STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – College is expensive and this fall, that price tag will be even higher.
Today, the state College Board approved additional tuition increases at Mississippi’s eight public universities.
The tuition spike will cost students a few hundred dollars a semester.
Some college students WCBI spoke with say tuition increases are nothing new, but they still want to get their diploma.
It’s a story Mississippi’s public universities have heard from lawmakers for years, do more with less.
Mississippi State University Communications Chief Officer Sid Salter says that budget trick is now part of the university’s DNA.
“The state tuition increase is part of the current budget reality in state government. It affects higher education, as it affects every other state agency.”
While prices may change, Salter says the university’s mission remains the same.
“Any increase in tuition is significant for those students and their families and we realize that, but the fact in the matter, the current budget realities dictate that in order that we maintain the level of quality in our academic programs, we’ve got to have the sources to operate.”
The nearly seven percent spike for MSU, means students will pay about $8,200 dollars a year.
“If you go back to 2012, 2013, most of the universities that we compete with regionally and in surrounding states already had tuition higher than what Mississippi State’s tuition will be next year.”
Students realize universities are not receiving as much money, however it doesn’t help their financial struggles.
“It’s already high enough. So, I feel like, I know everything needs to be paid and I know everything has to be provided for, but there has to be a limit for that, ” says MSU student, Bryce Shirley.
“I know a lot of people are already struggling to pay the money that they do for college and even though I’m graduating in December, it’s still an extra semester, an extra six months that I will be paying more money, so it will be tough,” says MSU student, Brittany Land.
Many students rely on financial help, but even some state aid money will not be available next year.
Now, students are having to find a way to sign in at class and punch a time clock.
“I already have three full time jobs. I am a full time student and I have another year left, and I’ll probably have to take on a fourth,” says MSU student, Thomas George.
Students say MSU’s Office of Student Financial Aid helps them explain their tuition bills and the best way to handle their individual situation.