University tuition to rise, USM affected most - - The News for South Mississippi

University tuition to rise, USM affected most, board blames legislative budget cuts



Next year, tuition for University of Southern Mississippi in-state students will increase by more dollars than any other Mississippi college. In 2013 students will pay $502 more than they did this year.

"The fact of the matter is that we've absorbed, or we've seen cuts of almost 20 percent," said Commissioner of Higher Education Hank Bounds, referring to the legislature's cuts to state school funding.

Bounds said the board was forced into hiking school fees after legislators in Jackson voted to slash higher education funding.

"A decade ago about 56 percent of our revenue came from the state and tuition funded 32 or 37 percent – and a small other category. That has completely flipped in the last decade," said Bounds.

USM students will be required to pay 8.5 percent more on their tuition in 2013 and 6 percent more the following year.

The state College Board in Jackson voted unanimously Monday to pass a set of tuition hikes for the 2013 and 2014 school years. It will affect every college and university in the state including professional programs like law, pharmacy and veterinary schools.

The Board says it is being forced to raise more money for universities to maintain the status quo after the legislature made deep cuts to higher education in recent months.

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