Study: Mississippi private colleges are the best in the state for higher education

Washington, DC – A nationwide study of colleges and universities found that three of Mississippi’s private schools were the top three institutions of higher education in the state.

Mississippi College, William Curry University and Millsaps College were ranked 1-3 in the study compiled by financial website WalletHub. Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi were among the top two public schools, ranking fourth and fifth, respectively.

The study examined data across a wide range of metrics, including student selectivity (how selectively schools accept students), cost and financial aid, faculty resources, campus safety, campus experience, educational outcomes, and career outcomes.

Within these main categories, a subset of data were examined, including acceptance rate, net cost, student-faculty ratio, on-campus crime, gender, racial diversity, graduation rate, and median salary after attendance.

Overall, 500 schools received a national ranking, including four schools in Mississippi – Mississippi College (ranked 141), William Carey (ranked 149), Millsaps (ranked 173) and Mississippi State (375). No other school within the state ranked in the top 500.

Schools are also categorized within their district. In the South, 12 Mississippi schools ranked: Mississippi College (31), William Carey (33), Millsaps (39), Mississippi State (87), Ole Miss (130), Alcorn State University (144), University of Mississippi for Women (ranked 169), Belhaven University (ranked 179), Jackson State University (ranked 192), Delta State University (ranked 237), Togaloo College (ranked 267), and Blue Mountain College (ranked 290).

University of Southern Mississippi, Rust College, and Mississippi State University were the only Mississippi schools not included in the study, due to a lack of available data.

The top-ranked schools in the United States were unsurprisingly: MIT ranked first, followed by Yale University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Harvard University, and Stanford University.

These schools were also, again, unsurprisingly, among the most selective in student admission, with Cal Tech, Columbia University, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, and Stanford tied for first place in lowest acceptance rate.

At the other end of the spectrum, Delta tied it to five other schools for being the easiest to admit students, and the 901st ranking in the US state of Delta was the only Mississippi school to achieve the highest or lowest five schools in any of the subcategories studied.

Study data was compiled from various sources, including the National Center for Education Statistics, the Council for Society and Economic Research, the US Department of Education, COLLEGEdata, and PayScale.

The panel that examined the data and compiled the ratings included:

  • Dr.. Ahlam Lee, Associate Professor, School of Psychology, Xavier University
  • Cecilia Rios Aguilar, Professor of Education and Head of Department, School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA
  • Dr. Blanca Elizabeth Vega, Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Department of Educational Leadership, Montclair State University
  • Dr.. Jeonjun Kim, Associate Professor of Higher and Post-Secondary Education, Arizona State University
  • Stephen M. Brown, Professor Emeritus of Management, Sacred Heart University
  • Dr. Gregory C. Wolniak, Associate Professor, Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia

The full study can be found at

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