Best Colleges in Mississippi for Associate, Bachelor’s & Master’s

Mississippi College Guide – What You Need to Know

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The State of Mississippi has eight publicly funded Universities located across the state from the Delta region to North East Mississippi. Overall, Mississippi’s colleges and universities are among the strongest academic institutions in the entire southern region of the US. Mississippi State University in Starkville Mississippi is the state’s land grant college. It has a long history of leadership in the fields of agriculture and applied science. It is the largest campus in the state and it has an expansive international student program. The University of Mississippi or ‘Ole Miss’ is the flagship school in the state. Delta State located in Cleveland is in Mississippi’s Delta region.

Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi is a Historically Black College and is the official Urban University of the State of Mississippi. Alcorn State is the oldest HBCU in the nation. Tougaloo College, ranked as one the best values in education in Mississippi, is a private historically Black College and is a top-rated school for science and engineering. The Mississippi College for Women is a leading school for nursing.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Mississippi?

Mississippi students have a wide range of majors and professional training. Business, healthcare, nursing, and natural sciences are the leading majors based on the types of degrees conferred. They reflect in majors like Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Chemistry, Elementary Education, and Teaching. Many students choose majors with a view towards entering a particular field after graduation. Business majors rank among the best-paid graduates.

Top degrees in Mississippi include:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree in Mississippi


The impact of education on income is significant. Incomes rise directly with the level of education. Recent studies have highlighted some of the important differences. A bachelor degree holder earns an average of $17,500 more per year than a high school graduate. Over the course of a lifetime of earnings, college graduates earn about one million dollars more than those with a high school diploma or GED.

Bachelor degree holders also get a wider range of opportunities for promotion including entry into higher-paying occupations and brand new industries. A degree combines with work experience to produce superior earnings, a wide range of promotional opportunities, and access to emerging sectors driven by technology and innovation.

Education Level & National Average Median Compensation

NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $46,124* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best Associate Degrees in Mississippi


Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the workforce immediately after graduation by choosing one of these top, two-year degree programs in Mississippi. These affordable higher education options include some of the best associate degrees available in the state. Whether you plan to seek employment right away or intend to transfer your general education credits to another institution, you will be ready to achieve all your academic and career goals.

East Mississippi Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,832
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$6,798
Grads Salary
$32,300
Copiah-Lincoln Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,113
Graduation Rate
51%
Net Price
$4,875
Grads Salary
$29,100
Itawamba Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,768
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$5,042
Grads Salary
$31,500
Hinds Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
11,827
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$4,045
Grads Salary
$29,200
Southwest Mississippi Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,128
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$5,051
Grads Salary
$28,400
East Central Community College-Decatur
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,419
Graduation Rate
37%
Net Price
$4,923
Grads Salary
$28,700
Holmes Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,409
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$6,045
Grads Salary
$29,100
Pearl River Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,157
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$5,047
Grads Salary
$30,300
Coahoma Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,808
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$1,153
Grads Salary
$19,500
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
8,677
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$7,074
Grads Salary
$31,000
Full Ranking Report

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Mississippi


The state of Mississippi offers some great four-year bachelor’s degree programs. No matter what career field you are most interested in, you can earn the education you need to be successful after graduation. Choosing to enroll in one of the highest rated bachelor’s programs in your state will give you an edge when applying for jobs or advanced degree programs in the future. Graduates gain the knowledge and skills to achieve all their academic and/or career goals in no time.

University of Mississippi
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
21,014
Graduation Rate
67%
Net Price
$13,540
Grads Salary
$62,100
Mississippi State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
22,226
Graduation Rate
64%
Net Price
$16,402
Grads Salary
$67,200
Mississippi College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,733
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$18,800
Grads Salary
$62,500
William Carey University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,040
Graduation Rate
53%
Net Price
$14,834
Grads Salary
$62,000
University of Southern Mississippi
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
14,133
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$14,794
Grads Salary
$62,200
Jackson State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,020
Graduation Rate
44%
Net Price
$14,915
Grads Salary
$61,800
Tougaloo College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
775
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$12,967
Grads Salary
$60,600
Delta State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,751
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$14,299
Grads Salary
$62,300
Mississippi University for Women
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,811
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$13,023
Grads Salary
$55,000
Millsaps College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
820
Graduation Rate
68%
Net Price
$24,263
Grads Salary
$59,200
Full Ranking Report

