Tuition up for Alcorn students

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 17, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Students at Alcorn State University will have to pay 5 percent more to get an education starting in the fall.

The state College Board raised tuition at all eight Mississippi universities Thursday. On top of tuition increases, room and board will also go up.

Full-time students at the Natchez campus of ASU already pay $4,175 including room and board, while commuters pay $1,866. Lorman students pay $3,872 if they live on campus.

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Thursday’s news of the tuition hike was a shocking blow to nursing student Margaret Wanyoike, who sat out of school last year because she couldn’t afford it.

&uot;I’m already struggling right now,&uot; the senior from Africa said. &uot;I guess I’ll look at loans now. It’s already high.&uot;

Wanyoike and senior Lakesha Horton, of Greenville, live in the dorms on the Natchez campus.

&uot;You only have a set amount of money set aside for tuition and books,&uot; Horton said. &uot;This will take out of that. It’s already hard getting this amount.&uot;

Both students are currently paying for summer school classes, something they said is an extra cost cutting into the budget.

The increase in tuition was something university presidents requested though, because of a tight state budget.

Interim Higher Education Commissioner Richard Croft told the Associated Press the increases were the result of less funding from the Legislature and higher utility, retirement and insurance costs that must be paid by the universities.

The mandatory $11 million Ayers desegregation settlement took about 1.8 percent away from the schools.

The increases will apply to in-state and out-of-state students.

Jackson State University’s tuition went up only 3.2 percent, the lowest, while Mississippi University for Women’s tuition went up the most, 5.6. All other schools had the same 5 percent increase.

ASU President Clinton Bristow could not be reached for comment.