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Louisiana’s First Choice for College Access. LOSFA Workshops 2010. LOSFA. TOPS START Saving Program TOPS Tech Early Start Program Chafee Educational Training Voucher (ETV) Program Volunteer Firemen’s Tuition Reimbursement FLY – Financial Literacy for You. LOSFA. College Knowledge

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START Saving Program

TOPS Tech Early Start Program

Chafee Educational Training Voucher (ETV) Program

Volunteer Firemen’s Tuition Reimbursement

FLY – Financial Literacy for You



College Knowledge

Early Start

Go Grant


Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship

Health Care Educator Loan Forgiveness

what is college
What is College?

Think of “college” as any form of education after graduating high school:

Public Colleges

Private Colleges

Community Colleges

Louisiana Technical Colleges

Cosmetology Schools

Proprietary Schools

Find the perfect fit & major for you!

2-year, 4-year, etc.

who should use the college knowledge tool
Who should use the College Knowledge tool?
  • Any student searching for information about …
    • Preparing for college
    • Choosing a career path & course of study
    • Choosing a college
    • College admissions and enrollment
    • Paying for college
why do i need to go to college
Why do I need to go to College?
  • College graduates earn greater lifetime incomes than high school graduates
  • College graduates have more leisure time
  • College graduates have more consistent work hours
  • College graduates receive better job benefits, such as vacation time and healthcare
  • College graduates are promoted more often than those without a college degree
  • College graduates have greater savings
start thinking now
Start Thinking Now

It’s never too early to start thinking about your future:

What do you want to be?

Where do you want to go to college?

Where do you want to live?

Your future begins NOW – in high school

how to make it happen
How to Make it Happen

Take challenging classes to build your verbal, math & reasoning skills

Keep a record of your academic achievements & activities

Get involved in extracurricular activities

Clubs, sports, church, etc.

Research colleges on the internet

Plan college visits during the summer

Prepare for the SAT & ACT

Work hard to keep your GPA high

Start saving for college

your future job
Your Future Job

Complete an interest inventory - click on Louisiana Youth Works

Learn your likes, dislikes, strong points, weak points & natural abilities

Pick a career that most suits you with your likes & dislikes

You will change your mind many times – that’s ok!

research careers
Research Careers

Research careers on the internet

Make a list of 5 careers you are interested in

Research wages & the demand for these careers

List pros & cons for all 5 of them

meet with others
Meet With Others

Meet with people in the careers you like

Make a list of 4 people to interview

Family members, Family friends, Parents of your friends, Church members, etc.

Volunteer to “shadow” people in the fields you’ve chosen

banking stay in balance
Banking: Stay In Balance
  • Checking accounts are important for paying month to month expenses
    • Some banks waive monthly fees for students
    • Many banks will also give discounts for electronic banking
  • Questions to ask when opening a checking account
    • Is there a minimum balance required?
    • What if I fall beneath the minimum balance?
    • What kind of fees does the bank charge?
    • Is there a limit to the number of checks I can write monthly?
    • Does the account offer overdraft protection?
banking preventing overdrafts
Banking: Preventing Overdrafts
  • Overdrafts are expensive
    • There are lots of fees you’ll be charged if you do not keep a positive balance in your checking account. For example:

Freddy’s Pizza check = $15.86

Non-sufficient Funds (NSF) fee = $25.00

Pizza parlor charge for NSF check = $25.00

Total cost of pizza = $65.86

  • Ways to prevent an overdraft
    • Overdraft Protection
    • Be sure to record your checks, debits and automatic drafts in your check register, and balance your checkbook often
credit cards take charge
Credit Cards: Take Charge
  • The Grace Period is the amount of time that you have to make a payment or pay off your balance before you are charged interest or finance charges
    • Look for a card with a grace period of at least 20 days
  • Fees
    • Annual fee
    • Transaction fees – if you use your card at an ATM for a cash advance
    • Overlimit fee
    • Late fees
credit cards take charge1
Credit Cards: Take Charge
  • Credit cards can be expensive
    • For example: If you have a beginning balance of $2,939 on a card with an APR of 19% and a credit limit of $3,000, and you are late with your payment…

