The future of TOPS is uncertain after special session ends without a budget compromise
Posted on 3/6/2018 10:56:00 AM.
Now that the special session concluded without a solution to fill a one-billion-dollar budget shortfall in July, TOPS funding could be cut by 80-percent. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo says many parents can’t afford to send their kids to college without some financial help. Those college prospects are looking elsewhere to get their education.
"Students who have a 30, 31, 32 ACTs, they're already being courted by Alabama and Texas and Arkansas schools saying 'we'll match your TOPS, we'll guarantee your TOPS' and we're already seeing students leaving."
TOPS, Joe Rallo, higher education

Rallo: Positive discussions during first LaSTEM meeting
Posted on 9/14/2017 3:18:00 AM.

Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo says the first LaSTEM Advisory Council meeting was successful in discussing how to increase the amount of students who will succeed in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Rallo says right now, if we don’t engage, Louisiana will not catch up with neighboring states when it comes to STEM jobs.

Joe Rallo, STEM, Higher Education, LaSTEM Advisory Council

TOPS Task Force holds first meeting
Posted on 9/6/2017 11:47:00 AM.

Today the TOPS Task Force meets for the first time, as state leaders take a closer look at the scholarship program. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish authored the legislation that created the task force. He says almost no changes have been made to TOPS in the past 20 years, but a lot has changed in higher education in the last two decades.

Blade Morrish, TOPS, task force, higher education

Some LSU faculty, staff to receive first pay raise in years
Posted on 8/8/2017 5:17:00 AM.

Some faculty and staff at LSU will get a pay raise. According to LSU President F. King Alexander, each department will receive a three percent merit raise pool, and department heads will determine how to dole out the funds.

Kevin Cope, LSU, higher education

Membership announced for TOPS task force
Posted on 8/3/2017 5:33:00 AM.

Membership has been announced for a task force that will examine the $350 million TOPS scholarship program for the first time since it was established 20 years ago. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish will chair the committee. He says the panel consists of an array of lawmakers representing both parties and all corners of the state.

Blade Morrish, TOPS, task force, higher education

Report: UL-Lafayette had $379 million economic impact in FY15
Posted on 7/28/2017 5:21:00 AM.

UL-Lafayette had a statewide economic impact of $379 million in FY-15, according to a study by the New York-based consulting firm Appleseed. University president Dr. Joseph Savoie says the college offers about a 7 to 1 return on investment for the state.

Joseph Savoie, UL-Lafayette, higher education

Student fees are going up at most UL schools, but it's the lowest fee hike in a decade
Posted on 6/26/2017 10:25:00 AM.

Universities within the UL system will see their lowest fee increase in a decade, as their Board of Supervisors approved a hike of less than three percent for the nine public colleges. Fee increases range from $98 to $212.

Jim Henderson, UL System, higher education, tuition, fees

Higher ed leaders pleased with results of legislative session
Posted on 6/16/2017 12:42:00 PM.

UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson says this is one of the most successful legislative sessions for higher ed in nearly a decade. Henderson says he’s thrilled lawmakers approved a budget that fully funds TOPS, after failing to do so for the first time in the program’s history last academic year.

Jim Henderson, higher education, TOPS, budget

Universities could be required to make plan to prevent unplanned pregnancy
Posted on 4/28/2017 10:37:00 AM.

Universities would be required to make an action plan to prevent unplanned teen pregnancies, under a proposal approved by the Senate Education Committee. New Orleans Senator Wesley Bishop spent decades working in higher education. He says he’s talked with many young women who dropped out of school for so-called medical reasons.

Wesley Bishop, unplanned pregnancy, higher education, regular session

Student body leaders plead with lawmakers not to cut TOPS funding
Posted on 4/20/2017 5:44:00 AM.

Student body leaders call on the state legislature to fully fund the TOPS scholarship program. Under the governor’s current budget proposal, TOPS is only funded at 70 percent. Northwestern State University student president John Pearce testified before the House Appropriations Committee and says he’s heard a lot of concerns from students.

John Pearce, Elizabeth Fernandez, TOPS, higher education

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