“Stay in the ‘Sip” Fellowship to Combat Brain Drain

Published 1:36 pm Sunday, March 6, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. — State Auditor Shad White announced his office has established the new “Stay in the ‘Sip Fellowship” in an effort to fight “brain drain” and attract talent to the Auditor’s office. The fellowship pays for college tuition, books, and fees of accounting students for up to three years. In return, the students agree to work at the Office of the State Auditor after graduation for a period of time. All accounting students at Mississippi colleges and universities are eligible to apply for the fellowship, which also includes a paid internship.

“I’ve traveled the state these last three years telling young people why they should stay in Mississippi,” said Auditor White, “but Mississippi needs to find new ways to entice young people to stay here through professional opportunities.”

Aside from tuition, books, and fees, ‘Sip Fellows will have access to health insurance and other workplace benefits while part of the program, even as a student.

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Before applying, undergraduate students must have completed at least 58 college credit hours toward a degree in accounting. To participate as a graduate student, applicants must have been accepted into a master’s of accountancy program at a Mississippi college or university. All students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA to apply and participate in the fellowship program. Participants must also commit to working at the State Auditor’s office for at least two years after graduation.

“This scholarship model has worked in other places,” said White. “Our Stay in the ‘Sip Fellowship will convince some students that might otherwise leave to stay in the state. My hope is this will start a conversation about other policies the state can adopt to keep talent here.”

Faith Gilmore—a senior accounting student at Millsaps College in Jackson—is the inaugural Stay in the ‘Sip Fellow. She will use the fellowship to complete her undergraduate degree this spring and a master’s degree in the next academic year. She will begin interning at the Auditor’s office this summer as she begins work on her master’s degree.

Visit www.stayinthesip.com to learn more about Stay in the ‘Sip Fellowship requirements and deadlines. Questions can be directed to the State Auditor’s Chief of Staff, Charles Woods at Charles.Woods@osa.ms.gov or (601)-576-2616.