DSU showing behavior of true statesman

Published 12:02am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In a move fitting its mascot’s namesake, the Delta State University Statesmen just did something pretty impressive and potentially powerful.

Last week, DSU became the first of Mississippi’s eight universities to waive all out-of-state tuition for non-Mississippi residents.

Delta State joins several other universities — including Alcorn State University — that took advantage of a new law that allows the practice. All other universities have taken a softer approach, however, offering waivers to either military veterans or certain incoming freshmen with high test scores.

Big universities fear going “whole hog” into the tuition-waiver game because they risk losing too much money in the process.

For Delta State, however, they have little to lose as they currently have less than 40 out-of-state students who don’t receive some kind of tuition waiver.

The school’s risk is low, and their aim — to make more efficient use of existing buildings and staff — is a good one.

University officials believe they could add as many as 1,000 new out-of-state students without having to build any new structures.

In the great scheme of things, the move could signal a renewed focus on the state becoming an educational hub for the South.

Unless their presence causes Mississippi to pay for more teachers, buildings and other costs, why not import more smart, college students?

With any luck, a few of them will fall in love with the Magnolia State and stay upon graduation. If that happened, the state would benefit greatly from Delta State’s statesman-like first move.