Stop Whining about TOPS


This spring and for the first semester ever, TOPS will not be paying full tuition for Louisiana students who have earned the funding by scoring a 20 on the ACT and earning a 2.5 GPA in high school. Instead funding will be cut, and Louisiana students and their families will be forced to pay about 60% of their spring semester bill.

But guess what? This mom of four, who has to pay college tuition four times over should her children choose that path, doesn’t want to hear you whine about it. Nope, I don’t want to hear one moan.

Instead, I want to see you DO something about it. Because you, Louisiana college students, are in the unique position to make a statement about just how valuable a free (or at least, more affordable) quality college education is.

I know, I know. There’s probably nothing that can be done to get your funding reinstated before the spring semester starts. And that is unfortunate. But if you stand up for the benefits that you were promised and worked so hard for, you just might get the change you want. Because believe it or not the tides ARE turning.

We just had a presidential candidate, albeit one who didn’t win, who was campaigning for free community college and a free 4-year public college education for students who come from families that make $125,000 or less a year. And Stanford, one of the most prestigious private colleges in the U.S., recently announced that it will be tuition free for students whose families make less than $125,000 a year. Our nation is waking up to the fact that making college accessible to everyone is good for our country and good for our economy. And we need you to tell your stories to the Louisiana state legislature to keep TOPS fully funded in the future.

And recent TOPS grads, you’ve got a part in this, too. You should be contacting your local Louisiana legislators to tell them how transitioning from college to the working world debt-free (or with low debt) helped you become more successful. How it helped you buy a car, buy a home in Louisiana and become a productive member of society. About how TOPS was a promise made to you, and you are fulfilling that promise’s intent by staying and working in Louisiana.

For many, a college education is essential to having a bright future. And when you were promised a free education, the Man better deliver. So go on and fight, and demand that the state holds up their end of the bargain!

Karen is a California native who moved to Baton Rouge about three years ago for her husband's job. She loves Louisiana and the only thing she misses about living out west is In-N-Out burgers. Karen has two toddler boys and two teenaged stepsons. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Karen was a Senior Communications Manager for a software company. She earned her Bachelors degree from (don't hold it against her) the University of Southern California, where she graduated Cum Laude. In addition to spending time with her family, Karen enjoys writing, pretending she's good at making crafts and running.


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