Caitlin B. Louisiana

TOPS-College Tuition

Louisiana's TOPS program is vital

Dear Mr. or Mrs. President,

     First of all, I'd like to congratulate you on your presidency. I can imagine that it takes a lot of courage and heart to run for an office like you have just recently won. You have a long four years ahead of you. I am sure you will have many people coming to you with concerns; although, I ask that you hear me out on my issue.

     Coming from a small town, there aren't many opportunities to make a six-digit income. Therefore, this puts families like mine in a tough predicament when they are sending their children off to college. TOPS, which is a Louisiana college tuition program, has been decreased due to budget cuts. In many families, TOPS was a child's only way of ever making it through college without debt. Now, with the decrease in TOPS, it is getting harder for students to commit to a college. People, like myself, have worked diligently all throughout high school in hopes of receiving TOPS as a way to pay for school. Unfortunately, it seems like the chances are very slim that my generation will come out of college debt-free. 

     The issue with this decrease in TOPS tuition is that students are more likely not to attend college at all. Teenagers and young adults that lack a college degree are less likely to get hired for most jobs. This will lead to an increase in our country's unemployment rate. The damage this budget cut will cause is not yet visible; however, it will soon make itself known. Something has to be done before our country's economic and social status plummets. 

     I understand that TOPS is a state program and the federal government does not have the right to interfere with it. I am, however, asking that you, as the president of the United States, make a way for students to attend college despite their economic status. Education should be a necessity, rather than a privilege only for the wealthy. It is my recommendation to you that, under federal law, each state have a program similar to TOPS. Students that work hard and maintain their grades should be rewarded for their perseverance. Please take this suggestion into consideration when you are constructing a budget for the United States. Again, thank you for your time and congratulations on your presidency. 


                                                                                                                Caitlin Ballard