Best Online Colleges in Mississippi

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The sticker price on tuition and fees for in-state students in Mississippi remains below the national average. Alongside, state and local grants have been steadily growing, reflecting the state’s commitment to providing affordable education.

As part of the Southern Regional Education Board, Mississippi students enjoy reduced tuition and a simplified enrollment process for more than 1,900 undergraduate programs, many of them online, from 15 participating SREB states. The Board also provides job and graduate program search tools and application assistance. SREB’s Electronic Campus is specifically designed for online students. With a comprehensive search function for courses and programs and financial aid and college prep assistance, students can find the classes they need to complete their degree. Paired with the Distance Learning tool from Mississippi Public Universities, and any prospective student can navigate their way their way through an online program. The Mississippi Virtual Community College is another useful organization that online students should know about. A consortium of 15 community colleges, the MVC allows students to take online courses from any of its member institutions.

The future of online education in Mississippi is bright. The state has taken steps to reduce and stabilize tuition, and has created organizations that cater to the needs of distance learners.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1William Carey University 3/558.46%Hattiesburg, MS

William Carey offers a bachelor’s degree in physical education, along with an RN to BSN and graduate programs in education and criminal justice. Students can also work towards a doctorate in education leadership or complete a specialist in instructional leadership program online. Beyond these fully online programs, William Carey offers a few hybrid options that combine in-class education with online courses.

WCU stands out among other institutions due to the ample amount of resources available to students. Distance learners at WCU have access to over 50 research databases, including e-journals and e-books, and can even request to have print resources mailed to them through WCU Libraries.

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2Blue Mountain College 3/546.15%Blue Mountain, MS

Blue Mountain College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. The school offers online bachelor’s programs in business administration, general education, and psychology. Instruction in all courses is grounded in Christian tradition, and all courses emphasize ethics and personal responsibility in the professional world.

All online students have access to their own academic counselor. Distance learners also have an opportunity to purchase technology at a discount through the school’s partnerships with Dell and Apple.

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3Mississippi State University 2/560.43%Mississippi State, MS

With over 20,000 students, Mississippi State is the second largest college in the state. Online students can pursue bachelor’s degrees in elementary education, geosciences, interdisciplinary studies, and technology teacher education. The school also offers a variety of online master’s degree programs as well, including degrees in teaching, engineering, business, information systems, and much more. Doctoral and certificate programs are also available.

Most courses are taught asynchronously. All distance learners pay in-state tuition, regardless of their location. Out-of-state students also qualify for the same financial aid opportunities as in-state residents.

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4Mississippi College 3/553.52%Clinton, MS

MC is one of the best in terms of affordability. The school offers undergraduate programs in nursing, paralegal studies, homeland security, and loss prevention, as well as 11 graduate degrees online.

Popular programs include health services administration, communications, health informatics, and business administration. Mississippi College also offers accelerated online bachelor’s programs in business administration and communication and applied communication.

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5University of Southern Mississippi 2/548.44%Hattiesburg, MS

Undergraduates and graduates alike can find a range of competitive degree programs at Southern Miss. The school offers nine undergraduate programs entirely online, mostly in engineering, business, and technical fields. Programs in elementary and special education are available as well. Southern Miss also offers 21 online master’s degrees, along with several hybrid degrees and certificate programs.

All students pay in-state tuition, and distance learners have access to all of the same digital resources that residential students receive. Online students receive technical support for Blackboard, the school’s online learning system, 24/7.

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6University of Mississippi 2/561.36%University, MS

The University of Mississippi, commonly referred to as Ole Miss, boasts an exceptional online degree platform for both undergraduates and graduates. The school offers a range of specialized programs in business, counseling, education, engineering, English as a Second Language, health care, and nursing.

All online courses are available through Blackboard. Courses are primarily taught asynchronously; some hybrid programs and courses are available as well. All distance learners are encouraged to take advantage of Ole Miss’ electronic resources, which can be accessed through the Mississippi Libraries web site.

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7Jackson State University 2/543.18%Jackson, MS

Jackson State offers two programs entirely online: a bachelor’s degree in child care and family education, and a master’s degree in business administration. The child care and family education offering is a degree-completion program.

Applicants must already have their associate degree, or have earned at least 45 credits before they apply. Prospective MBA distance learners must have earned an undergraduate degree with a 2.5 GPA or better. For both programs, the degree is priced competitively, with no application fee for the BS program and a nominal charge for out-of-state MBA applicants.

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8Belhaven University 4/550.21%Jackson, MS

Belhaven offers a number of associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees to online students. A top Christian school affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, Belhaven seeks to provide students with a well-rounded education grounded in Christ’s teachings. Popular undergraduate programs include degrees in:

  • Applied Psychology
  • Biblical Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Accounting
  • Nursing

The following master programs are also available:

  • Business Administration
  • Education
  • Health Administration
  • Leadership
  • Sports Administration

Many of Belhaven’s students are working professionals who balance their school work alongside other commitments. Courses are taught asynchronously, which allows students to study and follow lectures at their own convenience.

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More About Online Colleges in Mississippi

Mississippi distance learning offers a number of opportunities for online degree seekers. With much to consider, students must weigh several key factors in choosing an online education program.

  • Accreditation – A degree from a school with no accreditation will be worth little in the professional world. Financial aid may also be dependent on attending a school with the proper accreditation. Important accreditation bodies in Mississippi include the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges.
  • Degree congruency – Many schools confer the exact same degree through on-campus and online programs. Other programs differ somewhat for the online format. If you want to receive a degree congruent to the on-campus offering, ensure this is how the program is established.
  • Job Placement and Career Advancement – You don’t simply want a degree, but one that launches your career. Investigate a school’s advisory and career placement program, and partnerships with businesses in your desired industry. For graduate-level programs, check into research and grant opportunities.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Mississippi for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

Statistics from the fall of 2012 show that 74.6% of students enrolled in Mississippi Title IV institutions were not enrolled in any distance education courses. This number was fairly consistent between undergraduate and graduate students. The NCES also reports for Mississippi that year:

  • 11.6% of students enrolled in two-year institutions studied entirely online.
  • 1.6% of students enrolled at private nonprofit four-year institutions studied entirely online.
  • 92.2% of those enrolled in online coursework through Mississippi schools were residents of Mississippi.
  • Of those enrolled at four-year private for-profit institutions, none of those completing online coursework lived outside the United States.