Louisiana Scholarships and Financial Aid
Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships
Louisiana has many types of post-secondary institutions, including public colleges and universities, independent colleges and universities, and community and/or technical colleges. Whether you prefer the urban settings of the University of New Orleans, the small town feel of Louisiana State University – Eunice, or the Mississippi River view of Baton Rouge Community College, you may be able finance your education with scholarships, grants, and loans from various sources.
Where to Find Louisiana Scholarships and Financial Aid
Here are the four main places to find scholarships and financial aid:
- U.S. Government – grants, loans
- Louisiana state government – grants, scholarships
- Louisiana universities and colleges
- Louisiana foundations, organizations, and businesses
Federal Financial Aid for Louisiana Students
Louisiana students may qualify for federal financial aid. The U.S. government provides financial assistance to students who have financial need. To see if you qualify, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA opens January 1 the year before the year in which you will need the financial assistance. The national deadline is June 30 the year in which you will need the aid. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible since federal programs are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The Louisiana state deadline for FAFSA is usually July 1. Your school may have their own priority deadline for FAFSA, so make sure you turn your FAFSA in by the earliest deadline.
Your financial aid/scholarship office will determine the amount of assistance you might need and will offer you a financial aid package with grants, which you do not need to pay back, and low-interest loans, which you do need to pay back. If you are not offered a financial aid package, you may still qualify for loans through a private lender. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office for advice.
Louisiana State Financial Aid Programs
The state of Louisiana provides financial assistance to its students. Here is a list of Louisiana financial aid programs that you might qualify for:
Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS)
This program offers scholarships to students attending Louisiana public post-secondary institutions, institutions that are part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, and institutions that are in the Louisiana Independent Colleges and Universities. Here are the four programs TOPS offers:
- TOPS Opportunity Award—award covers tuition and other fees for students attending public institutions in Louisiana (award will be adjusted for students attending independent institutions).
- TOPS Performance Award—award covers tuition and other fees, and includes a $400 stipend every year, for students attending any of the Louisiana public institutions (or an adjusted award for students attending independent institutions). Students must have 3.0 GPA and an ACT score of 23 (or equivalent SAT score).
- TOPS Honor Award—award covers tuition and other fees, and includes an $800 stipend every year, for students attending any of the Louisiana public institutions (or an adjusted award for students attending independent institutions). To qualify students must have earned a 3.0 GPA and an ACT score of 27 (or equivalent SAT score).
- TOPS Tech Award covers tuition for technical skills or professional skills acquired through a program in the Louisiana Community and technical College System or Louisiana Public Colleges and Universities .
For all three scholarships, submit a FAFSA, or if you don’t qualify for federal grants, submit an online application.
Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship
This Louisiana scholarship provides $1,000 a year for students who are pursuing degrees in forestry, marine science, or a related wildlife field of studies at a Louisiana public institution. To apply, complete a FAFSA and a Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship Application. Both are due by July 1.
Leverage Education Assistance Partnership (LEAP)
Full-time students at any accredit Louisiana post-secondary institution who have financial need may be eligible to receive between $200 and $2,000. Submit a FAFSA and speak with your financial aid office.
Louisiana Go Grant Program
Students with financial need may be eligible to receive between $200 and $2,000 to help with educational costs. Submit a FAFSA and check with your financial aid office.
Healthcare Educator Loan Forgiveness Program
This Louisiana financial aid program provides financial support to students pursuing advanced degrees in Nursing or Allied Health. Students may be eligible to receive $20,000 per academic year. For the loan to be forgiven, students must agree to teach at a program chosen by the Board of Regents, one year of service for every $10,000. Contact your financial aid/scholarship office for more information.
Scholarships Offered By Louisiana Universities and Colleges
Individual universities and colleges in Louisiana offer scholarships to students enrolled in their programs. These scholarships may depend on any of the following reasons:
- academic achievement (GPA, ACT/SAT)
- financial need (as determined by your FAFSA)
- leadership/community service
- special abilities (athletics, arts)
- ethnic background
- or any combination of these and more
Many institutions offer scholarships based on academic achievement. These are usually offered through the admissions office, like at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and at Southeastern Louisiana University, and means you only have to submit your application for admission to the school and you will automatically be considered for scholarships.
Scholarships based on other reasons may require additional applications. For example, scholarships based on majors are usually offered through departments and require applications which are usually obtained from the departments. Louisiana Tech University and Louisiana State University are examples of universities that do this. Check with your school’s financial aid/scholarship office to see what scholarships you may qualify for and what application procedures you need to complete.
Other Louisiana Scholarships
Students in Louisiana may also apply for scholarships from organizations, businesses, and foundations. Here’s a list of scholarships you may qualify for:
Prime Time Foundation Scholarship
Award: full scholarship
Qualifications: Bahamian citizen who is a resident of Abacos or Eleuthera planning to attend Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge or any equivalent institution in the U.S.
How to apply: Online or request an application from Prime Time Foundation, 8330 Hamburg Rd., Brighton, MI 48116
Deadline: February 1
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Award: $500 to full tuition, fees, and room & board
Qualifications: check the Baton Rouage Area Foundation website for more information on individual scholarships.
How to apply: individual scholarships will have separate applications and application procedures.
Louisiana Library Association
Award: $3,000 from the LLA Scholarship and $1,000 from the Mary Moore Mitchell Scholarship.
Qualifications: a Louisiana student pursuing a Master’s Degree in Library Science at Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science.
How to apply: Download an LLA Scholarship Application and a Mary Moor Mitchell Scholarship Application.
Deadline: May 1
DEMCO Foundation Scholarship
Award: 20 scholarships up to $1,000
Qualifications: DEMCO members attending a Louisiana post-secondary institution who have financial need
How to apply: Submit a cover letter, official transcript, proof of 2.5 GPA or above, summary of extracurricular activities, 3 letters of recommendation, a copy of an acceptance letter from the school you are attending.
Deadlines: June 20th for fall section and December 30th for spring section by 4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time
American Society of Safe Engineers
Award: $1,000 to $5,250
Qualifications: Please see individual scholarships for specific requirements.
How to apply: Download an application from here.
Deadline: December 1
Three Things to Remember About Louisiana Financial Aid Programs
- The Louisiana state deadline for the FAFSA is July 1, the year before the year in which you need aid, not the year that you need aid.
- Most Louisiana state financial aid programs require you to submit the FAFSA. The FAFSA determines many need-based eligibility criteria.
- Search in your area for local businesses and organizations that offer scholarships to students. There may be many opportunities that you qualify for.
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