Southeastern Louisiana University, in Hammond, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette received permission Monday to increase annual fees for students with cars on campus from $35 to up to $100 starting in the fall.
The increased fees would pay for construction, repair, maintenance, security and the operation of parking lots and walkways plus student transit systems.
The fees would come on top of expected 10 percent fall tuition hikes across the University of Louisiana’s nine-college system.
The University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors on Monday approved the higher fee and a 10 percent tuition increase at Louisiana Tech University. The board voted in February for 10 percent tuition boosts at the systems eight other schools.
Robbie Robinson, vice president of finance for the University of Louisiana System said most UL campuses charge between $35 and $40 in vehicle registration fees.
Campuses are having trouble finding dollars to improve parking lots, walkways and other facilities, Robinson said. The increased fees should help address that, he said.
The UL System has absorbed millions of dollars over the past four years in state budget cuts and is scheduled to take the largest hit — $53 million — of any of Louisiana’s four public college systems in the fiscal year that starts July 1, according to a Louisiana Board of Regents compilation.
Each UL campus will analyze its needs before deciding independently how close to the $100 maximum it will charge, Robinson said.
UL System President Randy Moffett said the issue has been discussed for three or four months.
It would be surprising, Moffett said, if campuses levied the fee without first discussing it with student leaders.
The tuition increase at Louisiana Tech is contingent on the school meeting the requirements of the 2010 LA Grad Act, a set of 52 performance benchmarks measuring student success.
Colleges have signed six-year GRAD Act agreements giving them leeway to raise tuition annually by up to 10 percent provided they hit their goals.
The Board of Regents, the state’s public college policy maker, is expected to certify GRAD Act results at its June 27 meeting.
Louisiana Tech’s annual tuition for a full-time student is about $5,800.
The 10 percent increase would put the college at more than $6,300 annually, the only school in the system whose tuition would top the $6,000 mark.
Full-time students at SLU paid roughly $4,600 in tuition last year, while ULL students paid about $4,800. With tuition increases, students at those schools can expect to pay about $5,000 and $5,300, respectively.