As of May 2018, the top 10 occupational fields in Mississippi according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics included office and administrative support, healthcare, education, and management. Many of the professions in these areas, especially managerial positions, require an associate or bachelor's degree.
Additionally, Mississippi — along with the rest of the American South — boasts low inflation and an affordable cost of living. This means that an individual's salary goes further in the state than it would in many other parts of the United States. Also, the higher salary that usually comes with a college education can improve your standard of living.
Top 10 Community Colleges in Mississippi
|1||Copiah-Lincoln Community College||Wesson, MS|
|2||Southwest Mississippi Community College||Summit, MS|
|3||East Central Community College||Decatur, MS|
|4||East Mississippi Community College||Scooba, MS|
|5||Mississippi Delta Community College||Moorhead, MS|
|6||Coahoma Community College||Clarksdale, MS|
|7||Itawamba Community College||Fulton, MS|
|8||Northwest Mississippi Community College||Senatobia, MS|
|9||Northeast Mississippi Community College||Booneville, MS|
|10||Holmes Community College||Goodman, MS|
To help you earn an associate degree and start a fulfilling and lucrative career, we determined the top community colleges in Mississippi. Compared to four-year colleges, community colleges feature more affordable tuition and professors whose primary responsibilities involve teaching and mentoring students. Learners who earn an associate degree can also transfer to a four-year public college. Along with degrees, community colleges also offer professional certificates that can qualify professionals for a raise or promotion. Finally, many community colleges boast online learning, meaning that degree-seekers can complete coursework while they work full or part time.
Although this ranking contains many excellent community colleges, it may not have the right school for you. If this should happen, do not feel discouraged. Instead, use these schools' positive qualities as a benchmark to measure other community and four-year colleges. That way, you can find a college and program that matches your academic interests and career aspirations.
Finally, as you review these community colleges in Mississippi, you may think of questions concerning a specific program's academic requirements or the application process. If so, contact the school directly to learn more. Counselors should have the information you need to make an informed decision.
2020 Best Accredited Community Colleges in Mississippi
Copiah-Lincoln Community College
|Wesson, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
At Co-Lin, learners can select a transfer- or career-orientated associate degree in one of eight academic areas, including business, fine arts, and science. Many degrees boast an entirely online curriculum, and program websites link current and prospective degree-seekers with extracurricular activities and leadership opportunities.
Both online and on-campus undergraduates at this Mississippi community college can access the school's valuable student services. At The Write Place, students receive one-on-one writing assistance from volunteer instructors. As degree-seekers approach graduation, they can also consult with career and transfer advisors. Co-Lin boasts transfer agreements with many in-state public colleges and universities.
Co-Lin accepts students who hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. Incoming students without ACT scores must take placement tests. All students can apply for financial aid, and Co-Lin awards scholarships to learners who earned a 19 or higher on the ACT; these awards max out at $1,400 per semester.
Southwest Mississippi Community College
|Summit, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 40%||
SMCC's academic programs include pre-professional associate degrees and career and technical education in areas such as automotive technology, cosmetology, and marketing management technology. Certificate programs may vary throughout the year, depending on student demand. Online courses use Canvas and Cengage, among other online learning tools. SMCC also offers Net Tutor software to all online students at no additional cost.
SMCC boasts multiple clubs, teams, and organizations that allow students to build interpersonal bonds outside of class. Academically gifted degree-seekers can join Phi Theta Kappa or the Student Government Association. Intramural sports include basketball, ping pong, and dodgeball.
Prospective students can apply for the spring, summer, or fall semester. SMCC highly recommends that applicants submit ACT scores. Financial aid opportunities at this community college in Mississippi include merit-based scholarships; students with a minimum 21 ACT score qualify. The college awards additional financial aid to undergraduates who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
East Central Community College
|Decatur, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 40%||
ECCC's academic programs boast transfer- and career-orientated degrees, as well as four healthcare programs that train future EMTs and surgical technicians. Distance learning at this Mississippi community college features all courses offered by the Mississippi Virtual Community College. This allows online learners at ECCC to benefit from many of the state's best community college instructors.
In addition to associate degrees and certificates, ECCC offers GED preparation courses and dual-enrollment programs for high school students who live in the Decatur area. High school students can earn college credit through dual-credit and dual-enrollment tracks. The college's Success Center provides one-on-one tutoring support in over 15 academic areas, and faculty members lead tutoring sessions.
ECCC accepts new degree-seekers in the summer, fall, and spring semesters. New learners without ACT scores must take the ACCUPLACER exam to determine their initial English and math course placements. Incoming students may qualify for institutional scholarships. The college awards a full-tuition scholarship to all learners who earned a 29 or above on the ACT.
East Mississippi Community College
|Scooba, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
EMCC's academic programs feature career- and transfer-orientated associate degrees, as well as professional certificates. Students planning to transfer to a four-year college can select a major from one of three academic divisions: humanities and fine arts, mathematics and science, or social science and business. Popular associate programs at this Mississippi community college include forensics, geoscience, and poultry science.
