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Increase in tuition is a big deal

Ole Miss is still one of the best four-year public educations money can buy.

This latest tuition increase, of 7 percent to about $8,300 for two semesters for in-state students, is not desired. We wish the price for such quality education didn’t have to go up at all.

But state budget cuts forced Mississippi’s eight public universities, including Ole Miss, to seek and get College Board approval for tuition increases for the coming fall semester ranging from 5 percent at Jackson State to 9.1 percent at Mississippi University for Women.

The increase at Ole Miss lands somewhere in the middle, and is on par with increases at Mississippi State (6.9 percent) and the University of Southern Mississippi (7.3) percent.

For students paying for their education with loans and part-time jobs, an increase of 7 percent in a single year can be daunting. Wages aren’t growing that fast. Borrowing costs are increasing, and students are left having to dig a deeper hole.

But our state universities, including Ole Miss, don’t really have a choice. That’s why they asked the College Board to approve this jump, up from an anticipated 3.8 percent increase slated for this year.

It’s a tough measure for tough budgetary times. But at $8,300 per year, Ole Miss is still a great deal.