SELF IMPROVEMENT, like self-indulgence, can be expensive. But not at You U. Yes. You University, the discount self-help emporium across town, is even cheaper than before. Now you've no excuse to spend your spare hours slouched in the den, scanning TV Week for that elusive cable listing of "The Muppets Take Dr. Ruth."

You deserve more. And You's got it for less.

The lower rates, of course, are a result of last year's takeover of You U by the multinational self-help conglomerate, Kwik-Lern Industries. A rising force in the wholesale wisdom industry, Kwik-Lern has already made some long-awaited improvements at You U -- including central heat, chalkboards and mandatory drug screening for instructors.

To celebrate, You U is having a special two-for-one midwinter session. Just sign up for the ever-popular Overcoming Intuition class (a favorite of first-year lawyers), for instance, and you'll automatically be enrolled in a special workshop for singles dissatisfied with computer matchups and video introductions -- Abacus Dating: New Friends the Old-Fashioned Way!

There are many other offerings. Here's a brief catalog sampling:

HOT TUB HYGIENE. Master the art of feeling good about yourself -- without leaving unsightly bathtub rings -- under the guidance of the Silver Spring pharmacist who invented the full-body latex glove.

WRITE THAT SONG! You've had the music in you for years, but you've never done anything with it -- because you can't sing, you have nothing to say and/or you have no sense of rhythm, melody or harmonics whatsoever. Hey -- so what. Heard any FM radio lately? What you need to learn is marketing. Positioning. Promotion. Drum machines. Learn these tricks and more from Pop Rockford, marketing director at Q-105-B-Xtra-Lite Radio, oiner of the now-famous phrase, "More music. Less talk. What's the difference?"

INVESTMENT PLANING. Learn to speculate in real estate like a pro -- while skimming atop the surface of the water in an air- powered boat!

THINK POSITIVE: CHECK YOUR NEGATIVES. Has anyone you know ever posed nude for you and then become famous? Think about it. Learn how to make exciting new friends in the magazine field, earn extra cash, escape the troublesome confines of common decency.

INNER ROBOTICS -- Why leave it to flight attendants and formula-restaurant food servers? Uncomplicate your life by learning to talk to yourself in that perfectly sincere (and easily programmable!) tone: "Hello, my name is Roy. I'll be yourself today. Will you be shaving, or just brushing your teeth this morning?" Life can be rich and varied, if you're not careful.

BECOMING RAMBODEXTROUS. Feeling limited? Always wanted to be able to adjust your loincloth with one hand while wiping out six dozen Marxist dope dealers with the other? Ever wondered how to talk as if your tongue were an oak tree, or how to spot edible roots, sellout bureaucrats and sure-fire movie concepts from a distance? Three short evenings and you're there. Yo.

THE REAL WASHINGTON -- Beach Boys on the Mall. Cocktails at the Corcoran. French restaurants, motorcades, monuments, Beltway back-ups -- is that the Washington you know? Get to know another one altogether, with freelance writer Chex Scanner, who has actually walked through Adams Morgan after dark, knows a guy who once worked at Griffith Stadium and regularly talks on the phone with people who live in Northeast! A once-in-a-lifetime (his) opportunity.

INVENT THYSELF. Make friends, improve your sex life, upgrade your stereo and learn to build a handy marital aid that converts into a weathervane, all via this exciting new personality-enhancement method from the editors of Popular Mechanics.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. Accompany urban adventurer Vance Rivaldo -- who led previous You U expeditions in search of a good pizza, a taxi with shock absorbers and a Metro rider who doesn't stand directly in front of the doors before they open -- on his latest quest: to find an empty parking space at National Airport. (If the group finds one, lab fee will cover purchase of a car to park in it.)

EAT MORE, GET FAT. The natural follow-up to last semester's popular Eat Less, Get Thin offering. An exceptional value at $97.50