Snooki, whose novel A Shore Thing was released in January, may not win a Nobel Prize for Literature, but she is earning more money than someone with that honor for speaking at Rutgers University.
The Jersey Shore star headlined an event Thursday called “Inside the Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi Studio” at the school in Piscataway, N.J., where 1,000 students heard her talk about fist pumping, her signature hair pouf and the “GTL” lifestyle she lives out on reality TV, the university confirms to PEOPLE. She earned a whopping $32,000.
Her fee was $2,000 more than what the university will pay Nobel prize-winning author of Beloved Toni Morrison, who is booked to speak in a 52,000-seat football stadium at commencement in May.
Rutgers students are split on whether Snooki is worth her fee.
“Such a waste of my money,” freshman Dan Oliveto, 18, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “If I want to listen to someone talk, they should have something intelligent to say.”
(Snooki’s advice for Rutgers students: “Study hard, but party harder.”)
Others, like pre-med major Abdel-Raouf, 18, found the fee reasonable. “Honestly, I thought they would have paid her more,” he said.
While Snooki’s appearance was arranged by the student-run Rutgers University Programming Association, which uses mandatory student activity fees included in tuition, Morrison was booked by university officials.
In a statement released by Rutgers Friday, the school said the student-run programming association “made the decision to invite Snooki and her comedy act to the campus based on input from students. No state funds or tuition money are used for these events. The university does not censor the speakers students choose to invite to campus.”
• Reporting by CHARLOTTE TRIGGS