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Louisiana universities all got their state funding cut... but Louisiana-Lafayette is just fine

The Ragin' Cajuns actually saw a small increase in the money they get from the state, while everyone else saw varying degrees of decline.

KC McGinnis-USA TODAY Sports

We talked in the past about some looming higher education budget cuts within the state of louisiana, and had also done some speculation about what such cuts could mean for some of the school with both FBS and FCS football programs within the state.

As it turns out, at least some of our fears were misplaced, and we can now take a look at how each of the various systems as well as the G5 programs fared now that the financial dust has settled somewhat.

First, let's take a look at how each system fared under the cuts.

State System 2015-16 Funding 2016-17 Funding Amount of Decrease Percent Decrease
University of Louisiana 218,601,857 213,024,999 5,576,858 2.55
Louisiana State University 373,477,242 348,303,880 25,173,362 6.74
Southern University 44,688,586 43,695,878 992,708 2.22
Community and Technical Colleges 116,084,441 115,721,328 363,113 0.31

It would appear from this table that an overwhelming majority of the budget decrease was borne by the Louisiana State University System, as they will see fully 78.4% of the total dollar reduction across all the systems combined. However, it goes further - pretty much all of that is in the form of the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport having their funding reduced from $31 million to $4 million.

So basically, in terms of funding LSU's Health Sciences graduate programs were gutted, and all of their other colleges and universities combined will see about $7 million worth of funding reductions. This is certainly not positive, especially for programs that were already underfunded, but the Earth hasn't exactly caved in, either.

As it pertains to the Group of Five.... well, we're doing pretty damned alright. Here's a partial list of expected changes in annual funding for some of the U of Louisiana System Schools.

  • Grambling State University: - $1.3 million
  • Louisiana Tech University: - $29,000
  • Northwestern State University: - $532,000
  • Southeastern Louisiana University: - $1.37 million
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette: + $34,000
  • University of New Orleans: - $1 million
Again, a school like Northwestern State can hardly afford any dollar decreases anywhere, but it will likely be easier for them to absorb a half-million decrease in funding ($100,000 of which already happened) than it will be for SELA to figure out how to close a gap almost three times that size.

Grambling State certainly was already in dire straits and is no better off with $1.3 million coming in, but they would have received an additional $1 million decrease had they not already had an earmark built in for the coming year. The swan song of their athletic department continues, and it's no surprise if Nicholls State's equally cash-poor coffers follow right behind.

Meanwhile, Louisiana Tech saw essentially no decrease (they can close a $30,000 gap by admitting a few more students) and Louisiana-Lafayette actually earned an increase. That is quite a testament to both the increased enrollment these schools have busted their butts to achieve, as well as to the advanced degree programs they now possess which other schools would be wise to emulate.

It would appear that this latest round of budget cuts is not necessarily "football ending," but when you factor in that it's just the latest in a solid decade worth of more or less continuous cuts, a lack of change will make that end point inevitable for at least a few of these schools.