost of books and other instructional materials plus the sum of eight hundred dollars per semester or one thousand six hundred dollars per academic year for other educational expenses as defined by the Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission.

 

Acts 2015, No. 227, § 1. Amended by Acts 2015, No. 230, § 2.