Title page for ETD etd-05052008-102729

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Thurber, Frederick
Author's Email Address fthurbe@lsu.edu
URN etd-05052008-102729
Title Does the Tuition Opportunity Program For Students (TOPS) Promote Access to Postsecondary Education for Students from Low-income Families in Louisiana?
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Roland W. Mitchell Committee Chair
Hillary Nicole Braud Committee Member
Janice M. Hinson Committee Member
Julius P. Langinais Committee Member
Krisanna Machtmes Dean's Representative
  • Louisiana financial aid
  • need-based aid
  • Merit-based aid
  • financial aid
  • TOPS
  • student aid
Date of Defense 2008-04-01
Availability unrestricted
Louisiana concentrates its postsecondary financial aid funding in merit-based aid programs, as opposed to need-based aid programs. This study illuminates the distribution of Louisiana’s merit-based financial aid program, Louisiana’s Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), to students from difference socioeconomic backgrounds by describing the basic characteristics of TOPS recipients at Louisiana State University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and selected Louisiana two-year postsecondary institutions. This study gives evidence to indicate that Louisiana’s TOPS program disproportionably benefits students from middle and upper income families, most of whom could afford college expenses without receiving a TOPS awards. In addition, this study found that the TOPS award methodology is systemically bias against African Americans, because TOPS award methodology includes biased standardized testing as a requirement that all recipients must meet in order to qualify for a TOPS award.
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