TOPS change approved

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The state Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Tuesday that would change the eligibility criteria, for some students, related to the state’s college scholarship program known as TOPS.

Senate Bill 202, sponsored by state Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, would allow students enrolled in advanced placement, dual enrollment and International Baccalaureate courses to be judged on a five-point scale rather than the traditional four-point scale used to calculate grade-point average.

The bill won final legislative passage on a 37-0 vote.

Under the plan, an A would be worth five points, a B four points, a C three points and a D two points. An F grade would get no points.

Nevers explained that dual enrollment and advanced placement classes are college-level courses. He said students shied away from taking the tougher classes for fear of hurting their grade-point average.