Tuition: Balance needed
State Sen. Videt Carmichael, D-Meridian, has unveiled a proposal worth consideration by the 2001 session of the Mississippi Legislature. We believe tuition charged out-of-state students who live within 50 miles of one of our universities or community colleges should be the same as tuition charged in-state students.
Carmichael's proposed legislation is being applauded by many local officials, including Meridian resident and Institutions of Higher Learning board member Bill Crawford, who told The Meridian Star, "I think most members on the board are going to be very supportive of this."
Currently, colleges and universities in Mississippi charge out-of-state students more per semester for attending classes. The cost per semester for an in-state student at Meridian Community College is $500, compared to $1,320 per semester for out-of-state students. In-state students at Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus pay $1,361 per semester compared to $1,974 for out-of-state residents.
Balancing the tuition could attract more students to Mississippi institutions, making them more competitive in the already hotly-competitive world of student recruitment.
And, that, in turn, makes educational institutions in Mississippi more attractive to more students. In a time of tight budgets, that may be a very good opportunity for growth.