Distance learning students at EMCC can select from over 450 courses each semester through the Mississippi Virtual Community College -- a consortium of 15 community colleges throughout the state. Many courses offer eight- and 15-week options, and new courses start every two months.
Prospective degree-seekers who are 20 years old and younger must submit ACT scores. Both on-campus and online learners complete a virtual orientation session before registering for courses. Full-time students with excellent ACT scores may qualify for an institutional scholarship. EMCC also awards financial aid to student athletes and learners who maintain an excellent undergraduate GPA.
Mississippi Delta Community College
|Moorhead, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
MDCC offers transfer degrees, career and technical education, and professional development for working professionals. Transfer students can select from dozens of degrees in seven academic areas. Degree-seekers who need to take remedial coursework enroll in the College Prep, Life Skills, and Education Department. After meeting academic benchmarks, these students can start an associate degree.
MDCC also boasts an Honors College. Requirements include a minimum 25 on the ACT. Degree-seekers must also maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA, take at least 16 credits each semester, and complete honors courses. Finally, Honors College students receive a book allowance and may qualify for additional scholarships.
Prospective degree-seekers can apply for the spring, summer, or fall semester. First-time college students submit ACT scores in addition to high school transcripts or GED scores. Incoming learners with a minimum 18 ACT score receive a college-funded scholarship. MDCC also awards grants and runs work-study programs on campus.
Coahoma Community College
|Clarksdale, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
CCC features a small student-to-teacher ratio, affordable tuition for in-state students, and over 60 associate degrees. This Mississippi community college's seven academic departments award transfer degrees in art, English, math, music, and many other in-demand subjects. Career and technical education programs include barbering, child development, and culinary arts. Many academic programs boast honor societies, clubs, and student organizations.
Prospective distance learners can take the READI Assessment to determine whether they are likely to succeed academically through online learning. Some online courses may ask degree-seekers to take proctored exams on campus. As a result, learners who do not live near the college's Clarksdale campus should look into testing requirements before enrolling.
CCC uses different application requirements for first-year students, transfer students, dual-enrollment students, and veterans. All prospective degree-seekers applying to associate programs must submit ACT scores, regardless of their age. Scholarships at this Mississippi community college consider applicants' high school and/or college GPAs, as well as standardized test scores. CCC posts new scholarship opportunities in the fall and spring semesters.
Itawamba Community College
|Fulton, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
ICC offers transfer degrees, career and technical education pathways, and health science programs. This Mississippi community college offers 112 associate degrees from its Belden, Fulton, and Tupelo campuses. ICC also offers online courses outside of those available through the Mississippi Virtual Community College. ICC provides online students with tutoring resources at no additional cost.
In addition to awarding degrees, ICC partners with community agencies to provide workforce training to Mississippi residents. The Workforce Development Center on the Belden campus partners with outside companies and organizations to create professional development courses for employees.
Applicants ages 23 and younger must submit ACT scores. In addition to GED scores, ICC accepts HiSET and TASC scores. In-state degree-seekers save approximately 40% on tuition compared to their out-of-state peers. Incoming ICC students should apply for financial aid by deadlines on August 15 or January 15.
Northwest Mississippi Community College
|Senatobia, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 25%||
Northwest boasts three academic pathways for current students: academic degrees, technical degrees, and career certificates. The college also offers professional development courses for primary and secondary school teachers living in and around Senatobia, Oxford, and Southaven. This Mississippi community college's non-credit courses also provide community members with personal enrichment opportunities at an affordable cost.
Distance students at Northwest use Canvas to access course content. Students and professors interact through discussion boards, blogs, and instant messaging software. Online courses have the same academic rigor as their on-campus equivalents. In the summer semester, online degree-seekers can complete courses in an accelerated format.
Mississippi residents must submit ACT scores, while out-of-state applicants can turn in either ACT or SAT scores. Some degrees and certificates have additional application requirements. Incoming students with a minimum 20 ACT score may qualify for a Presidential or Leadership Scholarship. Other financial aid opportunities include work-study programs.
Northeast Mississippi Community College
|Booneville, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 34%||
Northeast awards degrees and certificates in seven academic divisions, including fine arts, health sciences, and mathematics and sciences. The mathematics and sciences division boasts 21 associate degree options, many of which transfer to four-year colleges in Mississippi. Distance learning at Northeast features both traditional and accelerated courses. Each online course requires 2-3 proctored exams on the college's Booneville campus.
Outside of class, undergraduates can participate in student government or select from dozens of clubs and organizations. Although it operates as a public college, Northeast hosts many faith-based clubs (e.g., Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Good Shepherds, and Christians on Campus). Also, Northeast's counseling center provides essential academic advising and tutoring resources.
Like other Mississippi community colleges on this ranking, Northeast has different application requirements for first-year, returning, transfer, and dual-enrollment students. Prospective students ages 21 and older do not need to submit ACT scores. Institutional scholarships consider applicants' ACT scores, undergraduate GPA, and other academic achievements.
