BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Members of the LSU Board of Supervisors have long had the ability to award scholarships to LSU System schools to students of their choosing, but recent state legislation is changing the way those scholarships are made public.
"We had a bill that I sponsored that required the LSU Board of Supervisors to disclose who they award scholarships to and the value of that," said Sen. Dan Claitor.
The bill requiring scholarship disclosure was signed by Governor Bobby Jindal and was scheduled to go into effect on August 1, but LSU made the changes at the end of last month.
"The information in the scholarship has been public record and to be in compliance with this new legislation everything is posted on the LSU System website," said Ernie Ballard with LSU Media Relations. "You can find the annual scholarship report along with other information on how to apply for those scholarships."
The website also breaks down the scholarship information based on all fifteen board members awarding the tuition waivers. Information that Claitor believes should be readily available given the amount of money the scholarships represent.
"The members of the board of supervisors are each allowed to award 20 scholarships per member," explained Claitor. "So that's a pretty big deal in that the total exposure is more than $2 million. What is being awarded now is in the order of about $1.4 million."
And how the scholarships are awarded is information Claitor says the public has a right to know without going through extensive records requests.
"Some of the folks in New Orleans and North Louisiana are awarding practically all of their scholarships and some people are taking a look at are they awarding to neighbors, are they awarding it their political supporters or to kids that actually need them," Claitor said.
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