Parents of college students in Mississippi will feel more pinch this fall as the state’s universities increase in-state tuition by an average of more than 6 percent.
Costs will go up even more at the state’s two major universities. Mississippi State tuition for two semesters will be $6,772, up 8.1 percent, and the University of Mississippi will be $6,760, up 7.6 per cent. The totals include a $50 a semester “facilities charge” approved last November for both schools.
Not included are the costs of room, board and books. Students from out of state pay dramatically more.
The increases were expected because the amount of money appropriated by the state has failed to keep up with the significantly higher number of Mississippi students entering the state’s colleges.
According to the Associated Press, in-state tuition has gone up 57 percent since the fall of 2004, but the household income of Mississippians has remained about flat.
It’s obviously a no-win situation for students and their parents.
Hank Bounds, state higher education commissioner, said he hopes state revenues increase and legislators will provide more money next year to reduce tuition increases.
Don’t bet on it.
So far we have seen little commitment from the governor, lieutenant governor and many of our lawmakers to public education at any level.
Without more commitment, tuition – and student and parental debt to pay for it – will continue to rise faster than family incomes.