08/17 - Studying TOPS | Louisiana Public Square | LPB
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08/17 - Studying TOPS

Is TOPS a worthwhile incentive or a middle-class tax break?

Louisiana’s TOPS program provides free in-state college tuition for qualifying students. Up until recently, TOPS has covered the full amount so as tuition rose, so did the award. The state’s cost of funding the program has nearly tripled over the last ten years.

Students entering their senior year of high school this fall will face new regulations. TOPS awards will no longer automatically rise as tuition increases. That means TOPS recipients and their families will pay for the difference unless the Legislature specifically votes to raise TOPS again.

A legislative task force will study how to sustain the program this fall. So, is TOPS a worthwhile incentive or a middle-class tax break? Should TOPS be based on financial need? Should GPA standards be raised for recipients? Should TOPS graduates be required to stay in the state or pay back the award? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Studying TOPS” Wednesday, August 23 at 7 p.m. on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, August 22)

Our Panelists:

We want to know your opinion! Leave your comments in the box below.


Tops has become too political.  It is a scholarship award that should be merit based.
GPA should be raised to a 3.0.  There should an incentive to earning a scholarship.  The taxpayers of Louisiana should not have to pay for students that are not serious about pursuing a line of study that is not beneficial. Students should have to maintain a B average and get a degree in 4 years. 

If a student fails or quits they should have to pay back either monetarialy or by community service

Posted by Lynn Tucker  on  08/11  at  12:29 AM

Most 4 year programs are 4 years if the the courses are available within a 4 year period. Most programs have problems filling out the upper classes with enough students to complete the program of study: thus, the Colleges have to hold off on upper division classes long enough to build demand to class size. This causes the student to stay around 6 years meet course work or go to another College out of State to earn a degree. The community colleges have the same problem. Many of the larger States incorporate internships into their completion of certification in professional programs.  This leaves students trapped in one program or forced to start again in another College in a State not of their choosing. You punish punish major corporations for taking the tax breaks and money you throw at them to stick around who suddenly leave and break their promise to stay and employ people. You throw more money at them and hope they spend it in Louisiana.  Most Tops Students who are given the chance to complete their college training give back to the State at a higher return.  2.5 GPA and 21 ACT students can work harder to prove that their grades do not represent the totality of who they and how successful they will become in college programs. The three richest men in the country today can tell you that.

Posted by Jesus Rodriguez  on  08/25  at  08:44 PM
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     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
According to the 2018 Louisiana Survey, when it comes to trusting news organizations, more Louisiana residents put their faith in local media than national media outlets. Despite that trust, only 36 percent of the state’s news consumers say local news deals fairly with both sides.

So, why is there so much mistrust of the news media? What role has the downsizing of traditional media played in creating a gap in coverage and possibly, community trust? Where are consumers primarily getting their news? And, how can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “News about the News” airing Wednesday, May 23 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, May 22)

Our panelists are:
• Len Apcar, Wendell Gray Switzer Jr. Endowed Chair in Media Literacy, LSU Manship School
• Jarvis DeBerry, Deputy Opinion Editor, New Orleans Times-Picayune
• Peter Kovacs, Editor, The Advocate
• Lance Porter, Director, LSU Social Media Analysis & Creation Lab

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and journalist and political historian, Bob Mann moderate the discussion. The program features interviews with Michael Henderson, director of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab; Ray Pingree, Associate Professor wth the LSU Manship School of Communication; John DeSantis, Senior Staff Writer for The Houma Times and Judi Terzotis, president of The Advocate.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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