Room, board going up at Miss. colleges

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The state College Board has given initial approval to an average 5.1 percent hike in campus housing costs and 5.7 percent increase for meal plans.

The Clarion-Ledger reports Thursday’s action on the increase in room and board comes on the heels of a tuition increase at all eight public universities. On average, students in the fall will be paying about 6.8 percent more in tuition because of multi-year increases the board approved last year.

Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds has urged leaders to come up with multi-year plans for housing as well. He says advanced planning gives families a better idea of what costs will be.

“It gives them a way to plan,” he said.

Bounds said the system was not ready to move forward with those proposals right now.

“We need a bit more time to make certain we’ve considered all the issues and data points,” he said, adding the board likely will consider multi-year proposals in the coming months.

The biggest hikes for the fall semester are coming at Mississippi Valley State University, where students can expect to pay an average 17 percent more for housing and 14.4 percent for meals.

MVSU President Donna Oliver said she told students about the impending increases during a recent town hall meeting.

“If you compare the price to other schools, we’re still less,” she said.

One of the reasons for the large hike at MVSU is the campus’ new residence halls that will run $3,900 a year. Students will pay $3,400 to live in the other dorms — built in the 1950s and 1960s.

Students at Mississippi State University will pay the most to live on campus — an average of about $4,680 a year, or 3.3 percent more than they are paying this year.