Best Master's Degrees in Mississippi


Mississippi has a variety of great master’s degrees available for students seeking advanced knowledge and training in a wide variety of fields. There are also many top doctoral degree programs in the state, which are ideal for those interested in research and education. These exceptional opportunities make it easier for graduates to earn higher incomes, receive promotions, and become valuable assets in any line of work. Looking for MBA rankings in Mississippi?

University of Mississippi
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
21,014
Graduation Rate
67%
Net Price
$13,540
Grads Salary
$62,100
Mississippi State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
22,226
Graduation Rate
64%
Net Price
$16,402
Grads Salary
$67,200
William Carey University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,040
Graduation Rate
53%
Net Price
$14,834
Grads Salary
$62,000
Mississippi College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,733
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$18,800
Grads Salary
$62,500
University of Southern Mississippi
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
14,133
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$14,794
Grads Salary
$62,200
Tougaloo College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
775
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$12,967
Grads Salary
$60,600
Jackson State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,020
Graduation Rate
44%
Net Price
$14,915
Grads Salary
$61,800
Delta State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,751
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$14,299
Grads Salary
$62,300
Mississippi University for Women
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,811
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$13,023
Grads Salary
$55,000
Millsaps College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
820
Graduation Rate
68%
Net Price
$24,263
Grads Salary
$59,200
Full Ranking Report

Cost of Mississippi College Education & Salaries


As with most states, Mississippi public colleges and universities charge lower rates for Mississippi residents than out-of-state students. Private schools tend to charge the same prices to all students. The policy of in-state tuition versus out-of-state fees is that state residents support the public university system with income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes.

Students must qualify for aid through the FAFSA and attend accredited schools in Mississippi. In addition to grants and scholarships, students can qualify for work-study and loan forgiveness programs when studying certain high demand fields like nursing and teaching.

When considering the costs of education in Mississippi, students must be aware of extra costs, such as housing, food, books, and equipment. Many colleges and universities carefully advise that the costs of on-campus or off-campus living may involve some general costs. These estimates may range in the thousands of dollars. Students should examine advice on added costs. They typically reflect the student experience well and should be considered when arranging financial aid and student budgets.

College Cost Analysis - Mississippi vs. National


Average Mississippi Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $8,340

National Average – $9,580

Out-of-State Tuition – $19,942

National Average – $27,437

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

Federal Aid is a vital source of funds in this era of rising education costs. Educational attainment is an investment in a brighter economic future, the costs of college are part of the investment made by students and their families. Federal grants do not require repayment and, along with state grants, are a preferred source of college funds. Student loans can fill the student’s needs but they require a plan for repayment. Mississippi ranks near the national average in dollars per recipient of federal aid. The state figure is slightly below the national median at $10,082.

Financial Aid Mississippi Nationally
Received Federal Grants 44% 37.7%
Average $ per Recipient $10,082 $10,927

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a post-secondary institution.
* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Best Scholarships for Mississippi


Mississippi has an extensive program to prepare students for college and to support them with grants and scholarships. The state has four programs that operate to reach nearly every student. Some are merit-based while all have needs as a basic criterion. Students must qualify for the state programs by succeeding in high school as students that can manage a core curriculum of math, science, reading, and language. They must complete the core coursework and obtain sufficient scores on the standardized tests to qualify for the grants and scholarships offered through by Mississippi.

The State of Mississippi is a source of grant and scholarship funds for students that reside in Mississippi and seek to attend a public or private college or university in the state. The colleges and universities each offer scholarships and many have needs-based selection criteria. Scholarships are important to students that cannot easily pay the costs of college education. Grants and scholarships do not add to the student’s educational debt.

