With one of the most selective acceptance rates in the state (50%), one of the highest graduation rates (58%), and third-highest return on investment ($145k), William Carey University is clearly a solid choice for students in Mississippi. Its wealth of degree programs (over 30 in total) practically guarantees a major in your area of interest, whether you're devoted to a career in Graphic Design, Criminal Justice, Physical Education, Nursing, Music, or another field within the arts and sciences. Extracurricular activities at this top, cheap university in Mississippi display a similar range of interests: join the Ju Jitsu Club, write for the Cobbler Newspaper, or join an intramural sports team to play ultimate Frisbee, Wiffleball - even sports trivia!
By Iris Stone
In this ranking, we examine top value universities and colleges in Mississippi.
Located right in the heart of the “Deep South,” Mississippi is characterized by deep accents, deep rivers, and yes – deep thinking! Any aspiring college student seriously concerned about affording their education should consider Mississippi, a state with lofty academic goals but lowly prices. On the one hand, colleges in this state represent a predictable mix of traditional public schools, private religious schools, and historic HBCUs. At the same time, the top universities in Mississippi do plenty to distinguish themselves from the pack, like Millsaps, which is a magnet for high achievers, and Ole Miss, which boasts a vibrant campus with competition and spirit to spare.
Also see our ranking of flexible online colleges in Mississippi.
Perhaps most important, Mississippi colleges are long on value, meaning they hit the almost intangible sweet spot that combines cost and quality into one affordable package. And while it can be difficult to define such “value” precisely, our methodology carefully considers some of the most important metrics in higher education – like graduation rate, acceptance rate, net price, and return on investment – in a way that clearly identifies the schools that will help you have it all without spending it all. We hope you agree!
Methodology: Ranking the Best Value and Universities and Colleges in Mississippi
Graduation Rate: This indicator refers to the percentage of students who complete their degree within 150% of normal time (six years for a typical four-year degree program). Schools that perform well in this area have a track record of keeping students engaged and successful for their entire time on campus. We weighted this category 30% of the total and retrieved the information from College Navigator.
Net Price: In order to make sure that cost was still a factor in the ranking, we also considered overall net price as an indicator. Taken from data on College Navigator, “net price” is an approximate value that refers to the average amount of money a student could expect to pay each year after taking into account tuition, room and board, living expenses, scholarship awards, and financial aid packages. We weighted this category 25% of the total.
Acceptance Rate: Academically challenging, popular universities tend to be more selective and thus have a lower acceptance rate. In order to pinpoint those colleges that boast rigorous academics and also receive a large number of applications, we considered acceptance rate – the percentage of students out of the total number of applicants who receive an acceptance letter. We retrieved this information from College Navigator and weighted it 30% of the total.
20-Year Net Return on Investment: Taken from information on the website PayScale, this statistic provides a picture of how much students can expect to make after they graduate from a particular college. More specifically, the figure is calculated by taking the average income an alumnus will make over his or her first 20 years after graduation and subtracting the amount paid in tuition. Schools with a high ROI tend to be better at preparing their students for the job market. We weighted this category only 15% because data was not available for all colleges considered.
After adding all the points, we gave each university a final score out of 200. The schools below have scores ranging from 99 to 136, and each has something different to offer in terms of its cost, quality, and reputation. No one college is perfect (which is why the scores vary so much) but this ranking offers you a premier selection of universities to help get you started on your search for an education in Mississippi.
|1||William Carey University||Hattiesburg, MS|
|2||Mississippi State University||Mississippi State, MS|
|3||Tougaloo College||Jackson, MS|
|4||University of Mississippi||University, MS|
|5||Mississippi Valley State University||Itta Bena, MS|
|6||Blue Mountain College||Blue Mountain, MS|
|7||Southeastern Baptist College||Laurel, MS|
|8||University of Southern Mississippi||Hattiesburg, MS|
|9||Rust College||Holly Springs, MS|
|10||Millsaps College||Jackson, MS|
Featured Online Programs
Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.
This concludes our ranking of top-value universities and colleges in Mississippi.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career as a freelance writer and researcher. She now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Her work has included articles related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and careers.
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