UL System President Jim Henderson said Friday brought about a sigh of relief for higher education in Louisiana.
Higher education and TOPS is fully funded now, but it is something that parents, students, and educators have been worried about for some time now.
Henderson said throughout this year’s legislative sessions, what he and other education leaders wanted was simple.
"We started this legislative season with two asks. One was the stability of funding to our institutions and the other was the fulfillment of the TOPS promise and today the House passed measures to achieve both. This is a huge win, not for institutions but for the students we serve and the employers who will use their talents to get a competitive advantage," Henderson said.
Louisiana families and the students themselves have been very local with the state leaders about TOPS funding. Henderson says in other states programs are designed to fund institutions at a higher rate, instead of sending that money to the students. He said Louisiana’s approach gives students the advantage to choose what’s best for them.
"Throughout this process TOPS has been on the chopping block. Up to a 30% reduction in TOPS which is a significant amount when students are already bearing a high cost of higher education. But today’s decision was a huge step in satisfying families and students. They have choices and now they can know their choice to attend a Louisiana university was the right one," Henderson said.
Henderson says he wants parents to rest easy saying "TOPS is here, TOPS is funded, TOPS is secure."