College funding formula set for full board vote

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — A College Board committee is moving forward a plan to change how state money is distributed among Mississippi’s eight universities.

The board’s Finance Committee voted Wednesday to send the proposal to the full board for consideration Thursday, but not before one board member sharply questioned state subsidies of non-Mississippi residents.

Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds says the new formula is meant to more fairly distribute more than $300 million in state aid among the schools. In recent years, individual universities’ shares of overall state funding have remained the same, even as enrollments have shrunk at some schools and grown at others.

For the budget year beginning July 1, at least, the plan would boost funding for some universities, but wouldn’t cut money to any school.