Balance: $2,939

Interest: + 46

New Balance: $2,985

Late fee: + 35

New Balance: $3,020

Overlimit fee: + 35

New Balance: $3,055

Payment: - 120

New Balance: $2,935

debt setting priorities pays off
Debt: Setting Priorities Pays Off
  • Record each of your debts and set priorities for paying your debt
  • At $100 per month, the Collection Agency debt is paid off in 5 months
identity theft protect your financial security
Identity Theft: Protect Your Financial Security
  • Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes
  • People under the age of 25 are the number one targets of identity thieves
    • Many people do not monitor their credit reports closely and thieves have an opportunity to exploit the situation
identity theft protect your financial security1
Identity Theft: Protect Your Financial Security
  • People are victimized by two types of identity thieves
    • Skilled professional thieves
    • Acquaintances with access to your personal financial information
financial need
Financial Need
  • Cost of Attendance (COA)
    • Tuition and fees
    • Room and board
    • Books and supplies
    • Transportation
    • Miscellaneous personal expenses
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
    • Income
    • Assets (excluding the family home)
    • Family size
    • Number of family members attending college (excluding parents)
    • Age of parents
financial need1
Financial Need




types of financial aid
Types of Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
    • Gift Aid – Based on Merit
  • Grants
    • Gift Aid – Based on Need
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Loans
    • Must be repaid – may be based on need
sources of financial aid
Sources of Financial Aid
  • State
  • Federal
  • Institutional
  • Private
  • Military
losfa administered programs
LOSFA Administered Programs


START Saving Program

TOPS Tech Early Start Program

Chafee Educational Training Voucher (ETV) Program

Safer Volunteer Firemen’s Tuition Reimbursement

Early Start

Go Grant


Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship

Health Care Educator Loan Forgiveness

campus based federal aid programs www studentaid ed gov
Campus-Based Federal Aid Programs
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • National SMART Grant
  • Federal Work Study
  • Pell Grant
  • TEACH Grant
  • Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Direct Loans
institutional aid
Institutional Aid
  • Each institution has its own merit-based scholarship programs
  • Many schools have their own need-based aid programs
  • Investigate aid opportunities early
    • Each institution has its own aid application process and deadline
  • Upperclassmen should also check with their department for aid opportunities for students in a specific major
private aid
Private Aid
  • The best source of information on private aid is the Internet. There are numerous free scholarship search services available
    • See LOSFA website Useful Internet Links page or Surfing the Web for a listing
  • Private aid can be based on merit or financial need
  • Providers of private aid include companies, civic organizations, religious organizations, clubs, etc.
military educational opportunities
Military Educational Opportunities

G.I. Bill

Education benefits for service members who have served on active duty for 90 or more days

Up to 100% Tuition and Fee Coverage

Monthly Living (Housing) Stipend

Up to $1000 a year for Books and Supplies

Loan Repayment Program

Individuals enrolled in the LRP earn 33 1/3 percent or $1,500, whichever is greater, toward the remaining original unpaid principal on all qualifying loans for each successfully completed year of enlisted active duty up to $65,000

military educational opportunities1
Military Educational Opportunities

ROTC Scholarships

In exchange for a service commitment, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) scholarships pay for almost all tuition, fees and books charges for four years of college

Louisiana National Guard Tuition Exemption

Waives the cost of tuition only for Louisiana Army and Air National Guard soldiers attending a Louisiana institution

