Institutions of Higher Learning
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Board of Trustees?
The Board of Trustees is the constitutional governing body responsible for policy and financial oversight of the eight public institutions of higher learning. The Board first assumed its duties in 1944. There are 12 board members, representing the three Supreme Court Districts. Appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Mississippi Senate, the members serve nine-year terms. The terms are staggered so that only four members roll on or off the Board at the same time.

The Commissioner of Higher Education is appointed by the Board and is responsible for administering the Board's policies at the eight universities in the state of Mississippi.

What are the Board's responsibilities?
The Board is also responsible for demonstrating accountability to the people of Mississippi and effectively communicating the accomplishments, needs and value of the system of universities to the public. By strengthening and maintaining a viable comprehensive planning, management and evaluation process, the Board facilitates effective decision making, resource allocation and utilization, fiscal accountability and program review and evaluation. For information on board meeting schedules, minutes of the Board, board members' profiles and board policies, click on the following link: Board of Trustees.

What are the Board's mission?
The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL System), under the governance of its Board of Trustees, will operate as a strong public university system with eight distinct, mission-driven universities, and will enhance the quality of life of Mississippians by effectively meeting their diverse educational needs. In so doing, the IHL system will be characterized by, and become nationally recognized for, its emphasis on student achievement and on preparing responsible citizens; its adherence to high academic standards and to quality in instruction, research, service and facilities; and its commitment to affordability, accessibility, and accountability.

What are the Board's Policies and By-laws?
The Board's Policies and By-laws may be found at the following link on this website: Policies and Bylaws.

What is the function of the Commissioner of Higher Education?
The Commissioner of Higher Education is responsible for assisting the Board in the administration of the Board's policies and bylaws. The Commissioner works closely with the Institutional Executive Officers, state and government officials, education community, business persons and the public in increasing educational attainment in Mississippi. Citizens are welcome to contact the Office of the Commissioner and can do so through the website. A profile and other information about the Commissioner's office may be found at the following links: Welcome and Board of Trustees.

What are the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL)?
The Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) consist of the eight public universities: Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for University, Mississippi Valley State University, The University of Mississippi, The University of Southern Mississippi, including the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, 23 satellite centers, and various other locations throughout the state. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the accrediting body for each of the public universities in Mississippi. For more information about the universities, click on the following link: Universities.

What is the budget for the Institutions of Higher Learning?
The Board of Trustees, through its executive office and professional staff, oversee a total operating budget of $4.5 billion, of which $666.6 million is State appropriated funding in FY 2018. In FY 2000, 56 percent of the universities' budgets was comprised of state appropriations and 32 percent was comprised of tuition dollars. By FY 2018, those percentages were more than reversed, with 67 percent of the budget comprised of tuition dollars and 28 percent coming from state appropriations.

What is the Enrollment of the Institutions of Higher Learning?
The Fall 2016 headcount enrollment figures show 82,654 students pursuing academic degrees, of which 69.8 percent are residents of Mississippi. Additional information on enrollment may be found at the following link: Enrollment Table.

What are the tuition and fees?
Current tuition and fees for each of Mississippi's public university may be found at the following link on this website: Tuition and Fees.

Where Can a Person Obtain Information about Financial Aid?
To find out more about financial aid options, contact the financial aid office at the university of your choice or the State Office of Financial Aid at (601) 432-6997 or 1-800-327-2980. Additional information on the financial aid programs administered by the State Office of Financial Aid may be found at the following link on this website: Financial Aid.

What Programs do the universities offer?
System institutions offer more than 50 majors including business, education and nursing, and 842 academic programs. There are educational opportunities in signature programs such as culinary arts, music therapy, polymer science and aviation. More information can be found at the following link: Programs.

Where are the Board of Trustees' and Commissioner's Offices Located?
The Board of Trustees' and Commissioner's administrative offices are housed in the Education and Research complex located at:

3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211
Phone: 601.432.6623
Fax: 601.432.6972

Directions: Take the Lakeland East exit off I-55 North and turn left on Ridgewood Road. Turn left into the Education and Research Complex. The Board's offices are located in the Paul B. Johnson Tower Building. For a specific office, see directory marquee on the first floor or use the self-help visitor's desk. There is ample parking in front of the Tower Building. Click the map for a printable version.


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Toll Free: 1.800.327.2980
Telephone: 601.432.6997
Email: Student Financial Aid

Telephone: 601.432.6198