UM and MSU Students To Pay $50 More Every SemesterBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 15 Nov 2012 04:37pm |
Students at Mississippi's two biggest universities in the state will be asked to pay a little more to attend school. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports students at The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State will soon be charged a 50-dollar fee each semester.
The fee will be dedicated to building projects on the two campuses, and take effect next fall.
It is expected to generate about 2-million dollars a year for each school.
The additional money is necessary to keep up with rapidly growing student populations says MSU president Dr. Mark Keenum.
"We are rapidly approaching the capacity, the physical space, on our campus for classrooms to hold classes. So as we look out and plan for the future as our enrollment continues to grow, we have got to go ahead and prepare for that growth and have a facility to meet the needs of our students," Keenum said.
Kennum says the fee will support the construction of more classroom space and other improvements.
At the university of Mississippi, the money will be used to expand the student union.
The fee comes on the back of recent tuition hikes for students at all 8 public universities and colleges.
Dr. Keenum blames declining state support for the increase in fees and tuition.
"Raising tuition or asking students to pay an additional fee is not something we take lightly at all. We would like to have lower tuition and lower fees or no fees. But in the face of declining budgets and lack of support, we have no other alternative than to try to ask our students and parents to help us maintain the quality of our institution," Keenum said.
Earlier this week, Governor Phil Bryant released a budget recommendation that called for a 9-million dollar increase in higher education funding.
Higher Ed Commissioner Dr. Hank Bounds says that amount is still not enough to cover the growth in expenditures facing the schools.
"We have seen cuts for 5 years in a row. In cuts we are about 15% down but when you have cost added on top of that we are about 20% down," Bounds said.
The new fees approved yesterday will not apply to University of Mississippi Medical Center students in Jackson or to Mississippi State online students.
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