Mississippi does not offer any fully-online schools for grades K-12. The existing online programs are struggling for proper funding. The Mississippi Virtual Public School launched in 2009-10 with a budget of $1.8 million, but that has been cut to only $500,000 per year shortly thereafter. Enrollment dropped when the budget dropped, and in 2013-2014 there were only 2,360 course enrollments. High school students can earn college credits while still in high school by enrolling in dual credit courses at 15 community colleges across the state.
|SCHOOL NAME||GRADE LEVELS||CITY||SCHEDULE||TYPE||PHONE NUMBER|
|NorthStar Academy||5 - 12||Southaven||Both Live/On-Demand||Private||(888) 464-6280|
|Mississippi Virtual Public School||9 - 12||N/A||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(800) 382-6010|
Mississippi has seven large public colleges and 15 community colleges offering online courses and degrees. In addition to Jackson State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University and Ole Miss, Mississippi is home to multiple online schools including Everest College, DeVry and American InterContinental University. Students seeking fully-online degrees can look to these colleges to provide them with a degree earned fully online.
Mississippi boasts a total of 15 community colleges, situated from the northern delta to the southern gulf. Students can obtain an associate degree, accumulate credits toward a four-year degree, or become certified in a specialized trade. All community colleges are overseen by the Mississippi Board for Community Colleges, which seeks to “foster an environment of excellence to promote world-class education and job training for a more prosperous Mississippi.”
|SCHOOL NAME||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Northwest Mississippi Community College||4975 Hwy 51 N||Senatobia||+|
|Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College||51 Main Street||Perkinston||+|
If the structure, intimacy and exclusivity of a private education is appealing, Mississippi has 13 private colleges from which to choose. Private universities typically emphasize specific fields and trades, while private liberal arts colleges have broader areas of focus across arts and sciences. Students interested in a university environment may consider Mississippi College, Belhaven or William Carey University. Those focusing on liberal arts may enjoy Blue Mountain College, Millsaps College or Rust College.
Mississippi State University (Center for Distance Education)
Mississippi State University’s Center for Distance Education is one of many online schools in Mississippi that provides flexible learning options at an affordable price. Students can choose from four bachelor’s degree programs, 16 master’s degree programs, four doctoral degree programs and six certificates, all of which can be completed remotely. All online students pay in-state tuition regardless of their location, a benefit for out-of-state students whose local schools may not offer equivalent programs. Diplomas are identical to those received by on-campus students of Mississippi University, and do not indicate that the program was online.
Programs of interest include bachelor’s programs in education, master’s programs in engineering, teaching and business administration, doctoral programs in engineering and community college leadership, and certificate programs in meteorology, diversity and vocational rehabilitation, among others.
Mississippi State University offers many resources for online students. The SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator is a 20-25 minute online assessment that helps students determine whether a distance program is the right choice. Once enrolled, students of the Center for Distance Education can utilize the school’s online orientation, tutoring program, library services and technical assistance.
For more information about Mississippi State University’s online programs, visit the school’s Center for Distance Education website at http://distance.msstate.edu/.
University of Mississippi (Ole Miss Online)
The University of Mississippi offers distance learning through Ole Miss Online, an umbrella site for two online programs. The first is the Office of Online, Summer and Winter Sessions (OSW), which offers semester-based distance learning through the Blackboard online learning platform. These classes follow the school’s academic calendars, and assignments and exams must be completed on the professor’s schedule. Students must be enrolled in the university to take OSW courses.
iStudy@OleMiss is another option for distance learners. Through this online school in Mississippi, students complete courses at their own pace at any time of year. Students have between eight weeks and one year to complete a course, and do not have to be enrolled in the university to take iStudy courses.
Along with other online schools in Mississippi, the University of Mississippi offers a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees available through distance learning, as well as certificates, standalone courses and high school credits. One program of note is the bachelor’s “2+U” degrees, part of a progression program that grants credits for previous educational and professional experience towards a bachelor’s degree. 2+U programs are available for clinical laboratory sciences, dental hygiene, health informatics and information management, health sciences and radiologic sciences.
To learn more about the University of Mississippi’s online programs, visit the Ole Miss Online website at http://online.olemiss.edu/index.html.
Northwest Mississippi Community College
Northwest Mississippi Community College is one of many online schools in Mississippi that offer two-year distance learning programs. Any current or former student of the college can register for online classes.
