A poor young man from Texas, Patrick F. Taylor, was given an incredible opportunity — the chance to attend Louisiana State University tuition free.
Patrick F. Taylor founds Taylor Energy Company, the largest privately help oil and gas company to operate in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor create the Patrick F. Taylor foundation as a charitable extension of Taylor Energy Company — to give back to the great nation that had given them so much.
Patrick F. Taylor offered to pay college tuition for 183 middle school students later known as “Taylor’s Kids,” if they would take college preparatory courses, maintain a B average, and stay out of trouble. It evolved into the Taylor Plan a statewide legislative campaign to ensure all Louisiana students had access to a free college education.
Although the Louisiana legislative battle was fierce, Act 789 (Tuition Assistance Program) was signed into law. No one fought harder or felt prouder than Patrick F. Taylor. His new message: You can go to college. It’s not just a promise. It’s the law.
Louisiana law changed TAP to the Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). The income cap was removed, the program was broadened, and the core curriculum was adjusted to 16.5 units. With this law, all Louisiana students became eligible for awards based on their academic performance.
Louisiana Legislature renames the Louisiana Tuition Opportunity Program for Students to Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). Today, thanks to Mr. Taylor, countless American children have the opportunity to go to college based on their ability to learn, and not their ability to pay.