start saving program Saving Program
  • The START Saving Program is an Educational Savings Account and is recognized as a Qualified Tuition Program under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code
  • START provides an opportunity for all families, regardless of economic status, to have a professionally managed Education Savings Account
eligible programs institutions Programs & Institutions
  • START funds may be used for:
    • Undergraduate Programs
    • Graduate Programs
    • Professional Programs
  • START funds may be used to pay the qualified higher education expenses at:
    • Any accredited college or university, in-state or out-of-state
    • Louisiana Technical College (all campuses)
    • Eligible Louisiana proprietary schools
qualified higher education expenses Higher Education Expenses
  • Tuition & Fees
  • Room & Board
  • Books & Supplies
  • Special Needs Services
account ownership Ownership
  • Accounts may be opened by anyone who wishes to assist a designated Beneficiary in paying for their college education
    • Category I – Parents, grandparents, court-ordered custodians, and persons claiming the Beneficiary as a dependent on their federal tax return
      • The account owner or Beneficiary must be a Louisiana resident
    • Category II – Members of the Family: Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, spouses, in-laws, step-parents, step-siblings and first cousins of the Beneficiary
      • The account owner or the Beneficiary must be a Louisiana resident
account ownership1 Ownership
  • Category III – Independent Student
    • Must be a Louisiana resident
  • Category IV – Other persons or juridical entities
    • Beneficiary must be a Louisiana resident
  • Category V – Other persons or juridical entities who are Louisiana residents
    • Non-resident Beneficiary
  • Category VI – Philanthropists opening accounts on behalf of a needy student
    • Provides a higher state match for irrevocable deposits
    • The Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of the Beneficiary’s family must be less than $30,000, or the Beneficiary must be eligible to participate in the free school lunch program
    • Beneficiary must be a Louisiana resident
opening a start account a START Account
  • START accounts may be opened online or by paper application
  • Accounts may be opened for Beneficiaries at any age at any time during the year
    • The Beneficiary must have a Social Security Number
  • There is no limit to the number of accounts which can be opened for a Beneficiary
    • The sum of funds in all accounts may not exceed the Maximum Allowable Account Balance for a Beneficiary
      • Currently: $248,300
earnings enhancements Enhancements
  • As an incentive to save, the state of Louisiana matches a portion of the Account Owner’s annual deposits until the Earnings Enhancement Cap is reached
    • Category I, II, and III accounts receive Earnings Enhancements of 2% to 14% of annual deposits, determined by the adjusted gross income (AGI) of the account owner
    • Category IV accounts receive a 2% Earnings Enhancement
    • Category VI accounts receive a 2% to 14% Earnings Enhancement based on the AGI of the Beneficiary’s parents
    • Category V accounts are not eligible for Earnings Enhancements
opportunity performance honors awards
Opportunity, Performance & Honors Awards
  • GPA on a 4.00 scale (not rounded) on 17.5 core units
  • Must complete the 17.5 core classes
  • Maximum of eight semesters or twelve quarters
  • A TOPS award may be combined with other forms of financial aid up to the “Cost of Attendance” for the institution
  • Provides amount equal to tuition to a public school in Louisiana or the average cost of a public education tuition to a private school
    • ($1515 per semester for 2010-2011)
tops awards
TOPS Awards
  • Opportunity Award (tuition amount)
    • 2.50 core curriculum GPA on a 4.00 scale
    • A minimum score of a 20 on the ACT (940 SAT)
  • Performance Award (tuition plus $400 stipend)
    • 3.00 core curriculum GPA on a 4.00 scale
    • A minimum score of 23 on the ACT (1050 SAT)
  • Honors Award (tuition plus $800 stipend)
    • 3.00 core curriculum GPA on a 4.00 scale
    • A minimum score of 27 on the ACT (1210 SAT)
tops tech award
TOPS Tech Award
  • Eligibility Requirements
    • 2.50 core curriculum GPA on a 4.00 scale
    • A minimum score of 17 on the ACT (810 SAT)
    • Completion of one of the Tech Core Option curriculums or the OPH curriculum
  • Award Amounts
    • Amount equal to full time tuition at any LA Technical college or community college if the student is enrolled in a 2-year Tech program
    • Can be used for a maximum of 2 years/4 semesters
    • Any Cosmetology school in Louisiana which has a current certificate of registration issued by the State Board of Cosmetology
    • Any accredited proprietary school which has a valid license issued by the Louisiana Board of Regents
tops application
TOPS Application
  • Apply Jan 1 – July 1
    • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) –
      • Must be completed if the student is eligible for federal grant aid (Pell Grant)
      • Must be completed if the student is seeking any other form of financial aid
      • The only application needed for TOPS
tops processing cycle
TOPS Processing Cycle
  • STEP 1 – Student takes ACT
    • ACT scores are sent to LOSFA electronically
  • STEP 2 – Student files FAFSA (Jan 1-July 1)
    • FAFSA data is sent to LOSFA electronically
  • STEP 3 – Student completes 17.5 core units prior to high school graduation
    • Academic Records from the high schools are sent to LOSFA electronically
  • STEP 4 – Student is determined eligible for TOPS
    • Students will be mailed an award letter (by mid-July)
    • College will see student online at TOPS Master Roster
  • STEP 5 – College will send LOSFA a bill
    • Students enrolled full-time through the 14th class day
tops award status
TOPS Award Status
  • Students eligible for a TOPS award will be notified by means of an official award letter from LOSFA
    • TOPS recipients should familiarize themselves with the Rights and Responsibilities included with their award letter
    • TOPS recipients are personally responsible for knowing and complying with the TOPS continuation requirements
  • Students can check their TOPS award status online by creating a TOPS Portal Account at June 1, 2010
award acceptance
Award Acceptance
  • Must enter an eligible institution as a full-time student by the first semester following the first anniversary of high school graduation
  • Military Students – join the Armed Forces on active duty within one year of high school and must return by the fall following the 5th anniversary of high school graduation
  • TOPS Recipients serving in the National Guard will receive: the tuition exemption equal to the TOPS award amount; any applicable TOPS stipend; $600 annually for books and supplies
  • Returning Out of State Students
  • Graduate Study
  • Summer Sessions
tops retention requirements
TOPS Retention Requirements
  • Should apply annually by July 1st by completing the Renewal FAFSA
  • Must be continuously enrolled on a full-time basis during the academic year
    • A student is considered full-time for the semester if they are carrying full-time hours through the 14th class day of the semester or 9th day of the quarter
tops retention credit hours
TOPS Retention: Credit Hours
  • Must earn 24 credit hours each academic year
    • Failure to earn 24 hours will result in permanent award cancellation
    • Hours earned in advanced placement may not be used
    • Hours earned in summer school or summer intersession may not be used
    • Hours earned during any intersession held between the beginning of the fall semester and the end of the spring semester can be used
    • Hours earned in required remedial courses may be used
    • “Earned Hours” are hours successfully completed with a passing grade
tops retention gpa
TOPS Retention: GPA
  • At the end of each Academic Year, the following cumulative GPA must be maintained:
    • Opportunity Award: 2.30 first academic year