Holmes Community College
|Goodman, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
With three campuses throughout Mississippi -- as well as distance learning opportunities -- Holmes Community College attracts students living throughout the state. This Mississippi community college offers associate degrees in eight academic pathways, career and technical programs, GED courses, and dual-enrollment for high school students.
Student services at Holmes Community College include course planning, IT support, and degree checklists. The college also provides online and on-campus degree-seekers with free tutoring resources. Academically gifted students tutor their peers by appointment.
Applicants should submit academic transcripts and test scores; the college uses these documents to determine financial aid. Students who possess a 20 or higher on the ACT may qualify for free tuition. The college awards full tuition -- as well as room and board -- to incoming degree-seekers who possess a minimum 28 ACT score.
Jones County Junior College
|Ellisville, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 33%||
Offering hundreds of degrees and certificates, JCJC attracts learners from throughout Mississippi. Most academic departments boast programs that full-time students can complete in four semesters. Career and technical programs at this Mississippi community college prepare graduates to work as automotive technologists, entry-level petroleum technicians, and long-term healthcare assistants.
Outside of class, JCJC students can select from over two dozen clubs and organizations. Many academic departments also feature honors programs and societies that help academically gifted students network with experienced professionals. Student services at JCJC include the Enrollment Services Department, which helps learners select a major and find tutoring resources as necessary.
Prospective students can apply for the spring, summer, or fall semester. Some programs (e.g., emergency technology and commercial truck driving) charge fees that exceed JCJC's per-credit tuition rate. Learners ages 65 and older do not pay tuition or fees. Full-time degree-seekers with a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA may qualify for certain institutional scholarships; these use both spring and fall application deadlines.
Meridian Community College
|Meridian, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 28%||
MCC boasts four learning tracks: work-based learning, workforce training, university transfer, and career and technical workforce education. Students earning a transferable associate degree at this Mississippi community college can select from six academic divisions. All associate programs blend general education and major requirements. Most full-time students can earn an associate degree in two years.
Academically gifted students at MCC can enroll in the school's Honors College. Degree-seekers take at least one honors course each semester and complete 20 hours of community service throughout the program. Honors College learners receive priority registration privileges and travel opportunities not available to other students.
Applicants must submit high school transcripts or GED scores. MCC requires ACT, SAT, or ACCUPLACER scores to determine initial English and math course placements. Incoming learners who earned a minimum 21 on the ACT receive $600 in financial aid each semester. Students interested in other financial aid opportunities should submit a scholarship application; application requirements include a short essay.
Pearl River Community College
|Poplarville, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
With campuses in Hattiesburg, Poplarville, and Waveland -- in addition to online offerings -- PRCC provides many degree and certificate programs to students living throughout the state. Incoming learners can select from eight plans of study, including health sciences and nursing, business, and hospitality and human services. Degree-seekers can use the Mississippi Articulation and Transfer Tool to determine which degrees and certificates will transfer to four-year public schools.
In addition to certificates and degrees, this Mississippi community college boasts multiple adult education programs on each of its three campuses. Learners can enroll in a GED course and take the test on campus. Also, local companies and organizations regularly rent space on campus to provide workforce training to employees and community members.
Application requirements include high school transcripts or GED scores and ACT scores. The college strongly recommends that all incoming degree-seekers submit the FAFSA. The college awards academic, service, and foundation scholarships. Each scholarship opportunity requires a separate application.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
|Perkinston, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
At MGCCC, nearly three-fourths of students enroll in a transfer program. Degree-seekers can select a major in one of eight academic areas, including business, health sciences, and public safety administration. This community college in Mississippi also features online courses, career and technical education, and a collegiate academy that allows juniors and seniors in high school to pursue an associate degree and a high school diploma simultaneously.
MGCCC degree-seekers can access ample student services. Each of the college's four campuses host clubs and organizations, as well as student life advisors who help learners select courses and explore career opportunities. Students with small children can take advantage of affordable on-campus childcare centers.
Incoming first-year students complete an on-campus or online orientation. In-state students save 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. Each year, MGCCC awards over 200 scholarships to eligible degree-seekers. Learners only need to submit one financial aid form to apply to all scholarship opportunities.
Hinds Community College
|Raymond, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
Study pathways at Hinds include transfer degrees, career and technical education, and nursing and allied health programs. Students planning to transfer can select from 22 majors, while career-oriented programs feature degrees like culinary arts and computer networking. Health programs educate the next generation of nurses, dental assistants, and EMTs.
Advising and counseling services at this Mississippi community college feature one-on-one sessions where advisors help students enroll, select courses, and stay on track for graduation. As degree-seekers near graduation, advisors take on a new role by connecting students with transfer and/or career search resources. To help learners succeed, Hinds requires that all students meet with an advisor at least once.
Prospective students without a high school diploma or GED certificate may still apply; however, these learners must take remedial coursework before entering an academic program. Hinds accepts transfer credits and awards credit based on prior learning assessments. Incoming degree-seekers may qualify for one or more scholarship opportunities.