MSU-Meridian dean visits local club
High School students in Marengo County looking to further their education have a new option that is close to home.
Mississippi State University-Meridian has recently taken advantage of a new Mississippi law allowing colleges and universities to waive out-of-state tuition for select areas of other states, and a six-county area in west Alabama can benefit from this opportunity.
Dr. Steven Brown, campus dean of MSU-Meridian, spoke to the Demopolis Kiwanis Club on Tuesday about what his campus has to offer for Marengo County students.
“MSU-Meridian is about to begin its 40th year as a campus,” Brown said. “We currently have three academic divisions – arts and sciences, business, and education. We offer both undergraduate and graduate-level degrees.”
Mississippi State-Meridian is an upper division campus, so there are no freshman or sophomore level classes offered at the campus, but MSU-Meridian works closely with several community colleges to help students earn four-year and graduate degrees.
In addition to the out-of-state tuition being waived in Marengo, Sumter, Choctaw, Greene, Hale and Clarke Counties, MSU-Meridian also offers other financial aid that can be beneficial for students and their families.
“We have a tremendous financial aid program,” Brown said. “Students that attend East Central Community College, East Mississippi Community College, Jones County Junior College or Meridian Community College have an opportunity to enroll at MSU-Meridian for free through our Riley Next Step Scholarship Program.”
This scholarship is for full tuition at MSU-Meridian, and can be earned by achieving a competitive grade point average at a community or junior college while receiving an associate’s degree or 48 hours of credit in courses applicable to a bachelor’s degree at the school. Students must also maintain a 3.0 GPA while at MSU-Meridian to keep the scholarship.
Brown added that MSU-Meridian is a good option for students from Demopolis because Meridian is closer than Tuscaloosa.
“We are also considered a ‘research intensive institution,’ due to Mississippi State in Starkville being a major research university,” he said.
MSU-Meridian recently added special education and criminology as degree programs, and a Bachelor of Applied Technology with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration was recently approved and will be offered in the near future. The university is also looking to add a kinesiology degree in the near future.