TOPS gets cut to help balance budget

By Samuel Carter Karlin

BATON ROUGE — For the first time in the history of the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), the state’s flagship tuition-paying scholarship for in-state students who meet average academic benchmarks, lawmakers are cutting the program to help balance the budget.

Students will pay 30 percent of their tuition bills this upcoming school year — meaning a $1,000 to $1,700 increase in their bottom lines at most schools. While the Legislature moved into the night on budget negotiations, leadership said the TOPS funding will remain at 70 percent.

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