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MS Truth Journal: College Board raises...

MS Truth Journal: College Board raises tuition yearly regardless of budget

By: Magnolia Tribune - May 4, 2017

From the MS Truth Journal:


Overview: Can you handle the truth about Mississippi’s increasing public university tuition costs? With few exceptions, since 2011 the Mississippi IHL College Board has raised tuition for every single university, every single year, even in years there was more State funding. Regardless of the level of yearly State budget funding, Mississippi’s eight public universities have on average increased tuition by a total of 35% – more than a third – over the last seven years. Average resident tuition in FY 2010 was $4,742; for the coming fiscal year it is $7,318.


Tuition increases have been in the news. The Dispatch (Columbus, Starkville & the Golden Triangle), in an April 21, 2017 editorial, wrote “The state’s eight public universities announced tuition increases for next fall, ranging from 5 percent (Jackson State) to 9.1 percent (MUW) after the Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, yet again slashed funding for universities . . . “ The editorial went on to proclaim that the tuition increases were “further evidence” that the State’s three top elected leaders – sarcastically dubbed the “Notorious B.R.G.” by The Dispatch – have a set of misplaced priorities.

On the same day, WAPT reported “Mississippi’s eight public universities say budget cuts mean tuition increases.”

And just the day before, an article by Mississippi Today reported “Mississippi’s public universities will increase tuition to compensate for state budget cuts and increasing costs to maintain academic programs, technology and faculty on campuses.”

To read these reports one would think IHL raised tuition because of State budget cuts, but these reporters seem to be repeating only what they are told by College Board officials. Here at MS Truth Journal we go behind the talk and the parroting until we get to the facts. The facts tell a very different story:

Resident student tuition at our public university system has increased by more than one-third since 2011, regardless of the yearly amount of the general State IHL budget. In fact, the College Board has raised resident student tuition EVERY SINGLE YEAR FOR EVERY SINGLE UNIVERSITY with only three limited exceptions. The only exceptions were Delta State (2014-2015); Mississippi University for Women (2014-2015) and Mississippi Valley State (2014-2016).

Whether you are interested in your own alma mater, your personal favorite university, or perhaps that special university you love to hate, the attached chart (credit to PEER staff) says it all.…/34707…/IHL-Resident-Tuition-History

Since FY 2010 until now, here’s how each university’s tuition increases stack up:

Alcorn State University – $4,498 to $6,878, a 34.6% increase.

Delta State University – $4,449 to $6,739, a 34% increase.

Jackson State University – $4,634 to $7,501, a 38.2% increase.

Mississippi State University – $5,150 to $8,208, a 37.3% increase.

Mississippi University for Women – $4,423 to $6,514, a 32.1% increase.

Mississippi Valley State University – $4,575 to $6,402, a 28.5% increase.

University of Mississippi – $5,107 to $8,190, a 37.6% increase.

University of Southern Mississippi – $5,096 to $8,108, a 37.1% increase.

Even more interesting is that according to PEER staff analysis received by MS Truth Journal, the tuition increases have occurred EVERY year regardless of whether year-over-year State funding increased or decreased. Granted, universities may have been justified in raising tuition in FY 2011 after a rather significant decline in State funding during the Great Recession. But in subsequent higher funding years when the State put significantly more funding into IHL, students and their parents haven’t managed to get any tuition relief from the College Board.

For example, although State general fund support for IHL increased by 10% (over $30 million) from FY 2011 to FY 2012, universities opted again that year to increase resident tuition by another 7.5%. For the following year, FY 2013, although State funding was only down about 3%, the universities again raised tuition on average by 8.4%. In 2014 and 2015, when State funding increased back-to-back by roughly 10% combined for those two years, universities yet again increased tuition by 6% and 2.4%, respectively.

At FY 2016, when the State’s general funding for IHL was raised to $352.2 million (its highest level since the Great Recession), Mississippi’s public universities again raised tuition another 3% on average. For FY 2017 there was yet another 4% increase, followed by the most recent increase reported just last month.

And the tuition increases don’t even include revenue generated by some universities’ mandatory freshman on-campus “residency requirement” policies, nor do they include certain universities’ recently-imposed mandatory additional student fees identified by PEER staff – new “Capital Improvement Fees,” and additional “Student Activity Fees” identified in the chart.

In the future, when the College Board again declares it is once more raising tuition “because of budget cuts,” remember to ask them why they never reduce tuition when State funding increases.

— The Editor, MS Truth Journal. “The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth”


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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Y'all Politics staff.