Mississippi College Board Approves Plan To Divide State Aid

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mississippi University for Women, the University of Mississippi and Alcorn State University will get financial boosts under a new formula to distribute state money among Mississippi's eight public universities.

The College Board approved the formula Thursday without amendments, although some members had objected in a recent committee meeting to funding levels for nonresident students.

Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds said the new formula is meant to more fairly distribute state aid among the schools. In recent years, individual university shares of state funding have remained frozen, even as enrollments have shrunk at some schools and grown at others.

For the budget year starting July 1, the plan would boost funding for some universities, but wouldn't cut money to any school.

The formula would give money to cover overhead costs, with smaller schools getting larger shares. Then it would distribute most remaining money to schools based on courses completed by students, with graduate and technical courses worth more than basic undergraduate courses. Finally, some money would be given to universities that meet board goals, such as graduating students with low test scores, getting students out of remedial courses and into college-level work, or increasing outside research money.

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