By: Treasurer David McRae
Open enrollment in Mississippi’s pre-pay college affordability plan ends May 31.
College costs have increased 160 percent since 1980. Today, between tuition, room and board, books, and other expenses, a college education typically costs families around $27,000 annually for a public, in-state university and $55,000 annually for a private education, according to a 2021 College Board report. As a result, most rely on hefty loans that take years – if not decades – to pay back.
This year, seven of Mississippi’s eight public colleges are looking to increase tuition costs, with the only exception being Jackson State University. With a few exceptions, these annual tuition hikes are the norm, leading the U.S. News and World Report to predict that by 2030, annual public school tuition costs could reach $44,000.
Earlier this year, we asked Mississippians if they knew they could lock in today’s tuition rates, insulate themselves from future price hikes, and begin pre-paying their child’s tuition. Two out of every three Mississippians were unaware. That means, we still have work to do.
The Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (MPACT) program has saved hundreds of Mississippi families thousands of dollars on tuition. Perhaps even more importantly, it has put an affordable college experience into the hands of many members of our future workforce.
The average Mississippi student graduates with $30,000 worth of debt. By enrolling in MPACT, you can dramatically reduce – and likely eliminate – that decades-long burden on your child or grandchild. I encourage you to explore this program before the open enrollment period ends on May 31 to lock in the best possible rates. Our office is here to help, if you have any questions.