Best Public Colleges in Mississippi 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Mississippi provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Best Public Colleges in Mississippi 2022

Colleges and Universities in Mississippi

The majority of the learning institutes in Mississippi are public schools, with the University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, being the largest. This university, located in Oxford, boasts alumni like William Faulkner, John Grisham, and James Meredith. Tuition at Ole Miss runs about $9,000, just below the national average. The eight private colleges, all of which have religious affiliations, range in tuition costs from $10,000 at Rust College to $40,000 at Millsaps College.

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Students who attend these schools have the option to pursue degrees in fields like nursing, business, dentistry, Christian ministry, education, and literature. Additionally, all of these private schools are considered small schools, serving under 5,000 students. Mississippi also offers up to $12,000 of undergraduate loan forgiveness, over the course of four years, for teachers who work in designated shortage areas or who teach in critical shortage subjects, like special education or mathematics.

From Mississippi mud pie to fried chicken, Mississippi brings a whole new meaning to the term comfort food. The Magnolia State is easy on the eyes too. With nearly endless forests spilling over with hickory, pine, and oak trees, the intricate river system, and the Gulf Island National Seashore, Mississippi is a true destination for lovers of outdoor adventure. And students who plan on earning their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in Mississippi have 31 colleges and universities to choose from.

Explore some of the top schools and career paths Mississippi has to offer.


What are Mississippi’s Colleges & Universities?

Mississippi’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 8 public universities in Mississippi. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Mississippi, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

How do we determine Mississippi's best public colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

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Best Public Colleges in Mississippi 2022

  1. #1

    University of Mississippi

    University , MS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/25

    What is University of Mississippi known for?

    University of Mississippi’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Law
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Earth Sciences
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    Mississippi State University

    Mississippi State , MS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/26

    What is Mississippi State University known for?

    Mississippi State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    What is University of Southern Mississippi known for?

    University of Southern Mississippi’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    Delta State University

    Cleveland , MS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/21

    What is Delta State University known for?

    Delta State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    What is Mississippi University for Women known for?

    Mississippi University for Women’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #7

    Alcorn State University

    Alcorn State , MS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    885/20

    What is Alcorn State University known for?

    Alcorn State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Mississippi Valley State University known for?

    Mississippi Valley State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

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Mississippi’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Mississippi
  2. Mississippi University for Women
  3. Mississippi State University
  4. University of Southern Mississippi
  5. Delta State University
  6. Alcorn State University
  7. Mississippi Valley State University
  8. Jackson State University

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