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LOSFA encourages high school graduates to complete the FAFSA and follow steps to prevent TOPS processing delays

Contact Brittany Francis
Public Information and Communications Director
 
(225) 219-3306 Office
(225) 266-8834 Cell

Tyana Daquano
Public Information Officer
(225) 342-5173 Office

Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA)

June 11, 2020

LOSFA encourages high school graduates to complete the FAFSA and follow steps to prevent TOPS processing delays

Baton Rouge- The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) has begun processing 2020 high school graduates for TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program for Students) eligibility. Students should set up a Student Hub account to track their TOPS status, from initial eligibility through their post-secondary studies. Staff at the agency say students should also carefully read their award letters when they receive them.

LOSFA staff is reminding students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the primary application for TOPS, before the state’s priority deadline (July 1 st), to avoid TOPS processing delays.

This year, the deadline for 2020 graduates to obtain a qualifying ACT score (for TOPS purposes) was extended to September 30th, under Proclamation 41, signed by Governor John Bel Edwards. As a result of this extension, LOSFA will re-process students for eligibility if higher scores are received. 

“When the fee bills go out and there’s no TOPS credit, then students ask, ‘Well how am I going to pay for college?’ That is usually when they contact us,” said Paula Smith, student financial aid administrator at LOSFA.

Staff in the Initial Eligibility section of LOSFA’s Scholarships & Grants Division will determine why a student has not been processed for TOPS.

Processing issues may involve reviewing the Department of Education’s Student Transcript System (STS) to determine why a student is missing a core unit, finding a missing ACT score in a sea of thousands, and reviewing FAFSA data to determine why the form is not loading to the student’s record.LOSFA regularly reminds students to double check their information and documents.

LOSFA has a list of 10 tips to make sure there are no TOPS processing delays.

1.     Students should make sure their name is the same on all documents (school transcript, ACT, FAFSA). If the student’s name is John Alan Smith, Jr., do not use John A. Smith Jr., on one document and John Alan Smith on another. The date of birth and address should also be the same on all documents/applications.

2.      Include LOSFA’s ACT TOPS code: 1595 or the SAT TOPS code: 9019  on all ACT/SAT registrations. The student should use their personal email address when registering. The email address should also match the email used on the FAFSA. 

3.      Public school students should make sure their school has a parent-signed Consent Form on file. The Consent Form allows LOSFA to access the student’s transcript data. 

4.      Students should make sure they have taken the 19 units that make up the TOPS Core Curriculum or the courses that make up the TOPS Tech Jumpstart Curriculum. 

5.      Student should be aware, TOPS eligibility is based on the TOPS Core Curriculum GPA. LOSFA does not look at the overall GPA. Students need at least a 2.50 GPA to be TOPS eligible. GPA’s are not rounded up. 

6.      Both the student and parent must have created an FSA ID to electronically sign the FAFSA. 

7.      To receive virtual assistance from LOSFA staff to complete the FAFSA, register here. Students who do not qualify for federal aid can choose to complete the TOPS Online Application. 

8.      For TOPS Tech eligible students, a qualifying WorkKeys score of Silver and above must be submitted to LOSFA by the student or their high school. 

9.      Students should create a LOSFA Student Hub account to monitor their award status and to track TOPS eligibility throughout their post-secondary studies.

10. Follow LOSFA on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube) for TOPS information throughout the year.

If a student does not receive any notification about TOPS eligibility/awarding by the end of July, they should contact LOSFA at custserv@la.gov

About LOSFA

The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA), a program of the Louisiana Board of Regents, strives to be Louisiana’s first choice for college access by promoting, preparing for and providing equity of college access.