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Ole Miss to waive fees and reduce out-of-state tuition

The University of Mississippi will begin waiving out-of-state fees for high-achieving students next year.

Along with Delta State and Mississippi University for Women, The University of Mississippi will begin extending waivers for out-of-state fees next year to high-achieving students.

Out-of-state students seeking to have their tuition reduced will be required to apply for aid administered on the basis of merit by the university's Office of Financial Aid.

Laura Diven-Brown, financial aid director at Ole Miss, said that decisions regarding the amount of aid given to reduce out-of-state tuition at state colleges and universities are subject to the individual judgement of those institutions.

“Each institution of higher learning was given the opportunity to bring a proposal forward for approval by the IHL board regarding how we might want to increase the non-resident scholarship offering,” Diven-Brown said. “I think there have been some initial thoughts that all IHL institutions would actually waive and not even charge the nonresidents."

Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs, believes the waiver for non-resident military veterans to be a positive selling point of the university.

“We wanted to better highlight the military-friendly environment that exists here at The University of Mississippi," Hephner LaBanc said. "It will allow us to attract and recruit students who represent our values of leadership and academic excellence, such as those who have served the U.S. armed forces."

Hephner LaBanc said that while she was not unfamiliar with the idea of extending waivers to out-of-state students, laws and programs vary from state to state.

Ole Miss will target students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math with these waivers.
Freshman public policy leadership major Gerald McLeod is glad to know that students may be offered financial incentives to attend Ole Miss.

“I think by giving out-of-state students the extra help to pay for tuition to come here will impact the university tremendously," he said. "This will make out-of-state students strive harder to obtain higher ACT scores and study in STEM major fields."

“That is what the university needs — more students with higher ACT scores and STEM majors — because that is where the most jobs are going to be in the future,” McLeod said.

Diven-Brown explained that the university could not eliminate the out-of-state tuition rate altogether due to the large number of students currently enrolled.

“This year we’ve had a big increase in out-of-state freshman enrollment," she said. "We want to be able to fully accommodate our entire freshman class, and if we waive the whole fee, then that may be a problem."