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Mississippi Valley State University is a small, public university founded in 1950. It is located in Bena, Mississippi. The university is nearly equal distance from Memphis, Birmingham, Jackson, Shreveport, and Little Rock. At MVSU, both leaders and faculty alike strive for a diverse and inclusive academic experience alongside an exceptional education. As such, students will have access to both enriching course-related and outside-of-the-classroom experiences. This way, students are prepared for real-life opportunities and environments upon graduation.

Overview of Mississippi Valley State University

MVSU is home to over 2,000 students. Of these students, roughly 85% are undergraduate students who come from all regions of the US and the world. Students can pursue degree programs within a few dedicated colleges including arts and sciences, education, graduate school, and professional studies. Students will have access to professional counselors as a way to determine the best career paths for each individual through values, life experiences, aptitude, skills, and interests.

To ensure a well-rounded educational experience, students will have access to both community and social events, activities, clubs, and organizations including intramural sports, recreational sports, student affairs, community service, student government, debate team, international experiences, religious activities, and more. NCAA intercollegiate sports are also available, as well as a Department of Veterans Affairs.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Remote
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 15:1
Graduation Rate 32%
Year Founded 1950

Student Enrollment

Total Students2,147


Undergraduate Student

Male 715
Female 1,118

Graduate Student

Male 122
Female 192

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Male 1,075
Female 1,762


Male 667
Female 1,181

Acceptance Rate65%

Male 62%
Female 67%

Enrollment 332

Male    80
Female 46
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 17
Common Application Accepted No

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The tuition for both in-state residents and out-of-state students is the same at $6,746 each year for undergraduate programs. One can expect to budget another $14,000 or so for books and supplies, room and board, and additional various expenses. These costs typically do not include entertainment and lifestyle costs such as nights out, regional trips, transportation costs, online purchases, and more.

To help minimize the expenses related to living and education, MVSU offers a wide array of scholarships and scholarship programs, such as the Presidential and Vice President Academic Scholarships, Transfer Scholarship, University Scholarship, Valedictorian and Salutatorian Academic Scholarship, and many others. Active ROTC participants are also eligible for monetary benefits and discounts and the university offers a special program for textbook access and affordability to ensure that all students have the tools and resources necessary to succeed.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $12,024
Average Total Aid $8,690
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Room & Board $7,998

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $6,746
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $6,746
  • Books and Supplies - $2,000
  • Room & Board - $7,998
  • Other - $3,571


Academics are the core foundation of success at Mississippi Valley State University. Students will have access to a wide variety of departments such as criminal justice, education, social services, social work, and natural sciences and environmental health. It is also possible to pursue degrees in education, engineering, and technology. All students have access to a variety of library resources to elevate the education experience. MVSU is also a C2C program participant to help students who have some college credits but not a degree to complete a program in its entirety.

Graduate degrees at MVSU are some of the most prestigious in the country as the school is a Carnegie Classified Master’s University. This means that the level of quality education is exceptional, as is the instruction. It also means that the programs provide a positive influence on the quality of life in the region and beyond. The graduate programs are also as diverse as the undergraduate degrees including business, fine arts, communication, criminal justice, health, computer and information sciences, and more.

The retention rate and graduation rates at MVSU are not ideal; however, the student-to-faculty ratio is reasonable at 15 to 1. MVSU has a retention rate of 61% and graduation rates of 19% and 32% within four and six years, respectively. One of the reasons for the lower graduation rates could be related to the fact many students work while they take courses rather than to be able to commit to being full-time students.

Student Population Total

Student Population 2,147

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Public Administration and Social Service Professions 37 Total Graduates / 13%
Social Work 37 Graduates
All Business Majors 36 Total Graduates / 13%
Business Administration and Management, General 34 Graduates
Accounting 2 Graduates
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 36 Total Graduates / 13%
General Studies 36 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 29 Total Graduates / 10%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 29 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 27 Total Graduates / 9%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 27 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 43%

Outcome & Salary

MVSU provides a wealth of services and tools to find gainful employment upon graduation. Students who utilize the Career Services Center will be able to do so throughout their entire professional career, even once they become alumni. Everyone has access to resume assistance, interview preparation, academic advisement, and more. They also assist with part-time, seasonal, and full-time employment.

Do not forget to take advantage of all of the leadership opportunities and student clubs and organizations available to help build desirable skill sets and resume appeal to potential employers. Community service is available to all students through the university, as well. Academic advisors help guide students so that they pursue the right degrees based on their career aspirations. And students can also participate in the WIOA program and career readiness tests.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $32,500
College Grads Average Salary $58,442
College Grads Mid Career Salary $61,900
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $233,768
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,203,420
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $48,096
10 Year Projected ROI $185,672
20 Year Projected ROI $1,155,324
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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