Have you noticed the vicious cycle that has been occurring between the state's budget and the state's higher education system? It's been swirling this way for a while.

The state cuts the budget for higher education, the colleges and universities raise fees, students and parents get hosed by the extra costs.

The state cuts back on TOPS funding, the state's higher education system raises fees to cover the shortfall, students and parents get hosed by the extra costs.

Finally this year the state restores TOPS funding and doesn't cut higher education budgets for the first time in almost ten years, the state's colleges and universities, okay, LSU, in this case, raises fees by 5%, students and parents get hosed by the extra costs.

It seems no matter what happens within the state legislature or budget talks there is always an increase in fees for students and parents to overcome. I understand that educators need to be paid, that programs need to be funded, that expenses keep increasing.  But for once couldn't we just let things remain the same for at least a semester?

I have a child that goes to LSU. A few years ago I thought this would be a great educational fit. LSU had the curriculum she wanted to study, the department was well respected around the world, and because she is a straight A student we would get a break on costs with TOPS funding. That didn't work out the way it was supposed to.

Let's be frank, the increase at LSU is only 5% that equates to about $270 a semester but TOPS won't cover it. The university is well within its right to raise those fees. So, all we can do is suck it up and pay for it. Which we would do because it's what my wife and I have planned for since long before my daughter was born.

It still seems kind of grabby though.