JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University, paid a visit to West Jones County High School Wednesday to encourage students to think beyond their senior year.
Keenum said, "We need to urge and encourage all of our high school students to think about getting an education. Getting that key to success so they can have a successful life and be productive citizens and help the state of Mississippi."
Keenum says due to the recent tuition increase students can look to pay a little bit more, but he says that should not stop them from striving for success.
He said, "I don't see that as a deterrent at all. A lot of students that have concerns coming from a family with limited funds, we have a program called the Promise Program that provides financial assistance where they don't pay any tuition to come to Mississippi State. They receive their federal assistance through Pell grants, which does not cover the total cost, and we make up the difference in scholarships."
Keenum said his story is no different, "I grew up in rural northeast Mississippi. We lived on a gravel road. My family was very supportive of me but they were not a very well to do family. And I was not one of the best students in high school or my first couple years in college, but I recognized that if I was going to have a successful life, I needed to focus on my studies and make good grades, and when I started doing that, wonderful opportunities opened up for me."
Keenum says the same opportunity is available for every student in the state of Mississippi and despite the recent increase on college tuition, Mississippians should strive to make sure every high school senior works on becoming a college graduate.