For the first time in a while, Louisiana's colleges escaped budget cuts, so the biggest university in the state is giving faculty and staff pay raises averaging 3 percent.

LSU System President F. King Alexander announced the salary increases on Monday. He says the pay bumps are aimed at retaining and attracting qualified employees.

While the university didn't release the total price tag for the increases, we do know the raises will take effect on September 1. Other raises will come in October and January.

LSU says the last across-the-board pay hikes (also averaging 3 percent) were last given to employees in the 2014-15 year.

Louisiana colleges have been hit hard with repeated cuts to their state financing over the last decade, which according to Alexander has made it difficult to retain faculty and staff.