As more jobs in Mississippi are expected to require post-high school education and training, earning a degree through an online college can help you be prepared for that demand. Attending an online college in the Magnolia State also means you can earn an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree from any location while continuing to work or tend to your family responsibilities.

Let's take a quick look at the range of opportunities presented by online colleges in Mississippi.

If you're an adult who is planning to return to college, the Mississippi Articulation and Transfer Tool can provide you with information about the process.

Continue reading to learn about the best online colleges in Mississippi as well as the most affordable colleges in the state. We've also included scholarships that are specific to Mississippi and can help you pay for your online degree program.

What Makes a Good Online College in Mississippi?

Mississippi has numerous institutes of higher learning; so many, in fact, that it can be easy to get bogged down by the details about each school. Rankings organize this information, making it easier for students to find the right school for them. Our rankings on online colleges in Mississippi focus only on schools that are accredited; to see why this is so important, check out our "What is College Accreditation?" page. In the Magnolia State, most schools hold regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); some schools might also hold national accreditation. Learn more about accreditation specifically in the state of Mississippi by visiting the Mississippi State Board of Education.

When looking at rankings, students should be aware of what factors were used to judge schools, in order to see whether or not a ranking aligns with their needs. On OnlineColleges.com, our rankings look at details that influence the success of online students, such as the number of online programs offered, graduation and retention rates, and average in-state tuition costs. Other factors that influence the online college experience, such as total electronic library collections, are also included. To learn more about why we chose these factors, visit the "What Makes a Good Online College" section of our "About Us" page.

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Best Online Colleges in Mississippi for 2019-20

Students have a wealth of options when it comes to distance learning in Mississippi. To help narrow down your search for the perfect online Mississippi college, we used data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and our own personalized methodology to find the best options available in the state. You can find more about our methodology at the bottom of this page. Also consider browsing our list of the 10 best online colleges in Mississippi.

1

University of Southern Mississippi

Tuition & Fees
$8,624
Distance Education Participation
69%
Number of Programs Offered
57
School Type
4-year

What is USM like?

Known as Southern Miss, USM is a public research university with campuses at Hattiesburg and Long Beach, as well as five teaching and research sites and an online presence. Its online offerings allow it to welcome a diverse student population that represents all 50 states and numerous countries.

What online programs are at USM?

A few of the graduate degree programs at USM, including those in human capital development and public health, can be completed in an "executive format." The executive format combines three to five day face-to-face courses with web-based instruction, cultivating a think-tank environment to encourage creativity.

Students can also choose from a variety of programs that can be completed entirely online, such as a B.S. in applied technology, a M.S. in sports management and an undergraduate certificate in casino management.

What online resources does USM offer?

USM provides online students with access to Handshake, an online career platform that can connect them to jobs and internships. There is also a writing center that offers 45-minute online appointments for distance learners and can assist with virtually every stage of the writing process.

2

William Carey University

Tuition & Fees
$12,600
Distance Education Participation
41%
Number of Programs Offered
13
School Type
4-year

What is WCU like?

WCU is a private Christian liberal arts college that was named after William Carey, a missionary who was referred to as the "Father of Modern Missions." The school has a main campus in Hattiesburg as well as online courses and program offerings. WCU jumped up two spots from its ranking in last year's list of the best online colleges in Mississippi.

What online programs are at WCU?

Hybrid and fully online programs at WCU are delivered via the Canvas learning management system on a trimester system. The school offers a Master of Music degree program in church music that aims to expand the knowledge and skills available to religious music professionals. There are also multiple online education degree programs that focus on elementary education, secondary education, mild and moderate disabilities, and more.

What online resources does WCU offer?

The WCU library gives students access to a plethora of books, journals, catalogs and citation guides. Students are welcome to schedule a personal research consultation, where a librarian can show them how to use library resources to assist with their research. In addition, students are assigned to an academic advisor that can help them plan their course of study and answer questions they may have via phone or email.

