Jindal opposed to caps on students' TOPS awards

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal remains opposed to any attempt to cap the amount of tuition covered through the state's

free college scholarship program known as TOPS.

But Jindal said Thursday he'd be willing to discuss with lawmakers proposals to toughen academic standards to be eligible

for the free tuition.

Several lawmakers have said they are worried about the growing costs of the TOPS program, which is estimated to reach $204

million next year. Each time a tuition hike for schools is approved, the state's costs also rise.

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley recently suggested lawmakers need to find a way to control TOPS costs.

Jindal says the program remains a good investment for the state, and he says he believes it's sustainable over the long term

despite state budget shortfalls.