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College costs

MBJ Editorial

The cost of going to college remains on the rise, according to the College Board, but a record $68 billion in financial aid was available to students last year.

The College Board’s study, released last week, found that while tuition and fees are increasing, students and families need to consider the costs of a college education

“an investment that provides personal and financial dividends for a lifetime,” said the organization’s president Gaston Caperton.

Census Bureau statistics indicate that the annual income for a college-degree holder is more than 80% higher than for a high school graduate.

That’s one eye-catching statistic. It can mean more than a million-dollar income gap between Joe College and a high school graduate.

At a time when workers with a solid education background or technical skills are in great demand, going to college is no longer one road to success. It’s just about the

only way. Whether a private, four-year liberal arts college or a technical program at a local community college, high school students, and their parents, must prepare

for continued education. And really, all of us need to invest in lifelong learning.

There are plenty of opportunities in Mississippi for a quality education. The state’s universities have internationally-recognized programs. Our community college

system serves as a model for other states. And Mississippi is home to a number of outstanding private schools. While finding financial aid sources is a challenge and

often involves a sacrifice, it is worth the effort.

We hope that more Mississippians will explore their high-ed options and take advantage of the educational opportunities available here.

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