LSU Charging Students Obscure Fees to Augment State Budget Cuts

Cold fusion research fees. Crosswalk maintenance fees. Parking enforcement officers’ mobile data plan fees. Drake dance instruction fees.

The list of sundry charges students must pay to attend LSU and Louisiana’s 13 other public four-year universities that aren’t named LSU is long and continues to get even longer, primarily because the state has cut the higher education budget by over 50% since 2008.

But while all tuition and fee hikes over 10% require legislative approval, the state Attorney General’s Office has declared “charges which are for services or products which are not directly a part of the delivery of an education are not considered fees.” In other words, the same state that said “gaming” is not “gambling” has also said a “fee” isn’t necessarily a “fee.”

This means schools can create and increase fees without limit, so long as they don’t directly improve the educational process. And when it comes to charging students fees that don’t improve the educational process, no one does it quite like Louisiana’s flagship university.

All students must pay the fees, including the Coates Hall glory hole fee, the drunken vomit cleanup fee, the yoga pants cameltoe viewing fee and the blow your instructor for a better grade fee.

LSU students who actually look at their fee bills will see all sorts of little-known charges, some of which are rather vague, like the “learn more good” fee. Despite its name, by rule, the learn more good fee cannot be used to directly help students learn more good.

“It’s discretionary, but it’s carefully directed to areas of greatest need,” LSU President F. King Alexander admitted about the learn more good fee, “so long as it doesn’t directly help students learn more good.”

Other fees are earmarked for much more specific purposes, such as the F. King Alexander wardrobe fee, the elbow patch fee, the safe space protection fee and the Northgate area gentrification fee.

Even if the programs funded don’t specifically pertain to them, all students must pay the fees, including the Coates Hall glory hole fee, the drunken vomit cleanup fee, the yoga pants cameltoe viewing fee and the blow your instructor for a better grade fee.

“I looked at it one time, and I was like, ‘Half of these things don’t even pertain to me,'” LSU sophomore Haley Legrand maintains. “I don’t use the Coates Hall glory hole, and I certainly don’t blow my instructor for a better grade. I do it because I like him.”RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

About Tony Swartz

Tony is proof that you can write Peabody-worthy news without ever darkening the halls of journalism school.

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