3

Mississippi University for Women

Tuition & Fees
$6,940
Distance Education Participation
69%
Number of Programs Offered
8
School Type
4-year

What is MUW like?

Also known as the "W", MUW was founded in 1884 and is considered the first public university for women in the country. The school has evolved over time to become coeducational; it has also climbed up from its No.5 spot on last year's list of the best online universities in Mississippi.

What online programs are at MUW?

At MUW, students may enroll in undergraduate "2+2" online degree completion programs that consist of two years of study at a community college and two years online through MUW. These programs are available in a variety of subjects, including healthcare management, general business and management information systems. MUW also offers graduate certificates in gifted studies as well as reading and literacy. All online courses are taught via the Canvas learning platform.

What online resources does MUW offer?

The Student Success Center is a website that online students can use to find a tutor, receive writing assistance via Skype or request a free consultation to help improve their study skills. Students can also enroll in Supplemental Instruction (SI), a peer-assisted online study initiative that can help them succeed in classes that are known to be difficult.

4

Northeast Mississippi Community College

Tuition & Fees
$3,596
Distance Education Participation
76%
Number of Programs Offered
58
School Type
2-year

What is NEMCC like?

Based in Booneville, Mississippi, NEMCC has been around since 1948 and offers core classes and programs that can be completed online. The school refers to its online offerings as eLearning and delivers them via the Canvas online learning platform.

What online programs are at NEMCC?

While some online programs at NEMCC are highly skilled technical programs, others are designed for students who hope to transfer to a university and earn a bachelor's degree. The school offers online certificate and associate degree programs in nursing, dental hygiene technology, medical assisting and more.

What online resources does NEMCC offer?

Students can receive assistance with their papers and other written works via the Northeast Writing Center. They can also participate in ACT prep workshops, strengthen their interview skills, receive tutoring services and improve their time management skills at the college's counseling center.

5

Delta State University

Tuition & Fees
$7,246
Distance Education Participation
47%
Number of Programs Offered
17
School Type
4-year

What is DSU like?

Situated in Cleveland, Mississippi, DSU is a publicly funded university with a notorious mascot known as "The Okra." The school offers online programs, evening courses and continuing education without out-of-state tuition.

DSU made a big jump in our rankings from last year, climbing five spots since its appearance on our previous list of the best online colleges in Mississippi.

What online programs are at DSU?

DSU's online programs are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. An online master's in commercial aviation program is designed for aviation professionals who want a better understanding of aviation management and aviation education principles. There is also an Ed.S. program in elementary education for working teachers hoping to move into leadership positions at the primary and intermediate levels.

What online resources does DSU offer?

The DSU Online Services web page allows students to gain access to financial aid resources and search the course catalog and class schedule. In addition, students can schedule online appointments with librarians and find e-books, writing resources, electronic journals, and YouTube guides via the Roberts LaForge Library.

6

University of Mississippi

Tuition & Fees
$8,660
Distance Education Participation
33%
Number of Programs Offered
21
School Type
4-year

What is UM like?

Often referred to as "Ole Miss," UM is a public research university in Oxford, Mississippi that dates back to 1848. Although UM is no longer the only public university in the state, it has evolved over time to offer a wide range of degree programs that can be delivered either in person or digitally via Ole Miss Online.

What online programs are at UM?

UM's online offerings consist of individual courses and master's degree programs that are taught through Blackboard. Students can enroll in an online M.S. in hospitality management to prepare for the challenges of management positions in restaurant, hotel and resort environments. There are also multiple graduate education programs that focus on early childhood education, elementary education and higher education.

What online resources does UM offer?

A distance learning librarian is available to assist online students with the UM Libraries website. They can help students find the research materials they need and show them how to make the most out of the large collection of databases, journals and e-books available. Distance learning students also receive access to ProctorU, a service that helps them connect to live exam proctors over the internet.

