Retention rates higher for TOPS participants

TOPS composite imageAmerican Press composite

What percentage of first-year TOPS students finish and get a degree? What percentage return for a second year?

The percentage of TOPS recipients who returned for second, third and fourth years from 2006 to 2013, according to the Louisiana Board of Regents’ latest report on the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students:

2006 — 88 percent; 82 percent; 78 percent.

2007 — 89 percent; 83 percent; 78 percent.

2008 — 90 percent; 83 percent; 79 percent.

2009 — 89 percent; 82 percent; 77 percent.

2010 — 89 percent; 82 percent; 77 percent.

2011 — 88 percent; 81 percent; 75 percent.

2012 — 87 percent; 81 percent; 75 percent.

2013 — 87 percent; 81 percent; 76 percent.

The rates for non-TOPS students:

2006 — 68 percent; 58 percent; 52 percent.

2007 — 69 percent; 59 percent; 53 percent.

2008 — 70 percent; 58 percent; 53 percent.

2009 — 71 percent; 60 percent; 52 percent.

2010 — 72 percent; 61 percent; 54 percent.

2011 — 71 percent; 59 percent; 52 percent.

2012 — 71 percent; 59 percent; 52 percent.

2013 — 71 percent; 60 percent; 52 percent.

According to the report, 32 percent of TOPS recipients at four-year schools and 17 percent of non-TOPS students earned baccalaureate degrees after four years in 2012; 62 percent and 36 percent did so after six years in 2010.

The second-year retention rates for TOPS and non-TOPS students at two-year schools from 2006 to 2015:

2006 — 74 percent; 57 percent.

2007 — 78 percent; 57 percent.

2008 — 81 percent; 60 percent.

2009 — 78 percent; 56 percent.

2010 — 77 percent; 53 percent.

2011 — 72 percent; 53 percent.

2012 — 74 percent; 52 percent.

2013 — 72 percent; 52 percent.

2014 — 73 percent; 51 percent.

2015 — 75 percent; 50 percent.

The report says 8 percent of TOPS students at two-year schools and 1 percent of non-TOPS students earned associate degrees after two years in 2014; 16 percent and 5 percent did so after four years in 2013.

Local participation

The percentage of McNeese State University students receiving TOPS over the last several academic years, according to the board’s Higher Education State Fact Book:

2010-2011 — 27 percent.

2011-2012 — 29 percent.

2012-2013 — 32 percent.

2013-2014 — 33 percent.

2014-2015 — 34 percent.

2015-2016 — 36 percent.

2016-2017 — 35 percent.

Percentage of Sowela Technical Community College students receiving TOPS over the same years:

2010-2011 — 4 percent.

2011-2012 — 4 percent.

2012-2013 — 12 percent.

2013-2014 — 17 percent.

2014-2015 — 17 percent.

2015-2016 — 20 percent.

2016-2017 — 16 percent.

Online: https://regents.la.gov.

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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.

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