Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $103,422)
Under the administrative arm of the Board of Regents, the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) administers Louisiana's premier merit-based scholarship program, the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS and TOPS TECH), the Go Youth ChalleNGe Grant, Louisiana's need-based component to the state's financial aid plan to support non-traditional and low to moderate-income students called Go Grant, the state's 529 college savings plan called the Student Tuition Assistance and Revenue Trust (START) program, the START K12 Education Savings Plan, the 529-A savings plan called the Louisiana ABLE program, the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship program, the BESE Tuition Program for Teachers, TOPS Tech Early Start Program for 11th and 12th graders, the Regional Contract Program (RCP), and the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program.
LOSFA is extremely active in the dissemination of college access information within the state, with a concentration on assisting students from economically disadvantaged families and first generation college attendees in promoting, preparing for and locating and obtaining the resources necessary to pursue and complete a postsecondary education. To attain this, LOSFA regularly partners with other entities including the Louisiana Department of Education (LADOE), the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Statewide School Districts, the Louisiana National Guard, U S Department of Education, the Louisiana Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and others. In conjunction with DCFS, LOSFA provides payment processing assistance for the Chafee Educational Training Voucher for students who have aged out of the foster care system and Strategies to Empower People (STEP) to aid government assisted citizens in obtaining their Adult Education certificate and Vocational Education training.
LOSFA's goal for administering the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program (JRJ Grant Program) is to assist lawyers who have borrowed at least $20,000 in student loans and who are committed to public service, whether as a prosecutor or as a public defender. Of the $1 that Louisiana requests for this program, LOSFA will award ten recipients who are determined to be eligible prosecutors, and five recipients who are determined to be eligible public defenders will be selected from each of the Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal Districts.
Prior to JRJ, LSA-RS 16:51 provided for 579 fully or partially state funded prosecutors, and the state employed 713 full time and part time public defenders. There are currently 704 prosecutors in the state, and there are currently 363 full time public defenders in the state. The state does not award JRJ funds to federal public defenders.