7

Mississippi College

Tuition & Fees
$18,026
Distance Education Participation
38%
Number of Programs Offered
36
School Type
4-year

What is MC like?

Founded in 1826, MC is the oldest college in Mississippi and the second-oldest Baptist-affiliated college in the country. Despite its long history as a brick-and-mortar institution, the Clinton school also offers a number of online degree and certificate programs. It has moved up two spots since its appearance on last year's list of the best accredited online colleges in Mississippi.

What online programs are at MC?

The online programs at MC feature faith-based courses and are specifically designed with the needs of working adults in mind. Students can pursue an online degree such as a B.S. in business administration, an M.Ed. in cybersecurity and information assurance or an accelerated MBA program that can be completed in 10 courses. There are also online graduate certificate programs that focus on subjects like homeland security, loss prevention management and paralegal studies.

What online resources does MC offer?

Online how-to guides for resumes, cover letters and job interviews are available via MC's career services. Students can also gain access to InterviewStream, an online practice interview system, and the Leland Speed library, which offers a wide assortment of books, databases, journals and subject guides.

8

Belhaven University

Tuition & Fees
$25,300
Distance Education Participation
46%
Number of Programs Offered
33
School Type
4-year

What is BU like?

Founded as a private Christian college in 1883, BU is one of the only Christian education institutions to be recognized for its STEM programs by the White House STEM Initiative.

What online programs are at BU?

BU's online Ed.D. program in educational leadership is a dissertation-based study plan designed for students who hold or aspire to land a leadership position in elementary or secondary education. It involves a combination of online courses and on-campus seminars. Students may also earn online certificates in biblical studies, accounting, sports administration, Christian ministry leadership and more.

What online resources does BU offer?

Online students should be aware of BU'S Center for Career and Calling. The Center collaborates with LifeQuest, a program that enhances traditional student awareness of personal calling, to help students explore different academic disciplines and careers. Students can also earn undergraduate credits for work experience and receive assistance from the school's online tutoring services.

9

Jackson State University

Tuition & Fees
$8,051
Distance Education Participation
62%
Number of Programs Offered
15
School Type
4-year

What is JSU like?

Known as one of the largest historically black colleges in the U.S., JSU began as Natchez Seminary in 1877 and was founded by the American Baptist Home Mission Society. JSU offers online degree programs throughout Mississippi and beyond via JSU Online, delivered through the Canvas learning management system.

What online programs are at JSU?

JSU offers online and hybrid courses and degree programs in criminal justice, history, healthcare administration and more. There are also Ed.S. programs available for students who would like to focus their studies in school counseling, psychometry and special education. Students are required to complete the Canvas student online orientation before they enroll in their first online or hybrid course.

What online resources does JSU offer?

Students can receive access to databases, journals, e-books, books, DVDs and more via JSU's University Libraries. They can also download a copy of Microsoft Office at no charge, access psychotherapy services through the Latasha Norman Center for Counseling Services and stay up-to-date on university happenings by reading the digital version of "The Blue & White Flash," the school's newspaper.

10

Mississippi State University

Tuition & Fees
$8,650
Distance Education Participation
17%
Number of Programs Offered
17
School Type
4-year

What is MSU like?

Although its main campus focuses on serving residents in the area around the east-central Mississippi city of Starkville, MSU offers education for distance learners via an online portal known as Distance@State. Its online programs begin in the spring, summer and fall, so students can enroll during whichever term works best for their schedule.

What online programs are at MSU?

The online bachelor's, master's, doctoral and certificate programs at MSU are delivered through the Canvas online learning platform. Students can pursue an online master's of agriculture with a concentration in animal and dairy sciences, a doctorate in industrial and systems engineering or a certificate in wellness coaching. MSU also offers a SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator — an online tool that can help students determine whether or not they're good candidates for online learning.

What online resources does MSU offer?

