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TOPS FAQs


Do I have to fill out a FAFSA every year to recieve TOPS?

  • We strongly recommend that TOPS students fill out a FAFSA every year.  It is only mandatory in your first year.

Do I have to be full-time in order to get TOPS?

  • Yes, you must be enrolled in 12 or more credit hours each fall and spring on the 15th day of class. There are sometimes exceptions made for graduating seniors. See the official TOPS website for more information.

How many credit hours do I need to be a full-time student?

  • You must be enrolled in 12 or more credit hours to be considered a full-time student.

What happens if I sit out for a semester?

  •  You will lose TOPS.  You may not sit out a semester while receiving TOPS.
  • If there are documented extenuating circumstances, you should contact LOSFA directly. SEe the offficial TOPS website for more information.

What happens to my TOPS if I do not pass 12 hours in the fall semester?

  • As long as you have a 2.0 cumulative GPA, you will receive TOPS in the spring. However, you will still need to earn 24 credits for the academic year.  You have the spring, summer, and any intercession to make up those hours.

How does TOPS define "academic year"?

  • The TOPS academic year begins with the fall semester and ends with the summer semester.  TOPS will count credits from all intercessions as well as any major semester.

Will courses taken during winter intercession count for TOPS?

  • Yes.

Will TOPS pay for winter intercession?

  • No, TOPS will not pay for winter intercession. You will have to pay for winter intercession out of pocket.

Will courses taken during summer intercession count for TOPS?

  • Yes.

Will TOPS pay for summer intercession?

  • TOPS will not pay for summer in most cases. You will have to pay out of pocket. 

Will remedial/developmental courses count towards the 24 credit hours requirement?

  • Yes. 

Will courses taken during summer count for TOPS?

  • Yes.

Will TOPS pay for summer?

  • No, TOPS will not pay for summer.  You will have to pay out of pocket.  See the official TOPS website for more information on the exceptions to this rule.

Will the college level courses taken during high school count for TOPS?

  • No, not as credit hours. Any credits earned prior to the TOPS academic year do not count towards the required 24 credit hours.  This means dual enrollment credits, AP credits, or credits earned based on other test scores (ACT, ACE, CLEP, etc.) do not count toward your freshman year on TOPS. 
  • However, these courses are a part of your college record and will be included in your TOPS cumulative GPA.

Will half semester courses count for TOPS?

  • Yes. Talk to an Academic Counselor today about ACSK 140 and other half semester courses.

If I do not make the grades, will I have to pay back TOPS?

  • No.  You never have to pay back TOPS, but you will not receive TOPS while your GPA is below a 2.5.  You do have the option of earning back TOPS if your GPA is the only problem. See the official TOPS website for more information.

Can I drop below 12 credit hours for a given semester?

  • It depends. There are 2 times that TOPS checks your credit hours:
    • The first time is at the beginning of each major semester. At this point, you must be registered for at least 12 hours to be full-time.  This is measured based on your registration on the 15th day of classes. 
    • The second time TOPS checks credit hours is at the end of the academic year.  At that point, you must have earned 24 credit hours, but it doesn’t matter which semester of the academic year they come from.
    • This means that after the 15th class day, you can drop a course with a W to leave you below 12 hours as long as you make up the hours in another semester and earn at least 24 credits for the academic year.

 

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