Governor John Bel Edwards' three billion dollar higher education proposal plan has sparked a discussion among Baton Rouge lawmakers about the TOPS scholarships.
The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students known as TOPS is a merit-based scholarship and is given to students based on certain academic requirements.
Louisiana Representative Denise Marcelle's concerns about the scholarship was that many recipients who need the TOPS scholarships aren’t receiving them.
"Many of the people who can not afford to go to college cannot access those TOPS grants and I think we need to be more intentional about lifting people out of poverty”.
Many people have expressed that it should stay merit-based and are rewarded to those who work hard and should be based on income while many others express that the requirements should be lowered to help those who aren't able to receive it solely based on their ACT or SAT scores.
Rep. Marcelle believes that there should be a system in place to help students and give a certain amount of money to students who can’t afford it and feels it can help and allow more people to attend college.
“There should be a certain amount of TOPs grants that goes to people who cannot afford it and not leaving people out but making sure that we raise that number.”
Nearly 60,000 Louisiana college students got the TOP scholarship this academic year and Rep. Marcelle says the state needs to do more to help people who can not afford to go to college if they ever want to see change in the state.