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A new bill in the Mississippi Legislature aims to close three state universities.

The legislation—Senate Bill 2726—doesn’t specify the three, deferring that decision to the Institutions of Higher Learning, which oversees the state’s eight public universities. If the bill passes, IHL will have until June 30, 2025, to select them, with closure mandated by 2028.

Factors to be considered in the closure decisions include enrollment and degree attainment data; federal aid, including scholarship and research grants; tuition rates and scholarship endowments; degree offerings; economic impact on the local community, region and state; and the ways in which an institution serves the state, including by providing medical services and research.

Programs from shuttered universities may be absorbed into other state institutions, according to the bill.

Three historically Black universities—Alcorn State, Jackson State, and Mississippi Valley State—are among the institutions that IHL would consider for closure under the pending legislation. (Note: This paragraph has been updated from an earlier version to correct the names of the HBCUs.)

SB 2726, introduced earlier this month, is currently before the Senate’s Universities and Colleges committee. If it advances from that committee, it will be considered for passage.

SB 2726 sponsor John Polk, a Republican, did not respond to a request for comment.

The legislation comes at a challenging time in the higher education landscape. Rising operating costs and shrinking enrollments—which are projected to worsen—have driven numerous institutions to close.