ˆDear potential donor or kind person:
I am writing to ask for help funding my son’s education and emergency assistance. My son lost his TOPS scholarship after making a difficult decision to move to another state his senior year of high school. I attempted to speak to several individuals about a bill which would require TOPS eligibility to include special circumstances as the standards that are currently set forth to determine eligibility do not include special circumstances. According to the current TOPS requirement that can be found on the TOPS Financial Aid & Scholarship website, a student who scores a 20 on the ACT with a minimum GPA of 2.5, would be awarded $3,731.49 per semester. I am requesting $3,731.49 per semester for a total of $29,851.92 for the cost of tuition. However, I learned that the requirements for LOFSA differs from the above-mentioned standard as they require a student who graduates from an out-of-state school to score 3 points higher on the ACT in order to be eligible for TOPS. Although my son met the Louisiana residency requirement, took the ACT his junior year in Louisiana, scored a 20, and finished high school with an overall GPA of 3.0, he was not eligible for TOPS. Instead, he was awarded with TOPS tech which his current university does not honor. Additionally, my son will need $702.00 monthly for housing for a total of $33,696.00.
This issue is personal for me because due to extenuating circumstances that led up to my son being enrolled in an out-of-state school. My son experienced continued anxiety stemming from a myriad of issues. One such issue was continual bullying by several students in my son’s junior year. I had to press charges against one of the students because he threatened to harm my son, and the problem was never resolved after making several reports to appropriate individuals at his school and to the school district. The compilation of bullying, his disability, and repeated disappointments have been obstacles to his educational pursuits.
My son has a disability that results in a substantial limitation to a major life function as such, a team of educators and administrators at his high School developed an IAP for him, and subsequently implemented it. It was an arduous, almost semester-long process to accomplish the goal of developing an IAP that truly reflected my son’s academic and emotional needs. The IAP that was put in place was shown to be fully necessary and appropriate in order for him to make expected and adequate yearly progress. My son took(takes) several medications to help manage his anxiety, and worked very hard to maintain his GPA. Prior to moving out of state, my son had gone to school in Louisiana his freshman, sophomore, and junior year. Ultimately, the decision to move was made because I did not want to cause him any further distress over being in a setting where he did not feel safe.
Not receiving TOPS has affected my son’s ability to finance his education. I presented my concerns to several people, and one person demonstrated a lack of empathy as he replied, “Has he applied for other scholarships?” Finding scholarships is no simple task and can require a lot of time and research. While my son has made academic achievements, to date, he has applied for numerous scholarships and has not been a recipient of any. This has been disheartening because he is an honor roll student, a member of the Honor Society, received the Taylor Awards Program Membership Scholar-High school Award, and he has received numerous other recognition. However, none of his accomplishments can help him pay for college.
As my son continues to embark upon his journey to work toward achieving his degree, I would like him to focus on the vision of becoming a well-rounded productive citizen, focus on his studies, and not have to worry or concern himself with the cost of his education; therefore, I humbly ask you to consider what I have presented and any help that you can offer to help with my son’s academic needs would be greatly appreciated. I am a single mother and am currently experiencing financial hardship.