STATE OF LOUISIANA FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS
For more detailed information on state financial aid programs contact:
Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance
1885 Wooddale Blvd.
Baton Rouge, La. 70806
P.O. Box 91202
Baton Rouge, La. 70821-9202
Local phone: 922-1011
Or toll-free: 1-800-259-5626
Fax Number is (225) 922-0790.
The following are financial aid programs available to students who are residents of the state of Louisiana.
Rockefeller State Wildlife ScholarshipThis is a competitive scholarship awarded to high school graduates, college undergraduates and graduate students majoring in forestry, wildlife or marine science. Recipients must attain a degree in one of the three eligible fields at a Louisiana public college/university or repay the funds, plus interest. The annual award is $1,000, with a cumulative maximum award of $7,000 for up to five years of undergraduate and two years of graduate study. Recipients receive $500 each fall and spring term, provided that eligibility is maintained and sufficient program funds are available. Failure to maintain eligibility will result in cancellation of the scholarship and repayment of all funds received, plus interest. Each year about 30 new applicants are selected for award based upon their merit score ranking. Annually, some 60 students (new and renewal recipients) receive awards totaling $60,000 in state dedicated funds. Eligibility criteria are listed below:
- Be a U.S. citizen or national or eligible non-citizen and be registered with Selective Service if required; and
- Be a Louisiana resident for at least one year prior to July 1 of the scholarship award year; and
- Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to the annual deadline (July 1). All new applicants for the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship must apply for federal grant aid by submitting the FAFSA so that it is received no later than July 1 immediately preceding the academic year (college) for which the scholarship is sought. For example, if the student wants to apply for a Rockefeller Scholarship to be awarded during the 2005-2006 academic year (college), submit the 2005-2006 version of the FAFSA no later than July 1, 2005; and
- Complete and submit such documentary evidence as required by LASFAC; and
- Have no criminal convictions other than misdemeanor traffic violations; and
- Be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student in a Louisiana public college or university majoring in forestry, wildlife or marine science with the intent of obtaining a degree in one of those fields; and
- Have graduated from an accredited high school with at least a 2.50 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and have taken the ACT and achieved a score of at least 20 or an equivalent score on the SAT; or
- Must have completed the 12th grade level of a home study program approved by BESE and, if at the time of application earned less than 24 hours of graded college credit, achieved an ACT score of at least 22 or an equivalent score on the SAT; and if a high school was previously attended, provide certification that the student was in good standing at the time the student last attended; or
- Have earned 24 or more graded college credit hours and have at least a 2.50 cumulative college GPA as an undergraduate student; or,
- As a graduate student have at least a 3.00 cumulative college GPA on all credits earned in graduate school.
If you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above and would like to apply for the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship, you should complete and submit the Scholarship Application no later than July 31 immediately preceding the academic year you want to be considered for award. Applications may be downloaded at http://www.osfa.state.la.us/ROCKEFELLER.pdf . Submit the application to the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) as instructed on the application. If you have earned college credit, you must include with this application an official college transcript that includes the most recent semester attended. Your application will not be considered if you do not provide all requested information. For more information, contact LOSFA at (800) 259-5626, Ext. 1012 or locally at (225) 922-3258.
Awarded students may continue to receive the award if they:
- Have received the scholarship for not more than seven academic years (five undergraduate and two graduate); and
- By the end of the academic year (spring term), have earned at least 24 hours of earned credits during the fall, winter and spring terms at a school defining 12 semester or eight quarter hours as the minimum for full-time undergraduate status, or earn at least 18 hours total credit during the fall, winter and spring terms at a school defining nine semester hours as a minimum for full-time graduate status; and
- Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 as an undergraduate student at the end of each academic year or achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 as a graduate student at the end of each academic year; and
- Maintain continuous enrollment as a full-time student unless granted an exception by LOSFA; and
- Continue to pursue a course of study leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree in wildlife, forestry or marine science.
