LSU, Southern boards approve fee hike for students on both campuses

LSU, Southern boards approve fee hike for students on both campuses

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Students at LSU and Southern will have to pay a little bit more starting in the fall.

The Southern University board voted Friday to implement a 10 percent hike in fees starting this fall. The student fee increases will range from $41 to $367 based on credit hours.

Fees at Southern from the fall semester in 2015 were $3,673. Worst case scenario this fall, students could pay $4,040 in fees.

The news is no better at LSU, where students will begin to pay $177 more in fees per semester after a vote by the university's Board of Supervisors. In 2015, a full-time LSU student paid around $1,062 in fees. This year the figure will rise to around $1,239.

LSU President F. King Alexander said the increases are a result of continued cuts to higher education.

"The budget doesn't give us any new resources and in fact it will probably, it gets us as close to the current, this past year's budget as possible but we still have many needs and we're a long way from where we need to be," Alexander said.

Southern University Chancellor Ray Belton said his fear is the school will take a hit in enrollment.

"It is troublesome when a student has to make a decision based on what they perceive to be a financial burden that they cannot fulfill," he said.

The Southern board voted to grant tuition waivers for spouses and dependents of faculty and staff members. Also staff members will have the chance to continue their education at Southern free-of-charge up to six credit hours at a time.

Belton said it is a small way to show appreciation to university employees.

"[It's] an opportunity to acknowledge our faculty and staff for their investment and commitment to the university and secondly, I think it's going to provide us somewhere with an increase in enrollment," Belton said.

Southern University also said that out-of-state students will have their fees reduced by $1,000 starting the fall semester.

The university said the fee reduction will help them reach out to nearby areas and hopefully generate more money from the additional students who otherwise might not have chosen to attend Southern.

LSU requested to increase the "Student Excellence Fee" for all students. According to the proposal, the revenue generated from the fee increase will go to enhance academic support and operations for the entire campus.

HB 152 (Act 377) that was signed into law after the 2015 regular legislative session allowed university systems in the state to look at implementing certain additional fees for students in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school year.

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