Published on 2012/05/11

Mississippi Students Facing Huge Tuition Hike

Mississippi’s eight public universities are planning to increase tuition rates by an average of 8.5 percent next year. This will see an increase of approximately $459 per year for in-state students—not accounting for scholarships or financial aid.

According to the state’s Higher Education Commissioner, Hank Bounds, the rises were made necessary by declining state funding. While the total amount the state will be putting into higher education will increase, most of those funds are slated to go to financial aid for students. University appropriations will drop by one percent, according to the allotment that was approved Monday by the College Board.

“We are a fairly efficient organization,” Bounds told Jeff Amy of the Associated Press. “We’ve made a lot of cuts. At some point, you can’t do more with less. At some point, less is less.”

Over the past decade, Mississippi’s full-time tuition rate at public institutions has ballooned by 65 percent, far outpacing inflation at 28 percent and family income at approximately 23 percent.

This increase, however, has been tempered by assurances that the state’s Tuition Assistance Grant, rumored to be facing the chopping block, will be left untouched. This grant, which goes to move than 20,000 students across the state, goes to high-performing students who scored 15 or higher on the ACT college exam or continuing students who have a college GPA of 2.5 or higher.

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