The Home School Court Report
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November / December 2005

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Good news for TOPS applicants

The Louisiana legislature took up a bill to reduce the ACT score a home study student needs to be eligible for the Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). TOPS awards provide financial assistance to students attending any public or postsecondary institution that is part of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

On June 20, 2005, House Bill 120 passed the legislature unanimously and was signed by Governor Blanco on June 29.

Now home study students in Louisiana-those who homeschool under option one in Home School Legal Defense Association's legal summary (see http://www.hslda .org/laws/default.asp?State=LA)-will be eligible for TOPS awards if they score two points higher on the ACT than public school students. While homeschool students still have to score higher on the ACT then their counterparts, they do not have to meet Louisiana core curriculum requirements to receive TOPS awards.

Through the 2007-2008 school year, home study students must achieve ACT scores as follows to be eligible for the TOPS awards:

  • TOPS-Tech award: 19
  • Opportunity Award: 22
  • Performance Award: 25
  • Honors Award: 29

While these scores will revert back to their previous levels after the 2007-2008 school year, several legislators have indicated that they would like to make the changes permanent and make the requirements even closer to the requirements for public school students.

— by Thomas J. Schmidt