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2023 Best Online Colleges in Mississippi

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 1/10/2023
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There are several public and private online colleges in Utah that offer bachelor's degrees to students seeking the convenience of distance learning. This ability to study from home helps many students balance school with work and other responsibilities. Beyond convenience, public colleges often charge the same in-state tuition rates to online learners regardless of where they live, so starting an online education may be more affordable than choosing an in-person program. Mississippi's online programs offer a range of choices, representing some of the most popular undergraduate majors: business, the health professions, the social sciences, and psychology.

View our methodology for more details about our list or learn more about OnlineU.

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Online Programs You May Be Interested In

List Of Accredited Online Schools

School Online Enrollment Annual Tuition
University of Southern Mississippi 1,665 1,665 $10,896 $10,896
Mississippi State University 872 $23,950
Mississippi University for Women 809 $7,525
Jackson State University 773 $9,445
Belhaven University 426 $26,202
William Carey University 312 $12,750
Mississippi College 193 $18,800

University of Southern Mississippi

  • Annual Tuition: $10,896
  • Locations: Hattiesburg
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The public University of Southern Mississippi (USM) offers a variety of online bachelor's degrees. These include some of USM's most popular programs, such as the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree for current registered nurses, and the Bachelor of Liberal Studies program. This school has a 96% acceptance rate for bachelor's candidates, and half of all bachelor's degree students graduate with degrees.

USM uses the Canvas learning management system (LMS) to deliver online courses. Fifteen percent of the university's students take a part-time course load, and 20% of all enrollees are exclusively online learners.

Mississippi State University

  • Annual Tuition: $23,950
  • Locations: Mississippi State
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Mississippi State University (MSU) is a public institution featuring many online bachelor's degree programs. The university's most sought-after undergraduate degree is its customizable Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree, which is available online. The online Bachelor of Business Administration is another popular choice. MSU accepts 80% of bachelor's applicants and eventually graduates 60% of its bachelor's students.

Online learners at MSU complete coursework using the Canvas LMS. The university serves mainly full-time on-campus students, but 9% of enrollees are part-time, and the same percentage attends online courses exclusively. MSU is known as a research university that currently accounts for more than half of all the research and development funding in Mississippi.

Mississippi University for Women

  • Annual Tuition: $7,525
  • Locations: Columbus
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Despite its name, Mississippi University for Women (MUW) is a coeducational public university. It provides more than a dozen online bachelor's degrees to choose from, with the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree having the highest enrollment. Many students also opt for the Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business or Bachelor of Applied Science in General Business degrees. For bachelor's degrees, the university's acceptance rate is 99% and its graduation rate is 62%.

MUW uses the Canvas platform to host online courses. Nearly one-third of students are enrolled in fully online programs. In addition, 41% of enrollees identify as Black and 79% as female.

Jackson State University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,445
  • Locations: Jackson
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Jackson State University (JSU) is a public institution with a few online bachelor's degrees on offer. One of these online programs is the university's most popular degree, the Bachelor of Science in Professional Interdisciplinary Studies. Students can also opt for online bachelor's programs in criminal justice, childcare and family education, and healthcare administration. JSU has a 90% acceptance rate and a 45% graduation rate for bachelor's degree programs.

JSU's online learners sign in to the Canvas LMS to work on courses. JSU is a historically Black college or university (HBCU) with a current enrollment of 92% Black students. One-third of students are enrolled in online-only programs.

Belhaven University

  • Annual Tuition: $26,202
  • Locations: Jackson
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Belhaven University is a private Presbyterian school offering multiple online bachelor's degrees. Common choices include the school's Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, and Bachelor of Health Administration degrees. Belhaven accepts half of all applicants to bachelor's programs, and 45% of admitted bachelor's students end up earning degrees.

Belhaven is a predominantly Black institution, with 39% of enrollees identifying with this background. Forty-one percent of students are part-time learners, and about one-third study online exclusively. All undergraduates take a course called Kingdom Life: Family and Workplace in their final year, which aims to help students live Belhaven's Christian values.

