Grants and Scholarships in Louisiana

Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS)

This program includes four different components to provide college money to a diverse array of students in financial need. Note that the majority of these opportunities will have a merit-based component in addition to financial need.
In order to be eligible for any of the four components of TOPS, a student must:

  • Be enrolled as a first time freshman by the first semester following high school graduation
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Meet Louisiana residency requirements as determined by TOPS

To apply, complete a FAFSA no later than July 1st, listing Louisiana as the student's state of residence.

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The four components of TOPS in Louisiana:

TOPS Opportunity Award

In addition to the basic requirements, a student must also:

  • Have a high school GPA of 2.5 or greater, based on 17.5 core units
  • Have an ACT score of the prior year average or greater (currently 20) or SAT equivalent score

In order renew this award, a student must:

  • Have a GPA of 2.3 or greater at the end of the first academic year
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or greater at the end of all other academic years
  • Have a GPA of 2.0 or greater at the end of any semester
  • Be enrolled full time
  • Earn at least 24 credits per year

The amount awarded is for tuition and certain fees at any Louisiana public college or university and includes an annual $400 stipend.

TOPS Performance Award

In addition to the basic requirements, a student must also:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.0 or greater, based on 17.5 core units
  • Have an ACT score of 23 or SAT equivalent score

In order renew this award, a student must:

  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or greater at the end of all academic years
  • have a GPA of 2.0 or greater at the end of any semester
  • Be enrolled full time
  • Earn at least 24 credits per year

The amount awarded is for tuition and certain fees at any Louisiana public college or university and includes an annual $400 stipend.

TOPS Honors Award

In addition to the basic requirements, a student must also:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.0 or greater, based on 17.5 core units
  • Have an ACT score of 27 or SAT equivalent score

In order renew this award, a student must:

  • have a GPA of 3.0 or greater at the end of all academic years
  • have a GPA of 2.0 or greater at the end of any semester
  • be enrolled full time
  • earn at least 24 credits per year

The amount awarded is for tuition and certain fees at any Louisiana public college or university and includes an annual $800 stipend.

TOPS Tech Award

In addition to the basic requirements, a student must also:

  • Have a high school GPA of 2.5 or greater, based on 17 core technical units (option 1), or 19 core technical units (option 2)
  • Have an ACT score of 17 or SAT equivalent score

In order renew this award, a student must:

  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or greater at the end of each spring semester
  • Have a GPA of 2.0 or greater at the end of any semester
  • Be enrolled full time
  • Earn at least 24 credits per year

The amount awarded is for tuition and certain fees for skill or occupational training at:

  • OPTION 1: any Louisiana Community and technical College, Louisiana approved Proprietary and Cosmetology Schools or a Louisiana public college or university that does not offer baccalaureate degrees.
  • OPTION 2: a Louisiana public college or university that does offer a baccalaureate degree up to the amount of average tuition at a two year institution.

Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP)

This federally funded program awards Louisiana based students assistance ranging from $200 to $2000. In order to be eligible for this program, a student must:

  • Be a citizen of the US or an eligible non-citizen
  • If required, register with Selective Service
  • Be a Louisiana resident for at least one year prior to July 1st of the year for which assistance is applied
  • Have at least a 2.0 high school GPA, a 45 on the GED exam, an ACT score of 20 or a GPA of 2.0 for the most recent term at a post-secondary institution
  • Be enrolled to attend full time as an undergraduate student
  • Have a financial need of $199 or greater
  • Not have educational loans in default
  • Not have a criminal conviction excluding a misdemeanor traffic violation
  • Agree to use the award exclusively for educational expenses

Apply by contacting the school’s financial aid office and filling out a FAFSA by the school’s deadline.

The amount awarded is $200 to $2000 to pay for expenses at any Louisiana post-secondary institution.

Additional State Grants and Scholarships

Don't hesitate to think beyond the traditional modes of funding assistance because you could miss out on a terrific opportunity to help pay for your education.

One such avenue is the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, which offers annual awards ranging from $200 to $2,000. Applicants must be undergraduate students attending college in the state of Louisiana.

Other Opportunities

In addition to the more widely known Federal and State funding options there are additional funding opportunities based on a wide range of criteria.

The Rockefeller Wildlife Scholarship assists students working toward forestry, wildlife management, or marine science degrees. The scholarship is $1,000 per year and up to $7,000 over the course of 7 years (including 5 years of undergrad studies and 2 years grad studies). Every year approximately 30 applicants are rewarded. To be eligible student must be a U.S. Citizen, a Louisiana resident for at least 12 months, and have filled out a FAFSA form.

Note that the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship was originally offering an annual award of up to $6,000 to the chosen senior undergraduate student residing in Louisiana, but due to budget cuts that program has been discontinued. Check in with the Louisiana Department of Education from time to time to see if that scholarship has been reinstated.

As you can see, it pays to look into your offers for educational monies in this fine southern state. With just a little bit of research, you will soon find a number of opportunities to help you fund your college years spent in Louisiana.