Trade Schools and Colleges in Mississippi
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Trade schools and colleges in Mississippi help thousands of students expand their opportunities. And this state is on an upward path of innovation and fresh possibilities. Students and graduates can enjoy the benefits of a region cultivating success across an impressive range of different industries.
Education & Training
A diverse array of Mississippi colleges, universities, and trade schools helps prepare residents for current and future opportunities. Plus, students can benefit from a number of the state's distinctive features that sometimes get overlooked.
Key Benefits of the Region for College Students
- Potential for better mental performance: U.S. News & World Report ranked Mississippi number three in the nation for air and water quality. Clean air and water can be good news for your brain health. After all, a substantial body of research has shown a possible link between air pollution and lower cognitive ability.
- Free money for qualifying state residents: The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid has information on grants and scholarships for state-approved two- or four-year colleges, including assistance for low-income students and high academic achievers.
- More opportunity for personalized instruction: Among private for-profit colleges in Mississippi, students' average ratio to instructors is much lower than the national average for those types of institutions. That ratio is also lower than state and national averages for public institutions. So, students at some private vocational schools may have a better chance of understanding what they're taught.
The amount you pay for your education will depend on many variables, including the school you choose, the program you take, and how long you are enrolled. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), these were the average tuition and fees at four-year Mississippi colleges and universities during the 2017-18 school year:
- Public schools: $7,980 (in-state); $19,691 (out-of-state)
- Private schools: $17,625
If you attend a two-year school, your yearly tuition and fees may be less than those amounts.
The same NCES data also shows that students who resided on campus had the following average costs for room and board:
- Public schools: $9,739
- Private schools: $8,150
Financial Aid in Mississippi
The U.S. government provides access to grants, scholarships, and loan programs depending on each student's financial need, circumstances, areas of outstanding performance, plus many more factors that help assess what a student is eligible for. This process of narrowing down which options are available to you is taken care of in one step: filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be submitted online and will provide you with results that are vital to choosing not only your federal aid options but also for state aid, school aid, and other types of assistance from private sources.
Mississippi State Financial Aid
The state of Mississippi provides another application you can fill out online after you've received your FAFSA results to let you know which awards and loan programs you're eligible for through the state. The Mississippi Aid Application (MAAPP) can be submitted and accessed by students and specific school faculty to make it easier to complete the process accurately and quickly. Your results will let you know which of the following could be available to you:
Grant and Scholarship Programs
- Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students (HELP)
- Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)
- Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers & Firemen Scholarship (LAW)
- Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG)
- Nissan Scholarship (NISS)
Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs
- Critical Needs Dyslexia Therapy Forgivable Loan (CNDT)
- Nursing Education Forgivable Loan, BSN (NELB)
- Nursing Education Forgivable Loan, MSN (NELM)
- Nursing Education Forgivable Loan, Ph.D./DNP (NELP)
- Nursing Education Forgivable Loan, RN to BSN (NELR)
- Nursing Education Forgivable Loan, RN to MSN (NERM)
- Nursing Teacher Stipend Forgivable Loan, MSN (NTSPM)
- Nursing Teacher Stipend Forgivable Loan, Ph.D./DNP (NTSPP)
- Regional Contract Forgivable Loan for Optometry (SREB)
- Speech-Language Pathologist Forgivable Loan (SLPL)
Private Source and School Aid
Help to pay for school can come from non-government sources, including postsecondary institutions and private sources, which could be non-profit or for-profit organizations, individual donors, businesses, and more.
Once you've completed your FAFSA and MAAPP, a financial aid representative from the school you're attending or planning to attend can help you sort out which options you might qualify for.
Keep in mind that there are grants and scholarships at national and local levels that provide funding based on a wide variety of factors. Consider some of the following and how they may apply to you:
- Academic performance
- Athletic performance
- Outstanding abilities in other areas like art or music
- Difficulties or disadvantages in life
- Financial need
- Ethnicity and heritage
- Sexual orientation and gender expression
- Neurodiversity and learning disabilities
If there is something that makes you stand out, there's a chance it may help you pay for school. So it's worth the time to research what's available outside of government and school funding sources.
If you still have some questions, this article on financial aid provides a detailed breakdown of what it is, how it works, how to apply, how much you can get, and a lot more.
FAQs About Being a Student in Mississippi
Is it expensive to live in Mississippi?
Mississippi ranks first in the nation for having the lowest cost of living. Housing costs are especially low compared to the national medians. The median rent for a studio apartment in Mississippi is only $598 (about 56 percent lower than the U.S. median). For a one-bedroom place, the median rent is $613 (about 36 percent lower than the national median).
How do students get around in Mississippi?
For those who can afford it, driving a car is the most common way to get from one place to another. Mississippi also has more than 60 public transit providers, making it affordable and convenient to get around.
What are good ways for a college student in Mississippi to unwind?
Many students like to get out into the fresh air, including going for group hikes in some of Mississippi's forests (which are abundant). Many schools also support a variety of great extracurricular programs that can help you get enjoyable exercise and meet fun new people. Students also enjoy exploring the entertainment options in the state's largest cities, such as Jackson, Gulfport, and Biloxi.
State Authorization and Accreditation
The Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation (MCCA) oversees the authorization of colleges, universities, and other degree-granting institutions in the state. Authorization will be considered by the MCCA if the applicant school is accredited by:
- The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE)
- The Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
One of six regional accrediting bodies (provided the program is not offered by existing schools in MS):
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Higher Learning Commission
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Mississippi is also a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which sets a common standard for online postsecondary education providers within member states. With SARA, qualifying institutions in other member states may offer programs in Mississippi without having a physical campus in place. And qualifying MS schools can offer online programs in other member states. The MCCA oversees this process and reassesses schools' eligibility each year to make sure students are receiving training up to par with the standards of Mississippi schools.
In addition to what's listed above, accreditation can be provided based on region, school, program, industry, and other factors. Accreditation is a major indicator that the school or program you're interested in is legitimate and monitored to ensure quality. Learn more about accreditation here.
Moving Forward Is Easier With Trade School Training
Convenience and flexibility are just two of the benefits enjoyed by many students who attend trade schools and vocational colleges in Mississippi. Streamlined, career-oriented programs often provide the support that busy adults need for learning in-demand skills and beginning new professional lives.