Robert C. Byrd Scholarship ProgramSpecific information on the Robert C. Byrd Scholarship Program may be obtained by calling the Louisiana Department of Education at (225) 342-2098, toll-free at (877) 453-2721, via email or by writing to the following address:
Louisiana Department of Education
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
Post Office Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Louisiana Go Grant ProgramThe purpose of this program is to provide a need-based component to the state’s financial aid plan to support nontraditional and low to moderate-income students who need additional aid to afford the cost of attending college.
To be eligible for a Louisiana Go Grant, a student must:
- Be a Louisiana Resident;*
- File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
- Receive a federal Pell grant or a financial need grant;
- Have an Education Cost Gap (ECG) greater than $0;** and
- Be a student enrolled in an eligible Louisiana institution on a part-time or full-time basis who:
- Entered college as a first time freshman during academic year 2007-2008 or later; OR
- Entered college as a first time freshman during the 2007-08 academic year or later and have become eligible for a federal Pell grant or financial need grant after the freshman year: OR
- Be age 25 or older and have entered college as a first time freshman before the 2007-08 academic year and have had a break in enrollment of at least two consecutive semesters, not including a summer semester or term, immediately preceding the period of enrollment for which the student is being considered for receipt of a grant.
Eligible students will receive the following award amounts per year:
- Full-time (normally 12 hours at semester schools and 8 hours at quarter schools) - $2000 (Program Full Time students, defined as enrolled in a degree program where less than 12 semester hours or 8 term hours is considered full time, are also eligible for full time award amount.)
- Half-time (normally 6-11 hours at semester schools and 4-7 hours at quarter schools) - $1,000
- Less than half-time (normally less than 6 hours at semester schools and less than 4 hours at quarter schools) - $500
- The Go Grant may be awarded for summer sessions in instances where the student has not utilized their annual award maximum of $2,000. The summer award may NOT exceed $1,000.
Initial Eligibility to Receive Pell Grant Aid
Any student who was a first time freshman beginning with the 2007-08 academic year or later who was not initially Pell eligible but subsequently becomes Pell eligible then also qualifies for a GO Grant award.
To receive a grant in subsequent years, the student must file a FAFSA or the Renewal Application at least annually, continue receiving a Pell or a financial need grant, have an ECG greater than $0, and maintain steady academic progress as defined by the institution in which the student is enrolled in accordance with the federal Higher Education Act of 1965. The maximum annual award is $2,000 and the award can be renewed for subsequent years to a maximum lifetime award of $10,000 per student.
*Residency: Louisiana resident as of the day the FAFSA is filed and Louisiana is the student’s true and fixed domicile as reported on the FAFSA. If student’s state of residence on the FAFSA is not reported as LA, but a dependent student claims that a non-custodial parent is a Louisiana resident, or that parents are Louisiana residents living out of state, LOSFA will determine residency based on the completion, by the parents, of a residency affidavit.
Residency for displaced students: Special provisions have been made to assist students affected by the natural disasters of August and September 2005. See complete details in GO Grant rules and/or the GO Grant residency affidavit for students with a Louisiana Distance Diploma using the link at the bottom of this page.
**Education Cost Gap: Use the amount approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents for full-time tuition and mandatory fees; Add $2000 for education expense allowance and Subtract any Federal Pell Grant Aid.
TOPS Tech Early Start AwardThe TOPS Tech Early Start award was created by the Louisiana Legislature in 2005 to provide an incentive for Louisiana’s qualified public high school students to start early in preparing for a career in a qualifying Top Demand Occupation. Students in the 11th and 12th grades of public high schools, who meet the requirements, may qualify for a grant that will cover the cost of attending most public colleges that offer vocational training in a qualifying Top Demand Occupation. Recipients of the award will pursue occupational training at a public college while still enrolled in high school (referred to as dual enrollment), giving them an “early start” toward an occupation that is in high demand within the state.
