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Tuition on the Rise at Mississippi’s Universities

By Daniel Cherry | Published 07 May 2012 07:33pm | comments

Students attending any of Mississippi's eight public universities this Fall will be paying more for their classes. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how the state college board approved yet another tuition hike.

In a unanimous vote, the college board voted to increase tuition at all 8 of Mississippi's public universities. The two year plan will raise tuition an average 450 dollars this Fall and about 350 dollars the following academic year. Dr. Hank Bounds, Mississippi's Commissioner for Higher Education, says the increase is there to offset less funding from the state.

"We get $2,400 less per student than we did a decade ago. Obviously it's a bad situation, but we're at a place where our universities just don't feel like they have any other way to go."

The tuition increases mean average cost for a full-time, in-state, undergraduate student at a Mississippi public university will be more than 6000 dollars in 2014. Dan Jones Chancellor of the University of Mississippi spoke with MPB News following a college board meeting last month.

"We're all committed to quality education programs, and so raising tuition is a difficult, sad reality in the world of financing higher education."

Education officials say in the past decade the trend has been for students to shoulder more tuition cost instead of the state. Governor Phil Bryant recently told MPB News he has concerns.

"You've just seen another tuition increase in colleges. We are to the point to where many children cannot afford to go to college anymore so we're going to have to look at the budget system and make sure that we fund our education systems."

Students at the Mississippi University for Women will pay the least, $5,316. Students will pay the most, $6,336, at the University of Southern Mississippi.  

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