Mississippi university tuition to rise 4%, on average

Mississippi's eight public universities plan to raise tuition by an average of 4 percent next fall.

Posted: Apr 18, 2019 3:25 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's eight public universities plan to raise tuition by an average of 4% next fall, saying state funding increases this year are earmarked for increasing employee costs and they need more money to maintain programs.

The College Board on Thursday gave final approval to tuition increases at all of the universities, waiving the normal procedure in which trustees would vote again later.

The statewide average for two semesters of full-time tuition and fees will rise by an average of $312 to $8,120 for in-state undergraduates. Increases range from 8.4% at Mississippi University for Women to 1.9% at the University of Mississippi.

"I guess I'll get another job," said Larry Sykes, a Jackson State University senior who's on track to graduate in December. The Clarksdale native and business major says he's paying for school out of job earnings and savings and will have to foot the bill for the university's 4.9 percent increase.

At MUW, freshman speech pathology major Aja Hudson told The Commercial Dispatch that she relies on her family for support.

"For some people that don't have a lot of money, this will be a big impact, but for those that have scholarships, they'll be OK," Hudson said. "I'm not on a scholarship though, so I guess my mom will have to pay (the increase)."

Universities are scheduled to get $38 million more in state money in the 2020 budget year beginning July 1 than last year. Most of that 5.6% increase will be spent on mandated increases for employee raises, pensions and health insurance costs, though. The increase is a partial recovery from sharp cuts in state appropriations made in 2017 and 2018, but overall state spending on universities remains almost 6% below where it was in 2016.

MUW President Nora Miller said the listed 8.4% increase at her institution is deceptive because the university is abolishing online course fees students were already paying and instead rolling them into tuition.

"Students will really be paying 3% more than what they have been paying," Miller said.

At Delta State University, which is increasing tuition and fees by 5.9%, President Bill LaForge said the university operates on a tight margin and could have faced program cuts without the increase.

"It's a modest amount but it also keeps us very competitive with our sister institutions in the state and the midsouth," LaForge said. "Without that, we would have had to go in and cut a professorship or a program somewhere."

Tuition will also rise for out-of-state students and at professional schools. At four universities — Delta State, MUW, Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State University — undergraduates from outside Mississippi pay the in-state rate as a way to recruit more out-of-state students. Jackson State is dropping its out-of-state tuition to $1,000 more than the in-state rate, while the University of Southern Mississippi already charges $2,000 above the in-state rate.

Nearly 80% of Mississippi students don't pay the sticker price, thanks to federal, state and college-based aid. In 2016-2017, Mississippi university undergraduates typically got around $8,000 worth of aid, federal figures show. That covered about one-third of the total cost of attendance for on-campus students, including, tuition, room and board, books and transportation.

However, rising college costs are far outstripping stagnant family incomes. In-state tuition will have risen 71% from fall 2009 to fall 2019, while the typical Mississippi family's yearly income has risen about 25% during that time. It now takes more than 17% of a typical family's yearly income to pay the full price of tuition at a Mississippi public university.

More students are borrowing to pay for school. The Institute for College Access and Success reports 58% of graduates from the state's public and private universities had debt when they collected a diploma in 2017, with the typical borrower graduating with more than $30,000 in debt.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 60553

Reported Deaths: 1703
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5209106
DeSoto328027
Madison228154
Rankin212428
Harrison209832
Jackson192934
Jones176557
Forrest163153
Washington148032
Lauderdale132388
Lee123230
Neshoba119487
Lamar111512
Oktibbeha105235
Lowndes97332
Warren96426
Scott95317
Bolivar93932
Copiah90924
Panola90711
Sunflower90622
Lafayette8699
Holmes84347
Leflore83259
Pike82632
Grenada81220
Yazoo77311
Leake76725
Lincoln74339
Wayne73221
Pontotoc7247
Simpson71126
Monroe69750
Coahoma65910
Tate64523
Marion59918
Adams58025
Covington57811
Winston57115
Marshall5668
George5415
Union51913
Newton51611
Attala49524
Tallahatchie49310
Pearl River48236
Walthall44218
Chickasaw43519
Noxubee41710
Claiborne40013
Smith37713
Jasper3758
Calhoun3748
Clay36814
Alcorn3544
Prentiss3376
Hancock32614
Tishomingo3163
Yalobusha31610
Lawrence3135
Itawamba30710
Tippah30412
Clarke29825
Montgomery2913
Humphreys26911
Tunica2656
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Kemper22315
Perry2217
Quitman2211
Amite2105
Jefferson Davis1986
Webster19712
Jefferson1916
Wilkinson18712
Sharkey1801
Stone1483
Choctaw1264
Benton1240
Franklin1142
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 89927

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11650225
Mobile8998191
Montgomery6198143
Madison493225
Tuscaloosa391263
Baldwin317522
Shelby300232
Marshall294730
Unassigned263351
Lee249140
Morgan220615
Etowah191425
DeKalb167713
Elmore158437
Calhoun15359
Walker145763
Houston130912
Dallas128023
Russell12201
Franklin118420
Limestone118313
St. Clair118212
Cullman111311
Colbert107612
Lauderdale105312
Autauga101020
Escambia96515
Talladega89013
Jackson8163
Chambers81438
Tallapoosa80478
Dale77619
Butler75135
Blount7223
Covington70420
Coffee7035
Chilton6976
Pike6547
Barbour5625
Lowndes54624
Marion53524
Marengo51514
Clarke4849
Hale44925
Bullock43711
Perry4284
Winston42811
Wilcox4029
Monroe3884
Randolph38810
Conecuh37110
Bibb3643
Pickens3639
Sumter36118
Washington31011
Macon30813
Lawrence3060
Crenshaw2843
Choctaw27312
Henry2433
Greene24011
Cherokee2337
Geneva2260
Clay2165
Lamar1942
Fayette1695
Cleburne1141
Coosa902
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