November 24, 2014 9:33:22 AM
Students at Mississippi University for Women and Mississippi State University could see a tuition increase.
MUW President Jim Borsig said tuition could increase 2.5 percent for the 2015-2016 semester. Borsig said the increase equates to about a $50 increase per semester per student. If the request is approved by the College Board, tuition would raise to $5,781 a year.
The increase is the first tuition bump the university has asked for in the past three years, Borsig said Saturday.
"Over the last three years, we've had a total of a two and a half percent increase," he said.
Borsig pointed out that of the eight public universities in the state, MUW has the lowest tuition rate.
MUW's operations cost is funded by state appropriations and tuition, Borsig said. While state appropriations to the university system rose by almost $40 million last year, it will remain more than $55 million short of the $782 million it received in state money in the 2008 budget year.
Borsig said the increase in appropriation helped, but raising tuition was necessary to continue a quality education for students. In the last year, The W invested in new technology, as well as a student success center.
Referencing the increase from the state, Borsig said, "We're grateful for that but it takes a slight increase to keep pace with what we have to do to provide high quality education."
Noting the increase is the first in three years, Borsig said his goal was to keep tuition low and affordable.
"A 2.5 percent increase over three academic years shows that we're really committed to trying to hold cost down," he said.
Mississippi State University is one of two schools asking for a nearly 5 percent increase, which would raise tuition and fees to nearly $7,500 a year. The University of Mississippi is also asking for a 5 percent increase.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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