Top Cheapest Universities in Mississippi

Mississippi, located in the southeastern region of the United States, is not only known for its rich cultural heritage but also for offering affordable higher education options. For students looking to pursue their dreams without accumulating massive student debt, Mississippi provides several cost-effective universities. In this article, we will explore six of the cheapest universities in Mississippi, offering up-to-date information on tuition costs, programs, and other essential details for the academic year 2023-2024.

1. University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)

Founded in 1844, the University of Mississippi is the state’s oldest institution of higher learning. 

For the 2023-2024 academic year, in-state tuition is estimated to be around $8,872, while out-of-state students may pay approximately $24,152. Keep in mind that these figures exclude additional costs, such as room and board. The university has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best public universities, providing a quality education at an affordable cost.

Ole Miss offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as business, engineering, medicine, law, and liberal arts.

2. Mississippi State University

Founded in 1878, Mississippi State University is renowned for its research and academic excellence. For the 2023-2024 academic year, in-state students can expect to pay around $8,490 in tuition, while out-of-state students will pay approximately $24,420.

The university is a leading research institution and is classified as a “Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Mississippi State offers a wide array of programs in agriculture, engineering, business, and the arts and sciences.

3. University of Southern Mississippi

Established in 1910, the University of Southern Mississippi is known for its diverse student body and comprehensive academic offerings.

In-state students will pay roughly $8,218 in tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year, while out-of-state students may expect to pay around $10,836. The university is recognized for its contributions to research, particularly in the fields of marine science and polymer science. The University of Southern Mississippi provides a wide variety of programs, including those in health sciences, arts and letters, and business.

4. Jackson State University

Founded in 1877, Jackson State University is a historically black institution with a strong emphasis on research. Tuition fees for in-state students for the 2023-2024 academic year are approximately $8,445, while out-of-state students may pay around $10,365. Jackson State University is known for its commitment to diversity and inclusion, providing a vibrant and inclusive environment for students. The university offers programs in fields such as education, engineering, business, and health sciences.

5. Mississippi University for Women

Established in 1884, Mississippi University for Women is often hailed as the first public college for women in the United States. Tuition costs for the 2023-2024 academic year are approximately $6,526 for in-state students and $6,546 for out-of-state students.The university prides itself on offering quality education while ensuring that graduates have less debt compared to peers from other regional Southern universities. Mississippi University for Women offers a range of programs, including those in nursing, business, education, and the sciences.

6. Delta State University

Founded in 1924, Delta State University is known for its commitment to providing an affordable and enriching educational experience. In-state students can expect to pay approximately $7,932 in tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year, while out-of-state students may pay around $8,256. Delta State University is located in Cleveland, Mississippi, considered one of the best Southern small towns. The city’s vibrant student community, lively music scene, and affordability make it an attractive destination. The university offers programs in liberal arts and professions, including business, health sciences, and education.

Additional Costs and Expenses Associated with Mississippi Universities

While the universities mentioned above offer affordable tuition fees, it’s essential for students to consider additional costs and expenses when budgeting for their education in Mississippi. These costs can impact the overall affordability of attending these universities. Here are some key expenses to keep in mind:

1. Housing and Accommodation

  • On-Campus Housing: Many universities offer on-campus housing options, which can be a cost-effective choice. Typical costs for on-campus housing can range from $4,000 to $6,000 per academic year.
  • Off-Campus Housing: Renting an apartment off-campus may provide more flexibility but can be more expensive, depending on the location. Costs can vary from $500 to $1,000 per month.

2. Textbooks and Supplies

Textbooks and course materials can be a significant expense. Students should budget around $1,000 per year for books and supplies. Consider used or digital textbooks to save money.

3. Transportation

If you plan to have a car, budget for fuel, insurance, and maintenance. Public transportation options may also require some expenses, depending on the area.

4. Meals and Dining

While some universities include meal plans in their on-campus housing, others do not. Budget for groceries or meal plan costs, which can range from $2,000 to $3,500 per academic year.

5. Health Insurance

Health insurance is essential for international students. Universities often offer health insurance plans, or you may need to purchase your own. Budget around $1,000 per year.

6. Personal Expenses

This category includes personal items, entertainment, and other miscellaneous costs. Budget around $1,000 to $2,000 per year for personal expenses.

7. Application and Visa Fees

International students may need to pay application fees when applying to universities. Additionally, visa application fees should be considered, which can vary depending on your home country.

8. Travel Costs

If you plan to travel to and from your home country during breaks, consider the costs of flights and transportation.

9. Student Fees

Some universities charge student fees that cover various services and facilities. These fees can range from $500 to $1,000 per year.

10. Recreational and Extracurricular Activities

Participating in extracurricular activities, clubs, or sports may come with additional fees. These expenses are optional but can enhance your university experience.

11. Summer Courses

If you plan to take summer courses to expedite your degree, budget for additional tuition and fees during the summer semester.

12. Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund is crucial for unexpected expenses or emergencies. Set aside a small amount for this purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of tuition at these Mississippi universities?

The average tuition cost at these universities for in-state students for the 2023-2024 academic year ranges from approximately $6,526 to $8,872. Out-of-state students can expect to pay between $6,546 and $24,420, depending on the institution.

Are there financial aid and scholarship opportunities available for students attending these universities?

Yes, each of these universities provides various financial aid and scholarship opportunities for eligible students. These opportunities can significantly reduce the overall cost of education.

Can international students apply to these Mississippi universities?

Certainly, international students are welcome to apply to these institutions. It’s essential for international students to review the specific application requirements, including English language proficiency exams, such as the TOEFL or IELTS.

What programs are these universities known for?

Mississippi universities offer diverse programs in fields such as business, engineering, education, health sciences, and liberal arts. The University of Mississippi, for instance, is renowned for its business and law programs, while Mississippi State University is recognized for its agricultural and engineering offerings.

How can students minimize their costs while studying in Mississippi?

To minimize costs, students can consider living off-campus, sharing accommodations, and taking advantage of scholarships and financial aid. It’s also wise to budget for essentials like textbooks and living expenses.

Are these universities accredited and recognized nationally?

All these universities are accredited and recognized nationally. They maintain high academic standards, ensuring that degrees obtained are respected and valued in the job market.


Mississippi, often underrated in the realm of higher education, offers some of the cheapest universities in the United States. With a commitment to quality education at an affordable cost, these institutions are an excellent choice for students seeking a balance between academic excellence and financial sustainability. As you explore your options for higher education, keep in mind that the pursuit of knowledge doesn’t have to be synonymous with crippling debt. In Mississippi, students can obtain a valuable education without emptying their wallets, making their academic journey all the more rewarding.

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