USM ranked ‘most affordable online college’ in nation


On Oct. 19, Affordable Colleges Online (ACO) recognized Southern Miss as the best in the United States for its ability to bring academics to online students with a more manageable price tag.

Fully online students can access numerous student success initiatives from online appointments with the Writing and Speaking Centers to 24/7 learning management system support.

“Bringing academic excellence to all students, including online students, is at the heart of our mission at Southern Miss,” said Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Amy Miller. “We work consistently to enhance programs and services to online students at Southern Miss, and we appreciate the recognition from this organization for both our quality and exceptional affordability.”

ACO is comprised of researchers and higher education experts who analyze data from every accredited postsecondary institution in the United States to identify the colleges that score high on academic rigor and support and that have the lowest out-of-pocket costs. According to ACO, the ranking includes student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rates and count and breadth of online programs available.

Interim Director of the Office of Online Learning Thomas Hutchinson said earning the top ranking in the nation is recognition of efforts of the entire campus community.

“Administration, faculty and staff have been collaborating to offer high quality programs and courses that equip our students with the skills to be successful,” Hutchinson said. “We are pleased Affordable Colleges Online recognizes our efforts.”

The University of Southern Mississippi offers nine undergraduate degrees and 21 graduate programs fully available online. To learn more about the online programs at Southern Miss, visit