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Overview of Community Colleges in Mississippi

There are 15 community colleges throughout Mississippi serving over 97,400 students annually in cities such as Clarksdale, Meridian, Jackson, Oxford, and Biloxi. These colleges deliver over 250 programs of study so students can earn job-readiness certificates, associate degrees, and general education credits toward a bachelor's degree. Programs include business, health care, criminal justice, computer technology, and mechanics. Mississippi's community colleges conferred 19,912 awards in 2021. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits these schools.

Online Community Colleges

Community colleges in Mississippi participate in the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC). There are over 1500 courses in various majors, including the humanities, liberal arts, and STEM. Courses are available asynchronously – you can participate according to your schedule – and synchronously – courses are scheduled at set times. They are delivered via Canvas, a learning management system (LMS) that provides a secure platform for student engagement. The benefits of online community colleges include affordability, convenience, and accessibility.

Community colleges in Mississippi offer diverse associate degree and certificate programs. These programs prepare students for the job market and four-year bachelor's degrees. We've identified popular programs in which Mississippi students enroll.

Program Certificate Associate Degree
Administrative Office
Business Management
Computer Information Systems
Criminal Justice
Early Childhood Education
Health Care Assistant
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Medical Billing and Coding
Physical Therapy Assistant
Practical Nursing
Precision Manufacturing and Machining
Registered Nurse
Software Engineering

Cost of Online Community Colleges in Mississippi

In-state tuition at Mississippi's community colleges averages $3,280, which is in line with the $3,400 national average. Out-of-state tuition is also affordable at $5,800, significantly less than the $8,210 national average. Online students in Mississippi generally pay the same tuition as on-campus students based on residency. You'll need to factor in the costs for books and school supplies as an additional expense.

Annual tuition at the schools on our ranking list of the Best Online Community Colleges in Mississippi ranges from about $2,500 to $5,000.

Financial Aid

Almost 40% of undergraduate students in Mississippi receive federal student loans, with approximately 20% of students at two-year colleges receiving $4,668 in student loans. You can begin the financial aid process by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may be eligible for Pell grants or scholarships that don't require repayment, a federal work-study program, or a low–interest federal student loan with flexible repayment options. After you enter the workforce, you may also be eligible for one of several student loan debt relief options the current administration is exploring.

Almost 40% of undergraduate students in Mississippi receive federal student loans, with approximately 20% of students at two-year colleges receiving $4,668 in student loans.

If you are a military service member, veteran, or a qualified family member, you may be eligible to use GI Bill education benefits to help pay for college. There are several programs available through the Bill. A Veterans' Administration (VA) representative can also provide information about choosing a school and career counseling to help you maximize your benefits.

There are also several ways the state of Mississippi helps students pay for college and alleviate the burden of student loan debt.

Higher Ed Legislative Plan (HELP) Provides qualified students with up to four years of tuition assistance. You must take the National ACT and score 20 or better to qualify. Amounts vary by need.
Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG) Provides tuition assistance to students who do not already benefit from financial need-based aid. You must have a GPA of 2.5 or better and score 15 or higher on the National ACT to be eligible. There are $500 and $1000 awards available.
Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG) Provides financial support for high-achieving high school students interested in attending college. You must have a 3.5 GPA or higher and enroll in college full time. The maximum award amount is $2,500 per academic year.
Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers & Firemen Scholarship (LAW) Available to dependent children and spouses of Mississippi state law enforcement officers, and full-time or volunteer firefighters who have suffered fatal or permanently disabling injuries in the line of duty. You must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and enroll in college full-time. Amounts vary by need.
Nissan Scholarship (NISS) Each scholarship pays full tuition and fees and a book allowance. You must have a minimum 2.5 GPA score 20 or higher on the National ACT or 940 or higher on the SAT.

Each community college may also offer private scholarships. For example, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) has almost 200 scholarships to help pay for college. MGCCC also has a Professional Judgment option available for students who have completed a FAFSA and are experiencing an unforeseen financial hardship. A judgment may be made to adjust the amount of aid you receive. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out what they may offer.

Check out our Guide to Financial Aid for Online Students to learn more about reducing the cost of college with financial aid.

