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Tuition hikes expected for MS universities

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Students at certain Mississippi public universities will likely pay more in tuition starting next year. Students at certain Mississippi public universities will likely pay more in tuition starting next year.
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Students at certain Mississippi public universities will likely pay more in tuition starting next year.

The state College Board gave preliminary approvals for university tuition plans last Thursday, which approved an increase for five of the eight universities. Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi and University of Southern Mississippi were all approved for increased tuition for fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

"Study after study will tell you that a college education is still a good investment," says USM Chief Communications Officer Jim Coll. "The earnings that you get from that college education over the course of your lifetime far outweighs the cost of tuition."

USM will see 3.5% tuition increase, which is next to lowest in the state. This will add an additional $236 next year for residents, and $526 for out-of-state students. For the 2015 school year, it will be a $244 increase for in-state students and $544 for out-of-state students.

"We're sensitive to the cost of any increase in tuition," says Coll, "but we feel like that in order to maintain the quality institution that we expect, that our students expect, that our parents of students expect, that we need to increase the tuition revenue."

USM tuition currently costs $6,744 for in-state students and $15,024 for out-of-state students. This is the lowest out-of-state cost of all 39 universities in the Southern Regional Education Board. The price for residents ranks 31 of 39 lowest in the SREB.

"We still feel like we're a great value and certainly a smart investment," says Coll.

The tuition plans have been approved once by the board but will require a second approval before the changes are final.

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