- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - By the end of this semester, first-year college students who receive money from Louisiana’s Taylor Opportunity Program for Students will start receiving text messages.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1vyWSct ) the students will be reminded what they need to do to keep their scholarships.

Among those messages, they’re likely to see unexpected warnings to keep their grade-point averages above 2.3 and to take at least 24 credit hours each academic year, which doesn’t include classes that are dropped or failed; helpful tips on where to find tutoring help on campus; and gentle encouragement to buckle down for finals.

About 48,273 students received tuition through TOPS during the 2013-14 school year. Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance estimates that about 20,000 students will receive texts as first-year recipients.

It’s the latest effort to make sure students know what’s expected of them if they want to continue to receive Louisiana’s generous TOPS awards - and inform them in a way that’s more familiar and immediate for them.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to reduce the number of students who lose TOPS,” Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance spokesman Gus Wales said. “Students sometimes miss the details. This will be a reminder.”

About 48,273 students received tuition through TOPS during the 2013-14 school year, according to LOSFA’s year-end data. The office estimates that about 20,000 students will receive texts as first-year recipients.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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