Careers for Mississippi Community College Graduates

A community college education in Mississippi can help prepare you for several careers. For example, you can earn a certificate in a trade to become a machinist or technician who works on environmental, medical, or industrial equipment, or you can prepare for a career in health care, finance, or law by earning an associate degree in one of many high-paying fields. Many of these jobs are in demand where job growth is higher than average.

In-demand Jobs

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security anticipates high job growth in the following occupations through 2028 that may be attainable through a community college program:

Occupation Projected Growth
Home Health Aides 27.2%
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers 26.3%
Physical Therapist Assistants 22.6%
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians 21.1%
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers 20.9%
Medical Assistants 16.3%
Phlebotomists 15.7%
Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks 15.7%
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 15.5%
Web Developer 14.7%
Nursing Assistants 12.9%
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers 12.6%
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians 12.5%
Audio and Video Equipment Technicians 12.5%
Registered Nurses 11.9%
Medical Secretaries 11.6%
Childcare Workers 10.4%
Geological and Petroleum Technicians 10%
Financial Clerks 10%
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 9.4%

Salary Outlook

According to the latest information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Mississippi's median household income was $46,511, which was 28% less than the $64,994 national average. The per capita income in Mississippi – each individual's income – was $25,444. Salary projections are only available through 2023, when economists anticipate personal income to grow by 4.0%.

Employment Outlook

Mississippi's unemployment rate in May 2022 was 4.0%, slightly higher than 3.6% nationally. However, it has been gradually declining since the highs during the early months of the pandemic. Union and Rankin Counties had the lowest rates at 2.5% and 2.6%, respectively. Jefferson County had the highest at 13.8%.

Economists project 4.9% employment growth in Mississippi through 2028 for all occupations.

Economic Outlook

Economists project relatively slow growth in Mississippi through 2025 compared to the U.S. average. For example, Mississippi's gross domestic product – the monetary value of all goods and services produced in a specific area – is projected at 1.3% from 2021 through 2025 compared to 2.4% for the U.S. This accounts for Mississippi's low employment growth forecast.

Cost of Living

Cost of living measures how far your paycheck will go each month towards living expenses such as housing, food, and utilities, though it can be subjective. Mississippi's cost of living index is considerably lower at 81.1 than the 100 U.S. national average. The cost of living index for housing is even lower at 55.6 though it's higher for health expenses at 101.4.

The consumer price index (CPI) for the Southern U.S. – the average change of how much consumers pay for goods and services over time – rose 9.8% from 2021 to 2022. This is slightly higher than the 9.1% U.S. average CPI increase due to the high inflation the country is experiencing as of 2022. 

Top Industries

According to the most recently published data, some of the fastest growing industries through 2028 include:

Social Assistance 29.8%
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation 25%
Administrative and Support Services 24.8%
Administrative and Waste Services 24%
Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services 18.4%
Other Information Services 18.2%
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction 14.1%
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities 13.6%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 11.6%
Construction 11.4%

Top Areas

Quality of life and affordability are imperative to choosing a place to live and work. There are several cities in Mississippi to consider living in based on a diverse economy, the availability of affordable housing, ease of transportation, access to quality education, and sustainability.

FAQs About Online Community Colleges in Mississippi

How Many Online Community Colleges Are in Mississippi?

There are 15 online community colleges in Mississippi that support over 97,000 annually.

How Many Graduate Each Year From Community Colleges in Mississippi?

There were 16,229 graduates in the 2020-21 school year who earned over 19,000 awards.

Is Community College Free in Mississippi?

While community colleges are actively working to create legislation providing free tuition, it has yet to pass. However, programs are available to help offset costs at schools, such as Northeast Mississippi Community College's Tuition Guarantee Program, which helps cover up to $250 in remaining expenses once any state and federal financial aid is applied.

Should I Go To Community College in Mississippi?

You should go to community college in Mississippi if you want to get a trade or vocational certificate, a two-year degree, or earn transfer credits for a bachelor's degree. Several financial aid options help make it affordable.

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