ULM freshmen kick off new year with convocation

Courtesy: KNOE
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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's a new school year and a new start for freshmen at ULM, but with TOPS money in question, plus flooding in South Louisiana, we wanted to know if enrollment would be effected.

Freshmen are marching in to a brand new year at ULM. For many, this is the first time they've lived away from home away from friends, and the faculty says they seem to be welcoming it with open arms.

"It's the beginning of the school year, freshmen are super excited to be here," Seth Hall, high school recruitment director, said.

For months, students and parents have been concerned about TOPS, the nearly $300 million scholarship program many students rely on to go to school. Hall says so far the estimated 1,400 students seem unaffected by the scholarship's questionable future.

"The TOPS situation has been tough, just because people are unsure of what's going to happen, so right now they're still receiving funding," Hall said.

To get an idea of what students are thinking, we pulled a couple aside to ask if they're worried about future funding.

"It's ok, I'm really not that worried about it. I try not to stress," Hailee Bento, a pre-nursing major, said.

It's a thought echoed by many, but when asked, some say the biggest struggles can be as simple as finding the right class and getting there on time.

"I got lost on the way to one of my classes, but I found it," Jaden Mount, another freshman, said.

Some students haven't made it just yet because of recent flooding in South Louisiana, but Seth Hall says they're holding their spots if and when they're able to make it to campus. Enrollment numbers won't be available for the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, Hall says they're helping families as best they can.