UNO students may voluntarily raise their tuition almost 100 bucks.  That's because the athletic program may be in jeopardy due to proposed state budget cuts.  The students have until midnight to decide whether or not they want to pay an extra $96 in case the university has to cut athletics.

Will they?  Or won't they?  Joe'l Lugo says, "I'm for it because this campus doesn't have much of a life on campus and that's one of our biggest things that we can get people to go out and support."  But Aimee Boudreaux says, "I'm not for it.  I mean I could use that money to pay for food or rent or something else."

UNO students have until midnight to vote on whether or not they want to pay almost double what their athletic fee is now.  It would go from $100 dollars to $196 dollars.  That's because athletics may be benched due to proposed state budget cuts.

"We'd lose a million in a half of general fund support."  UNO Athletic Director Jim Miller says that money goes to cover scholarships and academic support.  He says the $96 extra dollars per student would cover that $1.5 million dollar loss.  And Miller says most students have thrown their support behind athletics. They understand it's one of the university's best marketing tools.  "Whenever we play games at Denver or Miami or Nirmingham, or anywhere, we fly the banner of the University of New Orleans," he says.

Athletes, like Jack McMahon hope their fellow students will vote yes on the increase.  This California swimmer now calls New Orleans and UNO home.  "I came out last year and I fell in love with the school and the city and the team and that's how I got here."  Jack says uno athletes are confident the fee will pass, in spite of a few naysayers.

UNO says if the budget cuts don't affect athletics, then the students won't have to pay that extra $96 dollars.  If the majority of the students vote against the increase or not enough students vote, then the program will be in jeopardy.  Students have until midnight to vote on-line.