Snooki received $32,000 for two Q&A sessions at Rutgers

Jersey Shore cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi appeared Thursday night at Rutgers University to answer students’ questions at two different sessions, and for her time and insight (“Study hard, but party harder.”), she was paid $32,000 out of student fees. By comparison, the university is paying Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison $30,000 to deliver their commencement address.

The Star-Ledger reports on student reaction and the event, and notes that “Snooki would not get the entire $32,000 fee. Shares will probably go to her comedian sidekick, her management and the speakers bureau used to book her.”

Outrage over reality star pay is nothing new; in 2004, we learned that Real World cast members can make $90,000 in appearance fees alone. But the truth is that Snooki and everyone else makes gets as much money as they do because someone’s willing to pay that much.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.