Accredited Degree Programs 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.
This guide can help you choose the best online degree program in Mississippi for your needs and goals. The following sections include information about tuition rates, accreditation, and the benefits of earning a degree. This guide also explores scholarships and grants that are available to students attending online schools and colleges in Mississippi.
Best Online Colleges in Mississippi
Many online schools and colleges in Mississippi offer personalized course schedules, flexible class times, and affordable tuition rates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, average tuition costs at both private and public institutions in Mississippi are below the national average.
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Top Online Programs
Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.
City Spotlight: Colleges in Mississippi
Jackson hosts an economy built on activities such as banking and manufacturing, with a growing education and health services sector. This Southern city is home to several institutions of higher learning, some with programs pertaining to local industries such as finance, health informatics or engineering. Students in Jackson also have access to many online certificate and degree programs.
Colleges and Universities in Jackson
|Jackson State University||9,565||$5,504||Public|
|Belhaven University||4,340||$18,420||Not For Profit (Private)|
|University of Mississippi Medical Center||2,890||$5,792||Public|
|Millsaps College||1,176||$27,650||Not For Profit (Private)|
How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in Mississippi?
Many colleges in Mississippi offer online degree programs. Prospective students should thoroughly research options before choosing a program. Learners can find information about Mississippi institutions through the state Department of Education website.
How Much More Do College Grads in Mississippi Make?
According to data from PayScale, professionals in Mississippi earn an average annual salary of $50,000. However, higher levels of educational attainment typically lead to higher earning potential. Professionals with more advanced degrees tend to earn more than individuals in the same field with less education.
The table below shows the annual median salaries for professionals according to education level. As the data shows, U.S. professionals with less than a high school diploma earn about $66,000 per year less than doctoral degree-holders.
|Less Than a High School Diploma||High School Diploma||Associate Degree||Bachelor's Degree||Master's Degree||Doctorate|
Paying for Online College in Mississippi: Tuition and Financial Aid
Both in-state and out-of-state learners in Mississippi pay average tuition costs below the national average. Learners at private schools in the state pay an average of about $13,000 per year less than the national average. However, most students at online schools and colleges in Mississippi still need assistance paying for their education.
|In-State Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
|$7,924||$20,061||$9,037 (In-State), $25,657 (Out-of-State)|
|TUITION||OUT-OF-STATE TUITION||NATIONAL AVERAGE|
Cost Considerations for Online Students in Mississippi
The figures above only include tuition and fees, without factoring in additional expenses. Prospective online students should budget for additional costs, such as those listed below.
- 1. Technology Fees
Some distance programs require on-time or annual technology fees, which typically cover support services for online learners.
- 2. Online Costs
Some schools charge distance learners a flat online-learning fee, which students provide with their first tuition payment.
- 3. Textbook Fees
Online students must typically pay for physical or digital textbooks and learning tools. Learners should budget for learning resources each semester.
- 4. Program Tuition
Not all online degree programs cost the same amount. Colleges may charge higher tuition rates for more popular online programs.
- 5. Required Travel
Online students may need to travel for internships, required residencies, or on-site exams. Students should budget for transportation and lodging costs.
Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Mississippi
In-state learners typically pay discounted tuition rates. Some schools charge all online learners in-state tuition rates, regardless of residency status. Each institution sets unique residency requirements, so students should contact their school's financial aid office for specific information.
Online learners may also qualify for in-state tuition rates through reciprocity agreements. Mississippi and 14 other states participate in the Academic Common Market from the Southern Regional Education Board. Through this program, learners in qualifying states may receive in-state tuition at Mississippi institutions. Students can contact their college to learn about its participation in reciprocity agreements.
Paying for College in Mississippi: Scholarships and Financial Aid
Scholarships and grants can help students in online schools and colleges in Mississippi fund their education. Unlike student loans, scholarships and grants do not require repayment. The state and federal government, as well as independent organizations, offer financial aid to qualifying students. Below are some financial aid opportunities for Mississippi students.
Scholarships for Mississippi College Students
Who Can Apply: Applicants for this scholarship must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and must attend an accredited school. Applicants should be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports Mississippi students at two-year and four-year colleges. The committee uses a point system to select recipients. Students enrolled in a natural resources program can earn all 20 points.
Amount: $3,000 to $5,000
Who Can Apply: Unigo awards one $10,000 scholarship each year. Applicants must submit an essay on a predetermined subject and must create an account with Unigo.
Who Can Apply: This organization supports learners dedicated to solving problems. Each applicant must showcase a project that makes a difference in others' lives. Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
Who Can Apply: Mississippi residents with a minimum 2.5 high school GPA can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate leadership ability and financial need, and they must submit an essay.
Amount: Full tuition
Grants for Mississippi College Students
Who Can Apply: Full-time college students attending an approved Mississippi college can apply for this grant. Applicants must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and have completed at least 12 credits.
Who Can Apply: Low-income students can apply for this grant. Students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and at least 12 credits from a participating Mississippi university.
Amount: $500 or $1,000
Who Can Apply: The federal government awards this grant based on financial need. For consideration, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Amount: Determined by financial need
Who Can Apply: Students receive TEACH grants based on financial need, which is determined by their FAFSA. Recipients must agree to teach in a low-income school after graduation.
Amount: Up to $4,000
Who Can Apply: The federal government partners with higher education institutions to award this grant. Unlike the Pell Grant, this grant is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applicants can reapply annually.
Amount: $100 to $4,000
The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Mississippi
Accreditation demonstrates that a program or institution meets set standards of academic quality. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee accrediting agencies in the United States.
Agencies award accreditation for institutions and for specific programs. Students should ensure each prospective school holds proper accreditation. The sections below provide information about various types of accreditation for online schools and colleges in Mississippi.
Regional and National AccreditationRegional accreditation is the most prestigious type of institutional accreditation in the United States. Public and state colleges typically receive regional accreditation. The regional accrediting body for Mississippi is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
National accrediting agencies generally evaluate vocational and technical schools. The CHEA online directory includes both regional and national accrediting agencies.
Subject-Specific AccreditationSubject-specific accreditation demonstrates the educational quality of an individual program. These accrediting agencies typically comprise experts in the field. Professionals in some industries must hold a degree from an accredited program to qualify for licensure. Students can search for programmatic accrediting organizations through the CHEA directory and the ED database.
How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited
Attending an accredited institution is crucial to ensuring that you will qualify for financial aid and that employers will recognize your degree. Learners should ensure that their chosen school holds accreditation before applying.
Online College and Adult Education in Mississippi
Many online schools and colleges in Mississippi provide high-quality academic programs with no residency requirements. These options can make earning a degree feasible for students with personal and professional obligations. Below are statistics and resources for adult learners in the state.
By the Numbers: Adult Education in Mississippi
Source: Distance Education State Almanac
Adult Education Programs for Mississippi Students
Online College Resources for Mississippi Students
Mississippi students can access a variety of online resources to learn about education options in the state. The resources below can help learners research institutions, financial aid opportunities, and degree requirements.