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Need an LSU tuition break?

C.B. Forgotston -   Jul 18, 2013

With the annual increases in tuition at LSU coupled with the rising interest rate for student loans, obviously, the students and their parents could use some help with paying for the cost of getting an education at LSU.

The fact that the LSU Board of Supervisors (LSU BOS) get choice tickets to all the athletic events and have a private suite in Tiger Stadium is fairly well-know. However, those are small potatoes when it comes to their perks.

Tyler Bridges just exposed a previously largely-unknown perk enjoyed by the LSU BOS and the President of the LSU System.

Each of the 16 members of the LSU BOS (including the student member) plus the president can, annually or each semester, give 20 tuition breaks to students at LSU.

These breaks have been available since at least the 1960s. That was a shock to me because I had to work and borrow money to pay for undergraduate and law school at LSU.

This perk can amount to well over $100,000 per year per board member.

LSU does not have some special dedicated source of revenues in order to offer these tuition breaks. The funds for these scholarships ultimately come from our tax dollars and tuition. If they weren’t given out, LSU would have more funds to spend educating the students and would not have to raise tuition as much because Gov. Bobby Jindal and the leges cut its funding.

In other words, this perk is not a "free lunch."

The awarding of these scholarships raises the question of potential quid pro quos for the elected official on the board as well as the business people who may want to reward their good customers or clients.

A couple of the members of the LSU BOS are prominent bankers. It makes one wonder if when students come to their respective banks to apply for a student loan whether they tell them that there is no need to borrow so much money because they can simply ask the BOS members for a tuition break.

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