Online tutoring for a variety of subjects is available through MSU's Writing Center. Students can also visit MSU's "Ask a Librarian" site to engage in a live chat with a librarian or reference expert. In addition, the Digital Media Center (DMC) offers online tutorials and workshops on PowerPoint, PhotoShop, Excel and other commonly used programs.

Affordable Online Colleges in Mississippi for 2019-20

The following list presents several schools in Mississippi that offer online degree programs at affordable tuition costs. Tuition figures, sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics, reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students.

Financial Aid Resources in Mississippi

1

Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant

Type : Scholarship
Award Amount
$1,000
Application Deadline
September 15
Application Deadline
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
Criteria:

Applicant must be a Mississippi resident pursuing their first certificate, associates, or bachelor's degree at an approved Mississippi college or university.

2

Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant

Type : Scholarship
Award Amount
$2,500
Application Deadline
September 15
Application Deadline
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
Criteria:

Applicant must be a Mississippi resident pursuing their first certificate, associate, or bachelor's degree at an approved Mississippi college or university.

3

Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students (HELP)

Type : Scholarship
Award Amount
N/A
Application Deadline
March 31
Application Deadline
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
Criteria:

Applicant must be a full-time undergraduate student with demonstrated financial need who is pursuing a first certificate, associate, or bachelor's degree. Applicant must first receive HELP as a freshman or sophomore. Minimum 2.5 GPA, minimum composite ACT score of 20, and completion of specific high school core curriculum required.

4

Summer Development Grant Program

Type : Scholarship
Award Amount
N/A
Application Deadline
July 31
Application Deadline
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
Criteria:

Award looks to assist students who do not meet the criteria for admission to one of the state's public universities. Award will assist with financial need pay for the Summer Development Program during the summer preceding the freshman year of college.

Student Loans in Mississippi

Mississippi no longer offers state-based education loans due to current budget constraints, but they do claim to provide students with nearly $30 million in state aid each year, through various scholarships and grants. Students are strongly encouraged to seek scholarships and grants before applying for loans. If at that point, you are still in need of financial assistance, you may apply for federal or private loans to help manage your college expenses. To qualify for federal loans, you will need to fill out the FAFSA with details about your family's financial situation.

For more in-depth insight into student loans, don't miss the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Mississippi

  • Rise Up! Financial Aid provides Mississippi students with a step-by-step guide for acquiring financial assistance.

Costs for Out-of-State Students in Mississippi

If you want to head to the South for your college experience and you are already a resident of one of 15 mostly southern states, then in-state tuition is easily within your reach. All Mississippi universities are part of the Southern Regional Education Board's (SREB) Academic Common Market.

The Academic Common Market has offered in-state tuition to students from participating states for 35 years, and students can select from 1,900 undergraduate and graduate programs. SREB member states include: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and others — including states you might not expect, such as Maryland.

The state's flagship public university, the University of Mississippi — affectionately known as Ole Miss — also grants in-state tuition to members of the armed forces stationed in Mississippi as well as their spouses. For the 2016-17 academic year, 40 percent of students at Ole Miss were out-of-state, while 60 percent were residents. If you want to head to Mississippi for your college experience, be sure to speak with an adviser or registrar at your school or school of interest.

 

Best Jobs in Mississippi

What are the best jobs to have in Mississippi? The answer is going to be different for different people, but a lot of people are looking for the same things: job security, the potential for growth, and of course, a paycheck that's big enough to live on. By comparing data about state employment, projected job growth and average salaries, we've put together lists of the hot jobs in Mississippi to help you find a suitable career path.

