To apply for TOPS, the student should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA must be completed by students who are seeking other forms of financial aid in addition to TOPS. You must file your application so that it is received by the federal processor by July 1st in order to receive TOPS for the academic year immediately following your high school graduation.
Or, The student could complete the TOPS On-line Application located at the LOSFA Award System, but only if the student can certify that they do not qualify for federal grant aid. In the event of a budget shortfall, students completing the TOPS On-line Application in lieu of the FAFSA will be the first to lose their TOPS award.
NOTE: TOPS Application Deadline Change Effective Date:
For students graduating in 2009 and later on September 15, 2010, the Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission amended Section 505 of the Scholarship and Grant Program rules to modify the TOPS Application Deadline. This amendment deletes the provision requiring delayed payments and extends the deadline for students to file their initial FAFSA and receive TOPS the first year after graduating from high school to July 1 following the first anniversary of their high school graduation. This change is effective beginning with the 2010 academic year (college) and applies to students graduating in 2009 and later. A TOPS payment will not be made until the TOPS application is received, the student is determined eligible for a TOPS award by LOSFA and an eligible Louisiana college has billed LOSFA for the student’s full-time enrollment.
Payments for a student’s full-time enrollment at a college prior to the date the student was made eligible for TOPS will be made retroactively to the student’s semester, quarter or term of first-time, full-time enrollment. The award will be paid for each subsequent semester, quarter or term that the student met all of the TOPS continuation requirements.
NOTE: Students who file after July 1 following the first anniversary of their high school graduation, but no later than 120 days late, will also be paid beginning with the semester, quarter or term of their first-time, fulltime enrollment; however, their TOPS eligibility will be reduced by one semester if no more than 60 days late or by two semesters if more than 60 days but not more than 120 days late.
For a more detailed explanation please refer to TOPS Rights and Responsibilities http://www.osfa.la.gov/MainSitePDFs/TOPSRR.pdf