Covering Louisiana

Apr 25, 2013 7:41 PM by AP

Senators reject caps on free tuition through TOPS

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An attempt to control the costs of Louisiana's free college tuition program known as TOPS, by establishing a cap on awards, was resoundingly rejected by the Senate Education Committee.

Legislation to place limits on the popular free tuition program are killed year after year in the Legislature. The education committee Thursday rebuffed the bill by Republican Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish, of Jennings, without objection.

The program is expected to cost $204 million next year. The costs grow each time colleges raise tuition.

Morrish says that without cost controls, TOPS might become too expensive for the state to maintain.

Opponents, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, say the program has encouraged more students to attend college and they don't want to limit funding.

Senate Bill 83 can be found at www.legis.la.gov

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