EmploymentEmployment GrowthMedian High School SalaryMedian Bachelor's Salary
1,217,2605.2%$26,909$41,660
Employment in Mississippi1,217,260
Employment Growth in Mississippi5.2%
Median High School Salary in Mississippi$26,909
Median Bachelor's Salary in Mississippi$41,660

Top Mississippi Industries

*Industry rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

Top IndustriesEmploymentProjected GrowthAverage Salary
Pipeline transportation294,1105%$61,124
Ambulatory healthcare services781,9905%$55,536
Hospitals; state, local, and private873,7005%$54,148
Monetary authorities-central bank198,6005%$60,642
Educational services; state, local, and private966,9305%$53,030
Utilities577,5304%$54,543
Oil and gas extraction420,2405%$57,989
Air transportation400,6105%$56,124
Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets (except copyrighted works)253,6404%$58,287
Postal service301,2004%$56,954

Mississippi's position as a central hub for the American South, surrounded by rivers and bordering the Gulf of Mexico, makes it a key location for all kinds of transportation and shipping. The substantial natural resources of the Delta and the Gulf combine to create many high demand jobs in Mississippi in the areas of pipeline transportation, oil and gas extraction, utilities and more.

Resources are transported by road, by rail, by port and by air, with the latter being especially prominent. The need for air transportation professionals has caused several schools and businesses to look for ways to help workers meet the demand. For example, Delta State University has partnered with FedEx to offer scholarships for pilots, mechanics and other aviation career studies in the state.

There is also a doctor shortage, especially in rural areas of Mississippi. This is being addressed by initiatives such as the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship, which identifies students from rural areas who plan to return home to practice medicine. Students are required to spend a number of years working as doctors that is equal to the number of years they received this scholarship, which should help inject some much-needed healthcare providers into these underserved areas.

Let's explore the hot jobs in two Mississippi metro areas. We'll drill down into the high demand jobs in Jackson and Gulfport to help residents determine which careers may be a good fit.

Jackson, MS Metro Area

Total Population
578,565
Median salary for high school grads
$27,061
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
$44,604
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
27%
Median rent
$838

Considering that the area is home to financial institutions such as Wells Fargo, Regions Bank, Magnolia Federal Credit Union and Trustmark, it should come as no surprise that several of the high paying jobs in Jackson are managerial in nature. A lot of people's livelihoods ride on these big financial institutions, so it's important that the companies are being well-handled by capable operations managers, administrative services managers, financial managers and other similar professionals.

The area is also home to hospital facilities like St. Dominic Hospital, Baptist Medical Center and UMMC Cancer Institute, all of which have need of nurse practitioners on a regular basis. And of course, health specialties teachers are needed to train the next generation of nurse practitioners and combat Mississippi's increasing healthcare shortage.

Best CareersMinimum EducationAverage SalaryEmployment
Health Specialties Teachers, PostsecondaryDoctoral or professional degree$191,0701,080
Nurse PractitionersMaster's degree$107,280840
General and Operations ManagersBachelor's degree$88,0706,880
Administrative Services ManagersBachelor's degree$82,2801,120
Financial ManagersBachelor's degree$104,3601,240

*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS Metro Area

Total Population
388,082
Median salary for high school grads
$26,759
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
$41,607
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
23.7%
Median rent
$850

This metro area is situated right on the Gulf of Mexico, which has created a seafood industry with an annual economic impact of over $377 million. Much of this seafood is processed in plants and canneries, which need industrial production managers to oversee daily operations. Several of the high paying jobs in Gulfport also go to marine engineers and naval architects, who design and build projects from massive seafood-bearing container ships to paddlewheel cruiseships for the local American Queen Steamboat Company.

Nurse practitioners are also among the top jobs in Mississippi's coastal region, thanks to opportunities from healthcare facilities such as the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation.

Best CareersMinimum EducationAverage SalaryEmployment
Industrial Production ManagersBachelor's degree$107,010240
Nurse PractitionersMaster's degree$98,950390
General and Operations ManagersBachelor's degree$82,6702,800
Marine Engineers and Naval ArchitectsBachelor's degree$99,690N/A
Electronics Engineers, Except ComputerBachelor's degree$92,400120

*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

 
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