Find the resources you need to select an online college in Mississippi
Mississippi is home to 62 accredited colleges and universities. As of 2015, over 18,000 students were enrolled in private colleges in Mississippi and over 153,000 students were enrolled in public colleges. But rising college costs are a major concern for Mississippi and many other states nationwide, leaving students considering low-cost online college options to save money on room and board, meal plans and other on-campus student fees. So how do Mississippi schools stack up in terms of online education? Should can students in Mississippi count on in-state schools to provide the most high-quality, affordable education? We answer these questions and help students identify the best online colleges available in Mississippi below.
For this year’s college rankings, our analysts carefully reviewed statistical data from multiple sources for more than 7,500 postsecondary institutions so that you could easily evaluate schools based on what matters most to you. For each school, we applied the eligibility criteria outlined below, then ranked schools and programs based on four ranking factors.
Eligibility Criteria for All Postsecondary Institutions:
Must be a not-for-profit institution
Must be regionally or nationally accredited
Must offer at least one online program1
Must be located in a state (schools in US territories and Washington DC were not considered)
Dozens of data points were used to calculate a weighted score for four ranking factors: quality, affordability, flexibility and program (in order of significance). To determine quality, which was the most important consideration for all AS Online rankings, the most impactful data points were acceptance and graduation rates; for affordability, tuition2 and grants; for flexibility, part-time enrollment offerings; and for program, degrees conferred in that program area.
Some of our nursing program rankings used exam pass rates from NCLEX
How to Read Our Rankings Tool:
A dash indicates IPEDS data was not available
Annual in-state tuition is displayed unless stated otherwise
1 Our Best Vocational Programs rankings included data for both online and campus programs.
2 Both annual in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our Rankings Tool currently only displays annual in-state rates.
Online schools in Mississippi offer a wide array of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The state hosts several historic institutions, including the University of Mississippi, affectionately known as “Ole Miss.” Students interested in fully online programs may be interested in The University of Southern Mississippi. while students who want a hybrid approach with both online and on-campus classes might prefer the degrees at Mississippi College. But which online colleges provide the best mix of quality, heritage and student success? Check out our rankings below to see our picks and standards for choosing the Best Online Colleges in Mississippi.
How can I find which online colleges offer the degree I’m looking for in Mississippi?
Most online schools in Mississippi list all available programs on their website. The website for the Mississippi university system includes a list of all eight public universities, links to school websites, tuition data and enrollment information.
Which online schools in Mississippi will accept my transfer credits or work/life experience?
Most online schools in Mississippi accept transfer credits. Several also allow students to earn college credit by taking standardized tests such as CLEP (College Level Examination Program). Public colleges in Mississippi participate in a statewide articulation agreement that helps community college students successfully transfer credits to four-year institutions.
Some colleges, including Belhaven University, also grant credits for military training, work history, life experience, training and certifications. Check your college picks for specific rules and regulations regarding transfer credits.
How Much More Do College Grads in Mississippi Make?
Holding a bachelor’s degree in Mississippi may increase your wages by nearly $30,000 per year compared to just a high school diploma. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides minimum degree level requirements and wage information for jobs throughout the state—see how much, on average, careers requiring each of the following degrees pay in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning projects that Mississippi will experience slightly lower growth in personal income than the U.S. overall in coming years. However, the state’s economy is expected to grow, especially in the business services industry. Many of these positions require a bachelor’s degree or special license, including accountant, IT manager, architect and financial adviser.
According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest-growing careers in Mississippi include surgical technicians, licensed nurses and ophthalmic medical conditions–all careers that require higher education.
The Impact of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Mississippi
Accreditation has become even more important as the number of online colleges continues to grow and government regulations become more lax. Accreditation demonstrates that a school meets or exceeds quality in education standards. Students should attend regionally accredited schools, since these colleges offer federal financial aid, better academic programs, and accredited credits are often the only types of transfer credits Mississippi colleges allow.
Paying for Online College in Mississippi: Tuition & Financial Aid
Although Mississippi has increased funding for public colleges in recent years in order to keep tuition costs low, the cost of attending college in Mississippi is still increasing. However, Mississippi’s fast-growing, high-paying industries require college degrees, indicating that earning a college degree is important for future career success.
What are Mississippi’s requirements to qualify for in-state university tuition?
To be considered a resident of Mississippi for higher education purposes, prospective students must show proof they have lived in the state for the 12 months before enrolling in school. Additionally, prospective students must provide evidence that they have abandoned their former domicile in another state with the intention of living in Mississippi permanently.
Most importantly: Online students in Mississippi should learn whether or not their school of choice requires residency to receive in-state tuition rates for online programs.
Are online credits more affordable in Mississippi than other places?
Mississippi colleges charge some of the lowest tuition rates in the U.S., according to the College Board. In 2018, in-state tuition costs about $8,000 per year, compared to the national average of nearly $10,000. In recent years, the state has increased funding for public colleges, including online schools in Mississippi. This funding has helped keep down tuition costs. Comparing with schools in neighboring states, here are how some of Mississippi’s public and private colleges and universities stack up when it comes to online costs per undergraduate credit hour this year:
How can I get help paying for online college in Mississippi?
Students may receive financial aid through the federal government, the school, foundations, nonprofits, the state government, and other sources. This aid may come in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, work-study, fellowships or loan forgiveness. All prospective students should start by filling out a form for federal financial aid through FAFSA. Certain online schools in Mississippi do not offer scholarships or other forms of aid to online students. Be sure to discuss options with an admissions adviser and the financial aid office.
The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid aims to provide all qualified college students in the state with financial assistance. The agency’s website provides a list of state grants, scholarships, and forgivable loans. Below is a sampling of the types of scholarships available to students in Mississippi:
Many people do not enter college straight out of high school. Some start work immediately, take time off for personal or financial reasons, or dedicate time to raising children. For those who want to return to school later in life, advance or change careers to get a promotion or increase their salary potential, adult education programs may be an essential stepping stone to preparing to go to college for non-traditional students in Mississippi.
Here are some ways adult learning programs prepare aspiring online college students in Mississippi:
Workshops and counseling for underserved populations. Delta State University hosts the Delta Educational Opportunity Center designed to help bridge the gap for low-income and economically-disadvantaged students.
Basic Education and High School Equivalency: Students who want to earn their high school diploma or could use some time to brush up on basic classroom skills before college can take advantage of corresponding adult education programs.
Internships and work experience to prepare for graduation. The Mississippi Works program helps adults looking for internships and entry-level job experience in their degree field, which can accelerate their job prospects after graduation.
English Language & Literacy assistance programs. Mississippi’s adult education programs often include English Language & Literacy classes for non-native English speakers to prepare to attend college in the U.S.