A Program of the Louisiana Board of Regents
LOSFA Mentions
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) recognizes two LOSFA Advisory Board Members
Sharmain Lazard-Talbert,
Financial Aid Advisor at
Southern University Shreveport, was selected to represent the Southwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SWASFAA) region in the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) 2020-21 Diversity Leadership Program! The program offers mentorship and guidance on how to develop as a financial aid leader.

Read more about the Diversity Leadership Program here.
Dr. Amy Cable, Executive Director of Enrollment Management for the
Louisiana Community and Technical College System, was recognized by NASFAA as the Most Valuable Professional!

Dr. Cable has worked in financial aid for 15 years and says she enjoys working with students and believes in the college system's mission to educate Louisiana's citizens.

You can read a Q & A with Dr. Cable here.
Supporting students in the college admissions process
College Beyond, a New Orleans-based nonprofit with a mission to help students get to and through college, recently offered a webinar to parents, teachers, and student support professionals to help students through the admissions process, financial aid, and success first-year and beyond. 

LOSFA Program Administrator Ebony Holmes represented the agency and presented tips for completing the FAFSA without errors. She also reviewed the requirements for the four TOPS levels and how to get FAFSA Completion assistance by utilizing LOSFA's Virtual Office Hours. 
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Before the Fall 2020 semester ended, LOSFA reminded current college students to make sure they knew how a Pass/Fail grade could affect their TOPS status.

Due to circumstances with COVID-19 and multiple hurricanes that affected Louisiana, P (Pass) and F (Fail) grades can affect how GPA is calculated. TOPS recipients must maintain a certain GPA to stay in good standing.

Click the graphic above to review the Pass/Fail Q & A.
Other Related News
Congress just made it a lot easier to apply for financial aid
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be a more simplified form, beginning with the 2023-2024 academic school year.

Before Christmas, Congress passed a measure to shorten the FAFSA. The current FAFSA application has 108 questions. Only a small number of students need to answer each of those questions. The simplified and straightforward version of the FAFSA will cut at least 30 questions that apply to less than 1% of applicants.

The new form will also change how students are determined to be Pell Grant eligible. Eligibility will be based on the student’s family size and adjusted gross income, compared to federal poverty levels.

Click the button below to read more.
For additional information on changes to the FAFSA and the Pell Grant, click here.
As Covid disrupts family finances, it’s forcing college students to think hard about their dreams
A number of college students said COVID-19 has them thinking more about their financial future. They are using this time to think about money and weigh the value of what's being spent and what's being received.

Financial challenges have some students working while continuing their college classes, to help provide for their families. Others have had to pay their own tuition due to parents losing jobs. Some have begun contemplating graduate school and fields where there are promises of higher income.

Despite the complications the pandemic has brought to college education, students do see there is value in obtaining a degree.
The real COVID-19 enrollment crisis: Fewer low-income students went straight to college
The coronavirus pandemic had little effect on preventing high school students from graduating, but it did prevent 2020 high school graduates from immediately enrolling in college. New data, compiled by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC), found 21.7 percent fewer high school graduates went straight to college as of 2019.
The report is even more concerning because there was a 32.6 percent decline in students who graduated from high-poverty high schools, compared to 16.4 percent of low-poverty schools.

Affluent students who took time off after high school graduation will likely enroll at a post-secondary, but low-income students who stopped out due to financial concerns or impacts from COVID-19 may be harder to reach.

Click here to read the High School Benchmarks findings from NSCRC.

Click here to watch the National College Attainment Network's webinar 'Is the High School to College Pipeline Broke? The Data Says Yes.'
COVID is worsening college access disparities; Here's what needs to happen to reverse this trend
Across the country, college enrollment has decreased. Undergraduate enrollment for first-time freshman students is down -13% at all undergraduate institutions and -18.9% at community colleges. COVID-19 has exposed a lot; it has become more important than ever to eliminate barriers for students on a postsecondary path.

This article by Bob Obrohta, Executive Director of the Tennessee College Access and Success Network, details recommendations for college access professionals to support students and ensure they continue on their journey to college.
Louisiana getting $450,000 for workforce training programs
The Delta Regional Authority, a federal-state partnership created by Congress to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta, will provide $450,000 in grants for workforce training programs in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Thibodaux.

The University of Holy Cross, in partnership with Delgado Community College, will receive $150,000, to provide scholarships to students on a path to earn an accelerated bachelor of science degree, with a concentration in culinary studies.

Nicholls State University will also receive part of the grant to create a cybersecurity and cyber-defense training program.

To read more about Nicholls's portion of the grant, click here.
Being prepared for disaster is a new degree program at LSU Shreveport
Extreme weather and natural disasters have prompted one Louisiana college to offer a degree in Disaster Planning and Preparedness.

Louisiana State University in Shreveport (LSUS) is the only institution in the state to offer the new concentration under the Master's of Non-Profit Administration.

According to coordinators, the program is 100 percent online, takes one to two years to complete, and is attracting students from all around the country.

Graduates will possess skills to navigate various state and government policies to help with disaster recovery, in emergency management positions.

To read the announcement from LSUS, click here.
SLCC offering tuition assistance for students enrolling in short-term programs
South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) is offering tuition assistance through a program called Reboot Your Career, launched by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. The program was designed to support workers who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 to re-train for available jobs on high-wage career pathways.

Those who sign up would be eligible to earn an industry credential in 12 weeks or less.

The goal is to train 5,000 Louisiana residents for in-demand jobs through short-term training courses.

To learn more about Reboot Your Career, click here.

To see the SLCC programs that qualify, click the button below.
Two NSU students find a path to graduation through Compete LA program
Two Louisiana women have completed a milestone they didn't believe they would ever reach - earning a college degree.

Amiee McFarland had been out of college since 2012 and only needed one semester to complete an associate degree in general studies. She enrolled in the Compete LA initiative, which offers adults with some college credit but no degree an opportunity to complete their education at a discounted tuition rate.

McFarland said she plans to pursue a bachelor's degree now, and her experience has prompted her sister to research returning to college.

Katrina Denman needed summer and fall classes to finish her bachelor's degree in general studies. For years, she said, she contemplated returning but did not.

Denman said she believes this opportunity will motivate others to finish what they started and encourage others not to quit.
The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA), a program of the Louisiana Board of Regents, strives to be Louisiana's first choice for college access by promoting, preparing for and providing equity of college access.