The uncertainty of TOPS causing Louisiana students to leave the state

Jim Hanzo
June 13, 2018 - 6:51 am

Can TOPs uncertain future keep local students from choosing Louisiana schools and instead opt to get their education in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and other states?   

Decisions are usually already made according to Dr. James Caillier, Executive Director with the Patrick Taylor Foundation who said the uncertainty of TOPS financing could sway some to choose a college out of state. 

"Many of them are reconsidering where they're going based on cost," Caillier said.  "The cost of higher education has gone up significantly in the past 4 or 5 years."     

But Caillier said when students leave for out-of-state institutions it poses even bigger problems. 

"The bigger problem that exists is that 80 percent of the students who leave the state will not return problem," Caillier said.  "That not healthy for us to have a 'brain train' when we are out competing for economic development activities and new companies and trying to keep the best and the brightest within the state."

And Caillier says institutions are waiving the out of state fees to for the better students within the state of Louisiana.  

"We hope that legislators will realize the importance of keeping our people in Louisiana, funding them, and providing a good solid education," he added.   

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