Southeastern Students Split on Raising TOPS Requirements

A SoutheasternUReporter survey conducted throughout the week of March 27 through email collected data from Southeastern students regarding the current state of the TOPS Opportunity Award.

The respondents of the email were students currently enrolled in Southeastern. Of the students who submitted answers, 23.1 percent were Sophomores, 23.1 percent were Seniors, 7.7 percent were Juniors, and 46.2 percent were Freshmen.

When asked if they would support a higher academic requirement to receive the TOPS Opportunity Award 48.1 percent said that they would not, while 51.9 percent said that they would.

Junior and Business major Michael Cobar said, “I honestly did not expect there to be an almost equal split in support for each side.” Cobar, who would support a higher requirement to receive TOPS, said, “I think that something like TOPS helps to push students to really put their all behind school. It’s a motivator of sorts that benefits them in more ways than one.”

The survey conducted also asked if students thought there should be a sort of income restriction placed on TOPS, regarding if families who could afford full tuition without the award should be eligible to receive it at all. Of the students who responded, 73.1 percent said that it shouldn’t matter if a family could afford tuition or not, while 26.9 percent said that there should be a restriction on TOPS.

Nadia Wright, a Sophomore and Communications major said, “I don’t think there should be a restriction like that placed on TOPS, because you never know what’s going on with someone’s family behind the scenes. Things could always change in the future too, so that sort of restriction seems a bit unfair to me.”

The survey also asked if the initial and following grade point averages should be raised or lowered for college students to receive the TOPS Opportunity award. The results showed that 40.7 percent of students would like the initial GPA to remain at a 2.30, while 25.9 percent said that the initial GPA should be raised to 2.50, and 22.2 percent said the initial GPA should be raised to 2.75.

For following years, 51.9 percent of students said that the GPA threshold should remain at a 2.50, while 29.6 percent said that it should be raised to a 2.75 and 14.8 percent said that it should be raised to a 3.0 GPA.

Cobar said, “I don’t think it’s really that difficult to maintain a 2.75 GPA in college. Of course students have different priorities inside and out of school, but I think that raising that standard would be a good thing for students and Louisiana’s education system.”

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