Online Colleges in Mississippi
The “Deep South” state of Mississippi is deeply invested in education.
Mississippi has a wide array of colleges and universities to choose from, with degree programs offered in both traditional and online formats.
Students are supported by a number of state-sponsored financial aid programs, proving Mississippi is committed to making higher education attainable for all its residents.
Overview of Higher Education in Mississippi
Mississippi has 41 degree-granting institutions to choose from, according to a 2015-2016 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of the 43, 23 are public schools, 9 are non-profit private schools, and 9 are for-profit private schools.
Collegeboard.org reports that the average cost for residents to attend one of the state’s 4-year colleges is $7410, while non-residents will pay closer to $20,260. Both are thousands of dollars below the national average.
Mississippi is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), a 15-state collaboration focused on sharing resources and initiatives to improve higher education. Through this organization, residents are able to pursue degrees at in-state tuition rates.
About Online Colleges in Mississippi
A 2012 report by the NCES stated that 9.1% of undergraduate students in Mississippi were enrolled exclusively in online courses. Another 16.3% were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses. That’s significantly higher than the national average of students in hybrid programs (13.3%), and the numbers continue to rise.
Today nearly all of Mississippi’s institutions offer some online learning opportunities.
The state’s oldest college, Mississippi College, offers an impressive array of online Bachelor’s degree programs – Business Administration, Communication, Paralegal Studies, Homeland Security, and Loss Prevention – as well as several Certificate and Graduate degree programs.
Private schools throughout the state also offer a variety of online degree options.
Blue Mountain, for example, offers Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration, Psychology and Criminal Justice, all in an online format. Belhaven University was recognized by US News and World Report for having some of the nation’s best online degree programs. The school offers 3 Associate’s degrees, 9 Bachelor’s degrees and a variety of Certificate and Graduate degree programs, all fully online.
Community Colleges across the state are also onboard when it comes to virtual education! Fifteen schools have banded together to form the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC). Through MSVCC, a student can enroll at his or her local college and receive advisement, counseling, financial aid, learning resources and earn credit through that school, but can complete courses available at other participating schools online. MSVCC supports approximately 60,000 online enrollments each year.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Mississippi
In Mississippi, in order to access federal, state and private financial aid, you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Since funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis, be sure to apply right away. The application is available each year starting on October 1st.
To complete the FAFSA, you must provide income, assets, taxes and other financial information for you and your parents (unless you’re considered “independent”). This information will be used to determine how much and what kinds of financial aid are offered to you.
The ideal types of financial aid are grants and scholarships, which do not have to be repaid.
The state of Mississippi provides more than $40 million each year for residents to pursue higher education. The following programs are offered to support residents:
- Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG) – Must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and score at least a 15 on the ACT / 720 on the SAT; Must not be eligible for full Pell Grant; $500 per year for freshmen and sophomores, $1000 per year for juniors and seniors
- Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG) –Must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and score at least 29 on the ACT / 1290 on the SAT; Up to $2500 per year
- Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students (HELP) – Must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and score at least a 20 on the ACT; Must complete HELP Core Curriculum
- Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers & Firemen Scholarship – For dependent children and spouses of a law enforcement officer or fire fighter who died or become permanently disabled while on duty
- Nissan Scholarship – Must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and score at least a 20 on the ACT / 940 on the SAT; Must demonstrate leadership abilities through participation in extracurricular activities; Essay required
The state also offers forgivable loans for teachers and nurses, and those pursuing specific graduate degrees. To receive this type of loan, a student must sign a contract agreeing to work for a certain period of time in a certain area. Once they complete the obligation, their student loans will be forgiven.
There are also privately funded scholarships available to Mississippians. Here are a few:
|Scholarship Name||Details||Scholarship amount|
|Tupelo Elvis Fan Club Scholarship||For high school seniors who sing, dance or play a musical instrument; Submit video recording and win live performance and scholarship||$5000 (1), $3000 (1), $2000 (1)|
|Southern Automotive Women’s Forum Scholarship||For female high school seniors pursuing a degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) or automotive field; Must be enrolled at a college in specific southern states; Must have GPA of 2.5 or higher||Varies depending on number of applicant (generally $500-5000)|
|Society Plastic Engineers Scholarship||For students majoring in or taking courses that would be beneficial to a career in the plastics industry||Varies|
|Korean American Scholarship Foundation – Southwestern Regional Chapter||For students with a Korean heritage; Must have GPA of 3.0 or higher; Must demonstrate financial need||Varies|
|Kids’ Chance of Mississippi Scholarship||For students who have had a parent killed or permanently and totally disabled in an accident that is compensable under the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Act||Varies|
You can find more scholarship opportunities by visiting search sites such as Fastweb.com, where you can enter basic demographic information and be matched with dozens of scholarships.
Finally, be sure to check with the financial aid office at the college(s) you’re considering. Most schools offer their own aid programs, and can help you determine what you may qualify for and how to apply.
List of Online Colleges in Mississippi
|Online Colleges in Minnesota||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|Delta State University||Cleveland, Mississippi||$6,418||Regional||$25|
|University of Southern Mississippi||Hattiesburg, Mississippi||$7,659||Regional||$40|
|Belhaven University||Jackson, Mississippi||$23,016||Regional||$25|
|Mississippi State University||Mississippi State, Mississippi||$7,780||Regional||$40|
If you’ve been thinking about attending a college or university in Mississippi, you’re in luck!
The state’s top schools offer online learning opportunities at all degree levels, and there are numerous financial aid programs to help make your dream a reality.