NEW ORLEANS -- Karriem Bennett is getting a lot of attention for a letter she wrote and read aloud at a rally protesting cuts to TOPS, Louisiana's merit-BASED scholarship program.
"I work really hard, I have a job, I dedicate most of my time to community service. I do so much," said the 17-year-old.
The Warren Easton High School senior is graduating with a 3.7 GPA, she scored a 21 on her ACT and volunteered more than 900 hours of her time to community service. Karriem exceeded the requirements for TOPS and she thought she was awarded $2, after reading a financial aid letter from Tulane University.
"I thought it was a typo at first. We logged out and logged back in and it still said $2, thought maybe it's a typo, maybe it's a mistake, they're going to come back and fix it," Karriem said. "When I told my friends they're like 'you can buy a pack of paper' so I don't know what it can get me."
A representative from Tulane University cleared up the confusion, saying the $2 is a placeholder until the actual award amount for TOPS comes out in June. In the meantime, Karriem still had to accept those two bucks.
"If that's not the actual amount that they're giving me, I don't understand why it was placed there as a placeholder or why I had to accept it so that's kind of confusing," Karriem said.
And the college-bound teenager hopes everything is cleared up soon.
According to the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, awards for TOPS will be decided June 8.
Tulane University says they place a $2 placeholder until the TOPS award is confirmed. The University said an explanation of this is online, located in the “Accept Award Offer” section of the student’s personalized financial aid area of Tulane’s information system.