Statewide tuition hikes strike local colleges
By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
June 19, 2004
LeAnn Palmer, a sophomore university transfer student at Meridian Community College, said she doesn't mind that tuition is going up at MCC in the fall.
Palmer, who plans to major in elementary education, said Friday that MCC is worth the extra money.
The statewide increases ranged from 5 to 12.3 percent at all eight state public universities and colleges.
In addition to the state's major universities, most of the state's two-year junior and community colleges also faced tuition increases.
This fall, MCC's full time students will have to pay 8 percent, or $50, more per semester than they did in the spring, bringing their tuition costs to $650, according to Pam Harrison, vice president of finance at MCC.
Part-time students at MCC also will face an increase of $5 per semester hour, bringing their total to $70 per credit hour.
Harrison said MCC has not had a tuition increase in three years. And, she said, board members hesitantly raised tuition to offset cuts in state funding and the rising cost of employee insurance.
Students at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba will face a 27 percent increase in their per semester tuition costs when they return to school in the fall. Tuition at EMCC will jump from $550 a semester to $700 for full time students.
But EMCC President Tommy Davis said the school has not increased tuition in three years.
Davis said the tuition increase is a result of increased enrollment and the need to hire more teachers.
Tuition at Decatur's East Central Community College, however, will remain the same as it was in the spring. But some student fees will increase, according to Bubby Johnston, vice president for public information at ECCC.
Johnston said dormitory room fees, meal tickets and part-time tuition will increase in the fall. Part time tuition will jump from $65 per semester hour to $75, an increase of 15.3 percent.
New lab fees and technology fees also have been added at ECCC.
ECCC President Phil A. Sutphin said the increase in fees will generate $277,165 in anticipated annual revenues.
Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus will increase tuition by 6 percent, or about $100, for the fall semester, bringing the total for full time residents of Mississippi to $1,791 per semester. Non-residents will see their tuition increase from $4,143 to $4,391.
Nick Nichols, dean of MSU-Meridian Campus, said Friday that the increase in tuition will be used to give faculty and staff their first raises in five years, and to pay for the increase in employee health insurance.