The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Students and professors discuss the consequences of TOPS cuts

January 19, 2017

Students and professors reveal ways to compensate for the cuts to TOPS.

While Nicholls students share how they will be compensating for the recent cuts, professors reveal various options available to assist students across campus and in the classroom.

Many students may be unsure of ways to help pay for their tuition and how to afford the textbooks needed for their classes. Fellow peers speculate ways other students can lessen the new burden placed by TOPS.

“I think that because of the cuts, students have to pay a lot more money for their tuition and have to resort to getting part-time jobs to earn a little extra money,” LyLy Chiasson, chemistry major from Raceland, said. “Mainly I think students are resorting to taking out student loans so that they can afford to continue their education, which of course will lead to student debt.”

Students believe that the cuts to TOPS can be considered unfair because of the hard work they put into receiving the money in the first place.

“In general, I think the idea of TOPS is good,” Desiree Delhommer, nursing freshman from Bayou Gauche, said. “I think it gives students something to work for and makes it easier on them and their families for them to get an education. However, with the new changes I think it’s unfair to those of us who have already put in the time and effort to meet the requirements that we were practically get it taken away.”

Professors remain positive about the TOPS program even with the drastic cuts.

“I think the TOPS funding is a great treasure for the students,” Chadwick Young, instructor of physics, said. “I know that not all states have them and we are very grateful to be one of the few that does.”

Several ways to help pay for tuition and books is by talking to the Office of Financial Aid on campus. Nicholls State University also offers various scholarships that can be found on the school’s website.

“Nicholls offers a lot of ways to help the students,” Young said. “One of the things some of the professors across campus are doing is making sure they are using the lowest costing materials and also using a lot of e-textbooks, which can be free to students.”

Along with resources available on campus, they also have the option of taking out student loans or looking for part-time jobs.

“In order to compensate for TOPS I had to up my hours at work to pay the rest of tuition,” Kaydn Brooks, nursing freshman from Sorrento, said.

Professors are also being affected by the recent cuts to TOPS. Students are even being forced to take fewer classes or drop from the University completely.

“Anything that effects the students effects the professors,” Young said. “Many students do not have financial support from family members so they are going to have to take out loans and get part-time jobs, which can take away from class preparation time. Without the students wanting to further their education, we can’t complete our task.”

Whether it’s taking out student loans, working extra or applying for new scholarships, the cut to TOPS is also affecting those coming into college next semester.

“At the end of the day, whether we have TOPS or don’t our job as your professors is to ensure that you succeed,” Young said. “Nicholls students are very resilient; they tend to take a bad situation and make the most out of it. I don’t have a single doubt in my mind that they will make the absolute most out of the new situation.”

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