State legislative budget includes funding TOPS at 100%

LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) - It appears the state's college tuition program known as TOPS will be fully funded. According to the governor in a written statement, lawmakers approved a budget funding the "Taylor Opportunity Program for Students" at 100 percent.

UL Lafayette junior Cameryn Yarber says she had to pay what her TOPS scholarship didn't this past school year -- when the state budget was in turmoil. "You work so hard to make the scores and pass all your classes because you're promised this money and when you get here they took it away from you," says Yarber.

Yarber says she had to come up with about $700 to $1,000 to make up for what she lost when TOPS was not being fully funded in the fall and spring. "It was really annoying but thankfully it's all coming back," says Yarber.

The governor in a written statement says "this budget represents an overall compromise. While it still imposes cuts across state government, it does so in a responsible way."

Dr. DeWayne Bowie of Enrollment Management at UL Lafayette has been watching the TOPS program go through funding changes over the past year. "It's a statement from our legislators to our state that we value education in particular higher education and that we value our students," adds Dr. DeWayne.

Dr. Bowie says having TOPS fully funded will help in the recruitment of students who were considering going elsewhere in fear that TOPS wouldn't be around. "It does give us something else to go to those students with and say stay in your state and earn a quality education," explains Bowie.  "I'm just glad they figured it out and got our money for us," says Yarber.


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