Using an educational platform called Canvas, online students enter virtual classrooms where they interact with professors and classmates, submit assignments, view the syllabus and obtain other course documents. Tools provided through Canvas include email, discussion boards, blogs, wikis and messaging. The school estimates that most students spend 10 hours per week on each online course, or 12-15 hours per week during compressed summer courses.
Thirteen academic major programs and four technical major programs are offered, including accounting, social work, business administration and paralegal tech. The school suggests possible career paths and provides job outlooks for students to review prior to choosing a major. Northwest Mississippi Community College is also a part of the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MVCC), which means students can take courses from 14 other community colleges in the state as well.
More information can be found at http://www.northwestms.edu/index.php/?page_id=581.
Best Online Schools in Mississippi for 2015-2016
|Score||Student/teacher ratio||Financial aid||Cost||more|
Distance programs at Belhaven University center primarily on Christian business education, although students can also study education, psychology, biblical studies, and more. Graduate programs can be completed within two years, and undergraduate programs in less than four years. Across the programs, each course follows the same general format each week. Students must write and post an initial 250-word contribution to a discussion board by Wednesday, and then two additional 125-word posts in response to peers' contributions. Each week, there will be an assignment due on Saturday. Within this schedule, students have the flexibility to complete work whenever they have time.
Students interested in careers in homeland security and loss prevention can find relevant online degree programs at Mississippi College. The school also offers degrees in business, nursing, communications, and a variety of other fields. There are accelerated degree options for students who can dedicate more time to their courses. The college uses the Moodle course management system to deliver online classes. Moodle contains course information, communication tools, online assessments, and class discussions that students can access at any time. All students at the college have access to its Student Success Center, which offers tips academic success, time and life management, and health and wellness.
|3||University of Southern Mississippi||96.55||17:1||96%|
In addition to online and in-person programs, the University of Southern Mississippi offers programs in an "executive format." These programs are for working adults who wish to progress their careers and earn management positions. Students in the executive format programs take a full load of graduate courses, with mostly online classes as well as some that combine online work with weekend, on-campus meetings. Online students at the university can access a number of resources, including several that are specific to distance learning. They include library and reference information for distance students, the speaking and writing centers, and assistance using the Blackboard course management system.
|4||Blue Mountain College||96.13||13:1||97%|
Psychology and business administration students can earn a degree fully online from Blue Mountain College. The school also offers a number of general education courses online. Blue Mountain College's program offers curriculum with a Christian worldview. Courses are eight weeks long and offered over three semesters each year. Most students take 12 hours of courses each semester. High school seniors can participate in a Dual Enrollment program, taking online general education courses to begin earning college credits before they graduate high school. Participants of this program must have the recommendation of a teacher or counselor and be within the top 10% of their class.
|5||Mississippi State University||96.11||19:1||93%|
With four bachelor's degree programs, 18 master's degree programs, and six doctoral programs, Mississippi State University's Center for Distance Education has a myriad of options for online learning. Courses are held in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, and are hosted through the Blackboard learning management system. Upon enrollment, students work with distance education coordinators who act as the liaison between the school's academic departments and the student. Students can also receive online tutoring through the university. After completing all program requirements, students are invited to participate in graduation, and will receive the same diplomas as on-campus learners.
|6||University of Mississippi Medical Center||86.69||4:1||N/A|
The 2+U Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center offers students with an associate's degree the opportunity to earn their bachelor's through online coursework. The associate's degree must be in a healthcare-related field, and earned at a Mississippi community or junior college. Additionally, students in the program must have the relevant certification or licensure for their field. Program participants meet with advisors early in their schooling, and frequently throughout the program, to ensure an on-time graduation. Students are encouraged to contribute to class discussions with what they have learned from professional experiences, so that peers can benefit from one another's knowledge of the workplace.
