Posted: Feb 15, 2011 5:35 AM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A new report says Louisiana spends too much on college tuition through the TOPS program for students who can afford college and short-changes those who can't.
The report about the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students was released by the left-leaning policy group Louisiana Budget Project. It recommends strengthening the academic requirements for TOPS and capping the program.
The $139-million-a-year program pays full tuition at state schools for any Louisiana resident, regardless of income, who has a 2.5 high school grade-point average and scores 20 or above on the ACT college aptitude test.
The report says Louisiana's standards are lower than similar programs in other states - and have resulted in millions of tax dollars subsidizing mediocre students from wealthy families who would pay for their children's education if TOPS weren't available.