For the first time, the cost of attending a Mississippi college or university for one year will average just over $7,000 for in-state students. The tuition and fee hike ranges from 2.5 percent at Alcorn State University to 5 percent at Mississippi University for Women. College Board Commissioner Glenn Boyce says the cost of attracting and retaining faculty continues to rise.
"We compete across the nation for the best and brightest faculty, administrators, and professional staff and staff members. We have to look at the labor market. We have to look at the demand and the competitiveness of it," said Boyce.
Boyce says colleges have to remain competitive by offering the latest technology as well.
"Today's student demands that technology function properly and appropriately 24/7. You also want technology in the classroom to deliver instruction in different formats in different ways," said Boyce.
College Board President Alan Perry says state funding has declined and student tuition has to close the gap. The board has agreed to increases over the next three years. In 2017, seven of the eight universities will raise tuition and fees from 1.4 percent to 4.9 percent. Delta State University is on the only that doesn't plan an increase at that time. Board president Alan Perry.
"I think the thing to remember is that our state institutions are still a bargain compared to the institutions in neighboring states. That indicates to me that the institutions are being financially well managed," said Perry.
According to the college board, Mississippi's tuition is less than Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee.