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: 33591

Reported Deaths: 1204
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds264246
DeSoto176718
Madison135536
Jones115949
Neshoba101673
Harrison100312
Rankin99915
Lauderdale93781
Forrest92743
Scott78515
Jackson70417
Copiah62715
Washington62610
Leake59820
Lee57521
Holmes57041
Oktibbeha55728
Wayne55116
Warren54020
Yazoo5336
Grenada5227
Lowndes51513
Leflore50756
Lamar5007
Lincoln49234
Pike46617
Sunflower4368
Monroe43135
Lafayette4194
Covington3965
Panola3926
Bolivar37018
Attala36523
Simpson3603
Newton35210
Adams33218
Tate31912
Pontotoc3166
Marion30812
Chickasaw29119
Claiborne28910
Winston28210
Noxubee2738
Pearl River26932
Jasper2666
Marshall2643
Clay25111
Smith23412
Union23311
Coahoma2136
Clarke21125
Walthall2087
Lawrence1892
Yalobusha1838
Kemper17914
Carroll17111
Humphreys1569
Tallahatchie1564
Montgomery1432
Calhoun1425
Tippah14211
Itawamba1408
Hancock13413
Webster12811
Tunica1153
Jefferson1143
Jefferson Davis1144
Prentiss1113
Greene1089
Amite1043
George943
Wilkinson949
Tishomingo911
Quitman891
Alcorn762
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone722
Franklin472
Benton420
Sharkey400
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48588

Reported Deaths: 1042
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5687161
Mobile4315136
Montgomery4275109
Tuscaloosa238248
Marshall181511
Madison16208
Lee146337
Shelby141424
Morgan11575
Baldwin10399
Walker101825
Elmore97519
Dallas9189
Franklin90616
Etowah83413
DeKalb7905
Chambers64727
Autauga64312
Butler63728
Tallapoosa60669
Russell5890
Unassigned53826
Houston5366
Limestone5251
Lauderdale5146
Cullman4905
Lowndes47922
Pike4525
Colbert4426
St. Clair4402
Escambia4358
Calhoun4035
Coffee3923
Covington38110
Bullock36910
Barbour3622
Jackson3432
Talladega3337
Dale3261
Marengo32011
Hale31722
Wilcox2958
Clarke2876
Sumter28512
Winston2773
Chilton2762
Blount2581
Monroe2442
Pickens2446
Marion24114
Randolph2289
Conecuh2187
Macon2029
Choctaw19912
Bibb1981
Greene1888
Perry1791
Henry1403
Crenshaw1253
Washington1217
Lawrence1130
Cherokee1117
Geneva860
Lamar801
Fayette721
Clay692
Coosa601
Cleburne391
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