Two seniors at the University of Mississippi wanted to raise awareness about a new policy that could affect tens of thousands of college students in the state.
What makes the Metro Narcotics Unit somewhat unique is its practice of recruiting college students to work undercover in lieu of arrest. At any given time, the unit oversees between 30 and 45 informants, according to statistics it provides to UM, and most new informants are students.
The proposal would change how thousands of students pay for college — and whether they even go.
If a Mississippi proposal is adopted, white students would see their financial aid awards increase, while Black and low-income students’ awards would decrease by hundreds, in some cases thousands, of dollars.
Too often, the university’s president said, Mississippi’s financial aid programs go to poor, lower-performing kids and take money away from students with high ACT scores.
Under the new program, non-white students at four-year universities will lose $900,000 in state financial aid while white students will gain more than $1.4 million.
Mark Keenum’s contract as president of Mississippi State University has been renewed for four years, to 2025. His salary will remain $800,000 per year, with the state now paying half.
Under the recommended changes to state financial aid, non-white students at four-year universities would lose $1.1 million while white students would gain nearly $1.6 million.
Protests are rarely seen at Alcorn, the nation’s oldest historically Black land grant university, where students face pressure to resolve issues with administration internally.
The move appears to make it the first higher education governing board in the country to do so.