GUM_logo

GUM

Gear Up Mississippi

https://www.msfinancialaid.org/
Amount: $2,500
Deadline: March 31
Students that participate in the GEAR UP high school program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) can qualify for the GEAR UP Scholarship. The application period is January 1 through March 31. The general qualifications are Mississippi residency with a custodial parent or guardian that is also a state resident. Applicants must have clear criminal records and participation in the GEAR UP in grades 9-12. Applicants must be Pell grant eligible and graduated from a GEAR UP high School.

MTAG

Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant

https://www.msfinancialaid.org/mtag/
Amount: $500-$1,000
Deadline: September 15
This state grant may be reduced by other financial aid received by the student. The first-year award is $500 and the second, third, and fourth year provide $1,000. The total eligibility is four years or eight semesters. The eligibility standards require Mississippi residence for one year prior to application, a 2.5 GPA or better, attendance or enrollment at an accredited and approved college or university. Students must qualify for less than the full Pell grant. Students must complete the online application for each academic and submit documentation to prove residency.

HELP

Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students

https://www.msfinancialaid.org/help/
Amount: Tuition and Required fees at a Public Institution and equivalent for Private schools.
Deadline: March 31
Eligible applicants may be high school seniors or current college students. All applicants must be Mississippi residents for the year prior to the application. All applicants must be within one year of high school graduation. The award may be renewable for eight semesters or completion of a bachelor’s degree. New applicants must apply through the FAFSA.

MESG

Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant

https://www.msfinancialaid.org/mesg/
Amount: Up to $2,500
Deadline: September 15
Applicants must be legal residents of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to high school graduation. Applicants must have a high school cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5. If home-schooled, then applicants must submit a signed transcript of 9th through 12th-grade equivalence.

Applicants must score a minimum of a 29 on the National ACT or 1350 on the SAT. They can also qualify by achieving National Merit or National Achievement Finalist or Semi-Finalist status and they must enroll full-time at an approved post-secondary institution in Mississippi in a program of study leading to their first bachelor’s degree.

Award winners must attend an approved post-secondary institution in Mississippi. They must enroll in a program of study leading to a first associate or bachelor’s degree. Applicants must be enrolled full-time and maintain full-time enrollment, with passing grades during each semester. Full-time enrollment is 15 hours per semester or nine hours per trimester. College level applicants must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative college GPA on at least 12 completed college hours, but no more than 18 completed college hours.

NISS

Nissan Scholarship

https://www.msfinancialaid.org/nissan/
Amount: Full tuition Fees and Books
Deadline: March 1
The awards can run four two or four years for an associate or bachelor’s degree. Applicants must complete the FAFSA, prove residency in Mississippi, and recipients must attend a two-year or four-year college. The program awards students that seek their first degree. Students must write an essay describing future intentions to use education to promote the automobile manufacturing industry in the state of Mississippi.

TMLEOFSP

The Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers and Fireman Scholarship Program

https://www.msfinancialaid.org/law/
Amount: Full tuition, housing, and required fees.
Deadline: September 15
The state of Mississippi will pay the full college costs of a dependent child or spouse of any state law enforcement officer killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. The student must maintain a 2.5 GPA during each term of enrollment. The recipient must enroll on a full-time basis at any public college or university in a two-year or four-year degree program. The program can also work for existing college students and first-year college students. The program will pay nearly all the tuition and expenses for up to eight semesters of attendance. The funding must end with eight semesters or the completion of a bachelor’s degree.

TMS_logo

TMS

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. Scholarship

https://www.ffa.org/participate/grants-and-scholarships/local-engagement-programs-scholarships/
Amount: $2,500 (10 Awards)
Deadline: February 6
The program supports students pursuing a four-year degree in agricultural engineering or agricultural science/technology. Residents of Mississippi are eligible and must provide proof of residence. The selection criteria emphasize activity in community and extracurricular activities. Students must complete the financial analysis. The program will favor those with the greatest financial need. The level of need can add selection weight If the major criteria between potential applicants are roughly equal.

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