· Be an 11th or 12th grade student in a Louisiana public high school
· Pursue an industry-based occupational or vocational credential in a public college or university that is:
· Defined by the Board of Regents;
· Identified by the Occupational Forecasting Conference as a Top Demand Occupation;
· Recognized by the State Industry Based Certification Council; and
· Approved by BESE and the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana
Community and Technical College System (LCTCS)
· Have prepared a 5-year education and career plan
· Have a cumulative high school grade point average of at least 2.00 on a 4.00 scale
· Have at least minimum passing scores in English and Mathematics on the GEE
· Score at least 15 on the English and Mathematics subsections of the ACT PLAN Assessment
· Provides a payment of up to $300 per semester and $600 per academic year at a rate of $50 per credit hour
· Award is limited to six credit hours per semester and twelve credit hours each Academic Year (College)
· The TOPS Tech Early Start award is not payable for summer semesters or sessions
· Participation in the TOPS Tech Early Start program does not guarantee eligibility to receive the TOPS TECH award following high school graduation
· Participation in the TOPS Tech Early Start program does not prevent a student from qualifying for a TOPS Opportunity, Performance or Honors award following high school graduation
· The TOPS Tech Early Start award us limited to those TOPS Demand Occupations requiring an occupational or vocational credential
· Academic programs are not included
· Must be in good standing in a public high school (as verified by the Principal)
· Must maintain a cumulative high school grade point average of at least 2.00 on a 4.00 scale on all courses attempted
· Must remain in good standing at a public postsecondary institution (as verified by the institution)
· Must pursue one or more courses leading to a credential in a TOP Demand Occupation at a public postsecondary institution each eligible semester
· Must maintain, by the end of the spring term, a cumulative postsecondary institution grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale
· Must maintain Steady Academic Progress at the public postsecondary institution attended (a minimum of 2.00 on a 4.00 scale) at the end of each semester
Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP)LEAP is a federal program that provides need-based grants to academically qualified students.
The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) allocates funds to postsecondary institutions, which include Louisiana private and public colleges and universities, technical colleges and proprietary schools, based upon the school's prior year fall enrollment, school type and prior year award experience. Applicants are selected and certified for LEAP by the school's financial aid officer. Interested students must contact the school's financial aid office for specific information about the LEAP Program. Schools must be approved to participate in the program.
Last year, almost 4,000 students received LEAP funds totaling approximately $1.5 million, with the average award being $369. Individual grants range from $200 to $2,000; the amount is determined by the financial aid officer and is governed by the number of applicants and the availability of funds at a particular school.
Participating schools may establish eligibility criteria in addition to that required by LOSFA, which are listed below.
LEAP applicants must meet all of the following:
- Be a U.S. citizen or national or eligible noncitizen; and
- Register with Selective Service, if required; and
- Be a resident of Louisiana for at least one year prior to July 1 of the award year.
- Annually submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA by the deadline set by the school; and
- Have a high school diploma with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average (GPA), or a minimum average score of 45 on the General Educational Development (GED) test, or an ACT composite score of at least 20, or a postsecondary school GPA of at least 2.00 from the most recent term; and
- Be selected and certified by the school for receipt of a LEAP Award, contingent upon final approval by LOSFA; and
- Meet any additional selection criteria established by the individual institution participating in the LEAP Program; and
- Be certified as a full-time undergraduate student in an eligible program at an eligible postsecondary institution; and
- Have substantial financial need of at least $199; and
- Be in compliance with the terms of other federal and state student aid programs that are administered by LASFAC, which the applicant may be receiving; and
- Not have a criminal conviction, except for misdemeanor traffic violations; and
- Agree that the award proceeds will be used exclusively for educational expenses; and
- Not be in default of an educational loan.
To continue receiving a LEAP Award, the recipient must meet all of the following :
State Financial Aid Information
Find state financial aid information for the specific state that you live in. Find contact information for your local federal aid office, and get details about specific federal aid programs in your area.
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