Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Mississippi

Does Mississippi have good online colleges and universities?

For the most part, yes: Mississippi’s online colleges and universities are decently ranked by outlets like U.S. News & World Report. At the bachelor’s degree level, Mississippi’s strongest option is University of Southern Mississippi, which ranks No. 68 nationally. There are more options at the graduate level, but none of the programs are particularly highly ranked, with the exception of University of Mississippi, which ranks No. 12 for Online Master’s in Business Administration and No. 13 for Online Master’s in Educational Administration. At the community college level, online options are extensive, especially through the Mississippi Virtual Community College consortium.

Do online college credits in Mississippi cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some colleges offer discounted rates for online courses regardless of where you live, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. Most online degree programs in Mississippi charge in-state and out-of-state students the same tuition. At the community college level, however, out-of-state students tend to pay more than in-state students.

Why should you choose Mississippi for online higher education?

Mississippi has diverse, affordable online degree options, especially at the community college level. The state’s online bachelor’s degree programs are decently ranked and reasonably priced compared with some of the options in other states. If you’re interested in an online MBA or educational administration graduate program, University of Mississippi has particularly strong offerings.

The Cost of Online College in Mississippi

How much does an online degree in Mississippi cost?

The cost of an online degree in Mississippi depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you choose to pursue. For example, undergraduate programs are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you may find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save a lot of money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the current rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Mississippi below. Note that only two universities in Mississippi offer online bachelor’s degrees, and their tuition fees are basically equivalent.

  • Most affordable online college in Mississippi: Jackson State University, $366 per credit
  • Most expensive online college in Mississippi: Blue Mountain College, $480 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Mississippi to get in-state tuition rates?

Mississippi requires you to have lived in the state for at least 12 consecutive months prior to declaring residency. To qualify for in-state tuition, you must prove that you came to the state for a reason other than education and intend to remain in the state for the foreseeable future.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Mississippi?

Mississippi offers several ways to reduce your tuition costs. One is through its participation in the Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market, which enables residents of southern states to pay reduced or in-state tuition at institutions located in the south. This can save you thousands, even tens of thousands, on your education.

The state also sponsors the Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant, which provides financial assistance to Mississippi residents with unmet financial need who are attending state-approved public and private not-for-profit two-year and four-year eligible colleges and universities. Eligibility for the grant is determined based on FAFSA application data, so it’s important to file early and accurately. The FAFSA will also show if you are eligible for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and other financial aid awards.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Mississippi

In addition to the Academic Common Market tuition reciprocity agreements and the Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant, there are a number of other programs available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are also based on financial need, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent financial aid options for you below:

Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant

Created by the Mississippi Legislature, this grant provides funding to high-achieving Mississippi students who will attend college in the state. The grant awards up to $2,500 per student per academic year.

Who’s eligible? Mississippi high school students with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and a minimum ACT score of 29 who will attend an approved postsecondary institution in Mississippi.

Contact information: Online form | 800-327-2980

Learn more

​​National Bird Dog Museum Youth Art and Essay Contests

This contest-based scholarship program aims to promote interest in hunting, wildlife conservation, the rich outdoor heritage of the United States, and other related subjects. Applicants to the college scholarship must write an essay on one of the topics provided in the contest rules.

Who’s eligible? Twelfth-grade students of schools or home schools within a 75-mile radius of the National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction, Tennessee.

Contact information: [email protected] | 731-764-2058

Learn more

Southern Automotive Women’s Forum Scholarships

This scholarship program provides financial assistance to women enrolled or who plan to enroll in a STEM-related field, such as science, technology, engineering, or math, at an accredited institution in the south. Scholarships are awarded in increments ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

Who’s eligible? Female high school seniors or graduates enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a southern college or university to study a STEM field, particularly one related to the automotive industry. You must maintain a 2.5 overall GPA and 3.0 minimum GPA in your major.

Contact information: [email protected] | 833-865-7293

Learn more

Mississippi Farm Bureau Scholarships

The Mississippi Farm Bureau hosts two types of agriculture-related funding programs: one for women’s leadership and another for young farmers and ranchers. There are close to a dozen scholarships in total, each ranging in value from $3,000 to $4,000.

Who’s eligible? Specific requirements vary by scholarship, but you must be a Mississippi resident studying agriculture or a related field.

Contact information: [email protected] | 601-573-7913

Learn more

5 Fastest Growing Careers in Mississippi

If you’re still in the process of assessing your college options, you may also be undecided on your major. When selecting a major, one of the most important factors to consider is your future employability. Thinking about which industries and careers are growing the fastest in Mississippi can make it easier to find a job once you graduate, and being in demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Long-Term Occupational Projections 2018–2028, we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest projected growth rates in Mississippi:

Preschool Teachers

Preschool teachers work in classroom settings with children who have not yet entered kindergarten. These teachers ensure that young children develop critical language, social, and motor skills. In Mississippi, they make an average annual salary of $26,860.

​​Nursing Assistants

Nursing assistants, as the name suggests, assist nurses with patient care. They provide basic care and help patients with activities of daily living. Most nursing assistants work in nursing homes or residential care facilities and need to be able to perform physically demanding tasks like helping move patients. In Mississippi, these professionals earn an average annual salary of $25,690.

  • Growth: 8.8%
  • Degree options: Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Nursing Aide

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) perform a wide range of health and patient care duties, depending on where they work (hospital, doctor’s office, health clinic, etc.). Mississippi expects to add nearly 2,000 RN jobs over the next decade. RNs in Mississippi earn an average salary of $63,130.

Elementary School Teachers

Elementary school teachers teach fundamental subjects like math, reading, writing, and science to young students in grades K-5. They design and implement lesson plans while also tending to children’s social-emotional development. In Mississippi, they earn an average annual salary of $45,760.

  • Growth: 7.4%
  • Degree options: Bachelor’s in Education, Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Development

​​Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives speak to customers on behalf of a company. They help customers solve problems, access products or services, and ensure a positive relationship between consumers and companies. Customer service representatives in Mississippi earn an average annual salary of $31,440. While a college degree is typically not required for these positions, an associate or bachelor’s degree may help you stand out on the job market.

  • Growth: 5.3%
  • Degree options: Certificate in Customer Service, Associate in Customer Service, Associate in Business, Associate in Communications, Bachelor’s in Business, Bachelor’s in Communications

Our Research

We started by researching all types of Mississippi colleges, both large and small, public and private, to narrow it down to our curated list of the best online colleges. During this research, we looked at factors such as tuition and fees, credits to graduate, and coursework delivery method options to compare the schools.

By limiting our search to only accredited institutions, we can provide results that ensure high quality standards for higher education. The most common accrediting body for the Mississippi schools on our list is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC achieves its mission of educational quality by embracing integrity, peer review, continuous quality improvement, accountability, and transparency.

  • 30 hours to write this article
  • 70 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 92 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Mississippi

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