2.50 all subsequent years

    • Performance Award: 3.00
    • Honors Award: 3.00
    • Students falling below 3.00 would revert to the Opportunity Award
    • Tech Award: 2.50
  • Must meet steady academic requirements of 2.00 at the end of any semester or quarter
  • Award is reinstated upon attainment of the required GPA
  • Students failing to meet their GPA requirement will be placed on suspension not to exceed two years/one year for Tech or Award will be canceled
  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application for both federal and state aid programs
    • Be sure to fill out the FAFSA even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for need based aid
  • The FAFSA is the only application needed for the TOPS scholarship
  • You should never be asked to pay to fill out the FAFSA. It is a FREE application
  • The only financial aid directly determined from the FAFSA data is eligibility for the federal Pell Grant
  • The primary purpose of the FAFSA is to establish the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
    • The EFC is used by the institution, in a process called packaging, to determine your eligibility for campus based aid programs including FSEOG, LEAP, Go Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant, SMART Grant, Federal Work Study, Perkins Loans and Direct Loans
fafsa filing methods
FAFSA Filing Methods
  • FAFSA On the Web:
    • Faster processing
    • “Skip logic” – students are only asked questions which apply to them
    • Immediate EFC estimate
    • Online receipt verification
    • Live online help
  • Paper Application
    • Available by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243 or downloading from
get a pin
Get a PIN
  • Apply
  • The PIN allows you to sign the FAFSA electronically
    • For dependent students, both you and a parent must have a PIN
      • Parents may use the same PIN for all of their children
  • The PIN allows you to make corrections to the FAFSA online
fafsa school information
FAFSA: School Information
  • May list up to 10 institutions to receive FAFSA data when filing online
    • Make sure to list a Louisiana school first for TOPS purposes
  • Housing plan
  • Enrollment status
fafsa signatures
FAFSA: Signatures
  • For a dependent student, both the student and the parent must sign
  • FAFSA on the Web may be signed by:
    • Using a pin number
      • The parent and student must have separate pin numbers
      • Parents may use the same PIN for all of their children
    • Printing the signature page
      • Must mail within 14 days
student aid report sar
Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • The SAR provides you with:
    • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
    • Pell Grant Eligibility
    • Listing of Institutions which will receive your data
    • A financial aid history
    • A listing of your responses to the FAFSA
  • Corrections may be made:
    • Online at
    • By phone at (800) 433-3243
schedule a losfa visit
Schedule a LOSFA Visit!
  • LOSFA Representatives are available for day and evening presentations, and for college fairs at your school
  • Presentations Available
    • TOPS
    • TOPS & FAFSA
    • FAFSA Workshop (Computer Lab)
    • Financial Aid Overview
    • FLY: Financial Literacy for You
    • College Knowledge
    • START
schedule a losfa visit1
Schedule a LOSFA Visit!
  • Call, or e-mail, Jerri Mack to schedule as early as possible
    • (800) 259-5626 ext. 1012
    • Requests must be received at least two weeks prior to the date of the event
  • Scheduling a college fair with LACRAO does not include LOSFA

LOSFA Social Sites LOSFA1000


contact information

Contact Information


1-800-259-5626 x1012