Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the perfect place to go to college, especially if you’re looking to be a Tiger. Louisiana State University has produced outstanding alumni like actress Nikki Reed and retired professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal. If you’re looking into being the next alumni, keep reading to learn more about LSU tuition and financial aid.

Tuition vs Cost of Attendance

Every year, I work with students who start out with the misconception that LSU tuition is how much they will be paying to go to college. It’s partially true, but it’s misleading when you’re trying to responsibly plan for you future.

Tuition is how much the school charge students for the classes they take. Some schools have a flat rate for full-time students while others charge you per credit hour. Tuition can also include fees associated with taking classes, such as a technology fee, and charges associated with being a student, such as an activity fee.

When schools talk about how much it costs to go to their institution, they’re typically talking about tuition and fees. The cost of tuition is raised every year to accommodate services they provide to their students. And since you may not take the same amount of credits each semester, how much you pay in tuition will change.

From a financial standpoint, tuition is only part of the story.

Cost of attendance covers things like tuition, room and board, textbooks and supplies, even personal money for items like toothpaste or shoes. Cost of attendance is challenging to predict, because of the variables involved. Living on-campus will have a different cost than living off-campus. Food will have different charges depending on your meal plan or if you’re buying groceries every week.

Now that we’ve established what the differences are, let’s talk about how much LSU tuition is and the estimated cost of attendance.

How Much is LSU Tuition?

Now that you understand the difference between tuition and cost of attendance, let’s talk numbers. Below, you will find what the LSU tuition and fees are for fall 2016.

Credit Hours Tuition Required Fees Academic Excellence Fee Technology Fee Building Use Fee Operational Fee Student Excellence Fee Resident Total Non Resident Fee Non Resident Total
15 4,023.30 631.70 245 75 48 80 305 5,408 8,342 13,750
14 4,019.30 631.70 245 70 48 80 305 5,399 8,342 13,741
13 4,014.30 631.70 245 65 48 80 305 5,389 8,342 13,731
12 4,009.30 631.70 245 60 48 80 305 5,379 8,342 13,721

With that in mind, below is the estimated yearly cost of attendance for Louisiana residents and non-residents attending LSU.

Estimated Yearly Cost Louisiana Resident Non-Louisiana Resident
Tuition & Fees (12 hours per semester) $10,758 $27,434
Housing (2-student room in Herget Hall) $6,900 $6,900
Meal Plan (15 meals per week) $4,010 $4,010
TOTAL $21,668 $38,344

Remember, these costs will change again next year. If you’re looking at these numbers thinking there’s no way you can afford to pay at least that amount for four years, I understand how you feel.

Here’s the good news: most of the time, you won’t be paying the full amount, because of a little something called financial aid.

Financial Aid at LSU

Financial aid is money that offsets your total cost of attendance for attending the LSU. I wasn’t kidding when I said you’re typically not expected to pay full cost for your college education. 93% of LSU students receive some kind of aid to help alleviate the financial costs of attending college. Financial aid can look like any of the following:

  •    Need-based grants for low-income families or students facing financial difficulties
  •    Merit-based scholarships for students meeting specific academic benchmarks
  •   Student loans, which you can learn more about here
  •    Student employment through Federal Work Study that you can request on your FAFSA

Now that you know the types of financial aid available, let’s talk about how you’re actually awarded money.

Using your FAFSA financial profile and any other information you may give to the LSU, the school will determine your financial need and what grants and scholarships you are eligible for first. Your financial need is your Estimated Family Contribution, how much your family can reasonably contribute to your college education, subtracted from your Cost of Attendance. The remaining balance is called your Net Price, which is the only amount you will be required to pay out of pocket.

Keep in mind that the only scholarships and grants the school will look at on its own are the ones that the institution itself funds. You can easily search for additional scholarships by going here or by talking with your college consultant. After the scholarships and grants are run through, loans will also be looked at. Make sure you read up on them before signing anything so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Want to know what your Net Price could look like or figure out if you need to look at other universities that you can afford? The LSU offers a Net Price Calculator. Basically, their Net Price Calculator gives you an estimate of how much financial aid you could expect as a full-time, first time student at the LSU. Remember, this is only an estimate and not a guarantee or an offer.

The LSU tuition is a vital consideration when you’re looking into what school to attend. Their financial aid office ensures that about 93% of the student population receives some type of assistance with funding their college education. And now that you know the difference between tuition and cost of attendance, you’re better able to prepare for college and make the right decision for you and your family.

Have any additional questions about financial aid? Still confused about how schools determine what money to give you? Leave your questions in the comment box below!