Help available for those applying for federal student aid

Published 6:43 am Wednesday, October 19, 2022

LOSFA’s mission is to “Promote, prepare and provide equity of college access,” according to Ebony Holmes, LOSFA Director of Public Information and Advising.

Holmes said this has become a priority over time. “Since 1965, LOSFA has been helping Louisiana residents realize the attainment of higher education by assisting in helping families with the financial aid process,” she stated.

LOSFA’s desire to provide additional services to Louisiana residents stemmed from an obvious public need. “For many years LOSFA was known for simply providing the money,” she stated. “Over time there was a recognized need to provide students and families with the tools necessary to prepare students better to be eligible for those funds, such as ACT requirements for TOPS and a successful college and career pathway.”

One of these tools that is offered by LOSFA is the Student Hub. This is an online portal in which students that qualify for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) can stay up to date on their scholarship qualification status. The Hub allows students to view their TOPS GPA, TOPS Core Curricula and ACT scores that were sent to LOSFA, and can be utilized as early as a student’s freshman spring semester.

College institutions and LOSFA staff have access to this data via the Louisiana Award System. “The system is designed to offer ‘real-time’ access data for all of LOSFA administered financial aid programs,” said Holmes.

The aid is provided by an expansive team of experts, said Holmes. “LOSFA is positioned to promote these tools and resources through our team of outreach specialists, public information officers, and student engagement representatives and affirm Louisiana’s commitment to ensuring equity of college access.”

The FAFSA opened on Saturday, Oct.1. First-time applicants should expect the process to take approximately 45 minutes to complete, while renewal applications will take approximately 20 minutes.

LOSFA advises that applicants have all necessary documentation on hand to expedite the process: State-issued ID, student and parent tax information, student and parent checking and saving account balances, cash on hand and student and parent W-2s.

Those with FAFSA related questions can contact LOSFA staff at geauxfafsa@la.gov.