(Photo of Ole Miss students walking on campus from the Ole Miss Facebook page taken by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services - posted January 23, 2023.)
Alcorn State, Delta State, and Mississippi Valley State are the only three Mississippi universities where tuition will not change for the upcoming school year.
On April 20th, the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) approved tuition increases for five of Mississippi’s eight universities for the 2023-2024 school year. The Board’s approval increased in-state tuition from an average of $8,396 per year to $8,564, a difference of $169.
However, some universities saw a larger increase, specifically Mississippi State University (MSU), where the in-state tuition will increase from $9,248 to $9,665, an increase of $417. The next largest increase was at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), with a $278 increase.
Jackson State University (JSU), will see an in-state tuition increase from $8,270 to $8,520, a $250 difference while the Mississippi University for Women (MUW) was approved for a $226 in-state tuition increase, from $7,766 to $7,7992. The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) will see a $180 increase for in-state tuition, increasing the current tuition of $9,072 to $9,252.
For non-Mississippi residents, JSU tuition will increase by $1,250, MSU by $1,136, Ole Miss by $528, USM by $278, and MUW by $226.
In-state residents will also see a $360 tuition increase for the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). Additionally, UMMC will increase tuition for non-Mississippi residents by $342.
Three of the state’s universities – Alcorn State University, Delta State University, and Mississippi Valley State University – will keep their tuition at the current amount for both in-state residents and non-residents.
The IHL Board of Trustees said that all of the raises in student fees at the universities were approved by the students in a vote.
IHL Commissioner Al Rankins explained that the universities consider a number of factors when developing their annual tuition requests.
“Inflation is having a significant effect on university budgets which is driving some institutions to increase tuition this year,” Commissioner Rankins said. “The rising costs of utilities, commodities, maintenance and insurance costs, including protection against cyberthreats, is a major challenge. In addition, although the Legislature has helped address faculty salaries over the past two years, faculty pay remains at 79% of the SREB average and universities are struggling to retain talented faculty. The additional revenue from tuition increases will be used to address these pressing issues.”
Jacob Batte, Director of News and Media Relations at Ole Miss, said this increase allows them to “continue delivering high-quality education and a unique campus culture at a competitive price while keeping up with rising operating costs.”
Sid Salter, Chief Communications Officer at MSU, stated that when confronted with high inflation across the board, particularly in terms of energy costs and steep increases in the employer cost of health insurance and property insurance, Mississippi State chose to seek a reasonable tuition increase that is on a percentage basis far less than the percentage of those actual inflationary increases.
“Even with our state appropriations and a modest tuition increase, MSU is still challenged with providing competitive faculty salaries – which is the ultimate key to providing the classroom and research laboratory experiences our students and their families want and deserve,” Salter said. “Even with this increase, tuition at Mississippi State remains a true bargain when measured against comparable research institutions in our region.”