4 Year Online Colleges in Mississippi
|SCHOOL NAME||TYPE||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Alcorn State University||Public||1000 ASU Dr Ste 359||Alcorn State||+|
|Delta State University||Public||Hwy 8 West||Cleveland||+|
|Belhaven University||Private not-for-profit||1500 Peachtree St||Jackson||+|
|Mississippi State University||Public||Lee Boulevard||Mississippi State||+|
|University of Southern Mississippi||Public||118 College Drive # 0001||Hattiesburg||+|
|Mississippi Valley State University||Public||14000 Highway 82 West||Itta Bena||+|
|Mississippi College||Private not-for-profit||200 South Capitol Street||Clinton||+|
|University of Mississippi||Public||Oxford, Mississippi||University||+|
|Blue Mountain College||Private not-for-profit||201 W Main St||Blue Mountain||+|
Best for Future Service Members
College is the time for students to find and follow their passions. Prospective students who are already passionate about serving their country will find many opportunities in Mississippi’s higher education. The state is known for its multitude of post-secondary schools working in conjunction with ROTC programs. Undergraduates and graduate students have their choice of Army, Navy and Air Force branches. To assist in this important decision, we’ve compiled all of the Mississippi schools that offer nonprofit programs that achieve four-year degrees and provide at least two ROTC branches. The highlighted schools have affordable annual tuition of approximately $20,000 or less.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|University of Mississippi||$6,282||University||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mississippi University for Women||$5,316||Columbus||Yes||No||Yes|
|Jackson State University||$5,888||Jackson||Yes||No||Yes|
|Mississippi State University||$6,264||Mississippi State||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Southern Mississippi||$6,336||Hattiesburg||Yes||No||Yes|
|William Carey University||$9,750||Hattiesburg||Yes||No||Yes|
Best for Personal Attention
Mississippi colleges and universities are well-regarded around the country for their academic excellence, but the schools on this list are unique in that they don’t overload students into classrooms. These nonprofit, four-year colleges have student-faculty ratios that provide excellent opportunities for personalized learning, with an average of 19 students per professor.
|Mississippi State University||20 to 1||17,820||$6,264||Public||Mississippi State|
|Alcorn State University||19 to 1||3,911||$4,435||Public||Alcorn State|
|University of Mississippi||19 to 1||17,579||$6,282||Public||University|
|Delta State University||18 to 1||3,373||$5,174||Public||Cleveland|
|Jackson State University||18 to 1||8,089||$5,888||Public||Jackson|
|Rust College||17 to 1||1,043||$8,300||Private not-for-profit||Holly Springs|
|University of Southern Mississippi||17 to 1||15,661||$6,336||Public||Hattiesburg|
|Belhaven University||16 to 1||3,260||$19,200||Private not-for-profit||Jackson|
|Blue Mountain College||15 to 1||636||$8,250||Private not-for-profit||Blue Mountain|
|Mississippi Valley State University||14 to 1||2,536||$5,628||Public||Itta Bena|
|Mississippi University for Women||14 to 1||3,222||$5,316||Public||Columbus|
|William Carey University||13 to 1||3,505||$9,750||Private not-for-profit||Hattiesburg|
|Mississippi College||13 to 1||3,561||$13,720||Private not-for-profit||Clinton|
|Southeastern Baptist College||11 to 1||71||$4,700||Private not-for-profit||Laurel|
|Tougaloo College||11 to 1||1,055||$9,740||Private not-for-profit||Tougaloo|
|Millsaps College||9 to 1||964||$29,052||Private not-for-profit||Jackson|
|University of Mississippi Medical Center||7 to 1||789||$6,282||Public||Jackson|
Best for Women in Technology
If you’re a woman seeking a degree in one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, finding a quality program can be a challenge. Fortunately, Mississippi colleges provide plenty of support for women studying in this lucrative area. Female-only residences and numerous support systems help ensure that women feel comfortable in this typically male-dominated arena. We’ve compiled a list of the best technology programs for women in Mississippi.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|Mississippi State University||$6,264||Mississippi State||111||17,013||Public|
|University of Southern Mississippi||$6,336||Hattiesburg||75||12,795||Public|
|University of Mississippi Medical Center||N/A||Jackson||52||1,465||Public|
|Jackson State University||$5,888||Jackson||38||6,659||Public|
|University of Mississippi||$6,282||University||33||16,420||Public|
|Alcorn State University||$5,712||Alcorn State||7||3,155||Public|
Best Schools Fighting for Families
Those interested in the selfless, rewarding career of social work have many quality online schools in Mississippi from which to choose. The state’s programs provide students with both classroom and clinical settings, as well as internships to help prepare them for future careers in a quickly growing job market. Scholarship opportunities make social work an affordable option. We’ve compared Mississippi’s social work programs and identified the best in the state.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|University of Southern Mississippi||Hattiesburg||142||132||10||$6,336||12,795|
|Jackson State University||Jackson||132||116||16||$5,888||6,659|
|University of Mississippi||University||124||104||20||$6,282||16,420|
|Mississippi Valley State University||Itta Bena||71||65||6||$5,703||1,842|
|Mississippi State University||Mississippi State||68||53||15||$6,264||17,013|
|Delta State University||Cleveland||38||31||7||$5,724||3,488|
|Alcorn State University||Alcorn State||22||18||4||$5,712||3,155|
|Rust College||Holly Springs||11||10||1||$8,300||810|