Bill would let grads pay in-state tuition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — Ricky and Cherry Moon of Vidalia never really considered sending their daughter, Trinity senior LeAnn Moon, to a Mississippi university because she would have to pay out-of-state tuition. But they might reconsider that if the Mississippi Legislature passes a bill that would allow students who graduate from Mississippi high schools to pay in-state tuition to Mississippi universities — even if their residency is out of state.

&uot;Since LeAnn goes to school in Natchez, many of her friends are going to Mississippi schools,&uot;&160;Cherry Moon said. &uot;(The bill) would open up more possibilities for us. And everything’s so expensive these days, anywhere we could get a cut would help.&uot;

The House Universities and Colleges Committee has not yet considered House Bill 7, authored by Rep. Daniel Guice Jr., R-Ocean Springs. But it has until mid-March to do so, and if the measure is passed by the Legislature, it would take effect upon passage — in time to benefit this year’s seniors.

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Starting next fall, non-residents will have to pay $6,313 more for tuition to a Mississippi university than residents — an increase of $767 over the 1999-2000 school year.

The bill would only affect a handful of seniors this year — three at Cathedral, three at Trinity and one at Adams County Christian School — but more are coming up through the ranks.

Guice said he filed the bill because many students who transfer to the Gulf Coast because their parents are stationed in the military there and graduate from high school there want to attend in-state universities.

But if their parents’ permanent residency is in another state, those students must pay out-of-state tuition.

&uot;This wouldn’t affect enough students to break the bank as far as the state’s concerned, but it would straighten out a lot of headaches for those students and their parents,&uot; Guice said.