Adults who want to attend a community or technical college to learn skills needed for construction, logistics, manufacturing or other high-demand fields might soon be able to secure a TOPS equivalent to pay for tuition.
The USA Today Network reports Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to sign legislation that will provide grants to low- and middle-income workers 21 and older who want to train for a new career via the MJ Foster Promise Program. TOPS is Louisiana’s college scholarship program.
Only those making 300% or less over the federal poverty line, or about $38,000 a year, are eligible. Those who meet the income, age, and career field requirements can be awarded up to $3,200 a year and $6,400 total.
“We believe that this is an amount that will give folks the chance to not have to come out of pocket particularly when you consider the other funding that is available through federal Pell Grants and the like,” said Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Monty Sullivan. Recipients can also use the grants for industrial certification programs.
The grants will cost the state $10.5 million a year. Sullivan hopes the program will expand in time, noting there are 1.1 million working-age adults in Louisiana who have a high school diploma or less.
The grants are expected to become available in the summer of 2022.