The Louisiana Legislature’s decision not to fully fund the popular TOPS scholarship program may force many students to make some tough economic choices for the first time in their lives.
Such is the case for Austin Heatherton, a sociology major at Tulane University who has gotten essentially everything he’s ever wanted in his 19-year-old privileged life, including a 2016 Land Rover Sport SVR.
State lawmakers last week passed a budget that would fund the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students at only 70 percent for the upcoming school year, meaning students like Heatherton — who rely on TOPS and a generous stipend from their families — likely will have to cut back on things affluent, entitled young adults see as essentials.
“I can’t believe those damn politicians cut TOPS like that,” Heatherton stated. “Don’t they understand how hard that’s going to be on students? I mean, I’m seriously looking at trading in my bitchin’ Rover for a lousy 7-series BMW to make ends meet next year.”
“I can only haul half as much tail in the Beamer. Plus, there’s practically no room to fuck roofied chicks.”
The sophomore from Covington insisted exchanging the six-figure luxury SUV for the high-five-figure luxury sedan would have a significantly negative impact on his education by negatively impacting his lifestyle.
“I can only haul half as much tail in the Beamer. Plus, there’s practically no room to fuck roofied chicks,” the fraternity member explained. “I can’t focus on my classes when I’m worried about letting down my bros like that.”
While Heatherton is upset about the reduction in TOPS funding, he does find some solace in the legislature’s decision to nix the myriad proposals that would have raised taxes on his wealthy parents and probably would have raised enough revenue to fully fund TOPS.
“At least my folks don’t have to worry about paying more state taxes, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to give me any more money so I don’t have to demean myself by being seen driving a fucking 7-series,” Heatherton said.
Meanwhile, TOPS-reliant students who come from much more modest economic standings are nevertheless sympathetic to Heatherton’s plight, despite the fact many of them are wondering how they will finish paying for college.
“That’s a shame about that guy’s Land Rover,” Andrea Brunson, a junior from Algiers studying pre-med at the University of New Orleans, said as she finished an eight-hour shift as an orderly at Touro Infirmary Hospital. “Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go give my third pint of plasma this week so I can eat tonight.”