BATON ROUGE, LA — According to the latest results from the 2013 Louisiana Survey, 57 percent of residents support increasing academic requirements for the TOPS program, while 38 percent were opposed.
Residents are overwhelming opposed – 78 percent – to reducing the total amount of money qualified students receive from the program. According to Kirby Goidel, director of the Public Policy Research Lab, the TOPS program is largely seen by Louisiana residents as a scholarship that is earned. As a result, residents are willing to increase the academic requirements but are less willing to support a reduction in the amount of the award. “They support the program,” he explained, “as a merit-based scholarship.”
Louisiana residents are more divided on whether to provide TOPS as a flat monetary award not tied to tuition. Forty-six percent supported providing a flat award, while 44 percent were opposed.
About the Survey: The 2013 Louisiana Survey includes a traditional landline telephone survey combined with a survey of Louisiana cell phone users. The results presented here have been weighted to reflect current population demographics as reflected in the most recent available Census data. The combined survey includes 930 respondents including 574 respondents selected from landline telephone numbers via random-digit dialing and 356 respondents selected from available cell phone blocks. Interviews were conducted from February 8 to March 17, 2013. The overall survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.