[Editor's Note: The Advocate updated its story after Gov. Edwards's speech to reflect that students will not be responsible for paying tuition, as Jason Droddy of LSU suggested Thursday. This post has also been updated to reflect The Advocate's changes.]
Various media outlets are reporting that the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance alerted colleges and universities Thursday that it is stopping TOPS payments immediately because of the state’s dire budget woes.
However, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday night that none of the 49,710 students who are TOPS recipients will have to cover the cost of their scholarships. While about 20 percent of the TOPS scholarships will not be paid, the governor said it will be the universities and colleges that will absorb the loss.
Before the governor’s statement, other higher education officials were trying to understand how the decision would impact students and the scholarship program.
Jason Droddy, executive director of policy and external affairs for LSU, said Thursday afternoon that it was unclear what the outcome will be because “we’ve never been through this before.”
“We just don’t know a whole lot; I don’t know exactly how it will affect students,” he said. “TOPS is a contract between the state and a student. And we’re just the facilitators.”
Read the story here.