USM ranks #1 best military-friendly online college


Kenyatta S. Ross

Eagle Battalion stand and salutes during the national anthem. Photo: Kenyatta S. Ross, Photo Editor

The University of Southern Mississippi has ranked number one among the best military- friendly online colleges in the nation for 2017 by

The site ranked schools based on cost of tuition, financial aid, class size and strived to find colleges “with the most notable balance of academic rigor, military student services, program variety and affordability.” USM placed first with a score of 99.76 out of 100. The website also reported USM’s percentage of students receiving financial aid as 74 percent, student to teacher ratio as 13-18:1 and graduation rate as 50 percent.

Along with this ranking, USM was also named a 2015 Top University by Military Advanced Education and a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media, according to USM’s online military website.

“Southern Miss is proud to have been recently designated as a ‘Military Friendly School’ and a ‘Top Military Friendly University,’ and is committed to providing veterans, service members and their families every opportunity to succeed,” Director of the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families Maj. Gen. (ret.) Jeff Hammond said in the Center’s brochure.

The Center offers over 45 online undergraduate and graduate degrees and provides numerous services for veterans, active-duty service members and members of their families, such as scholarships, internships and work-study opportunities.

The campus has Air Force and Army ROTC programs, along with a Military/Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) pathway degree designed for both veterans and active-duty service members. USM also participates in the Leadership Scholar Program, which provides admission assistance to Marines to get into four-year universities across the country.

Both undergraduate and graduate online tuition at USM averages at $7,659, proving to be more affordable compared to other four-year universities averaging between $8,445 and $15,463 in tuition costs. Options for semester course loads range from 12 to 18 hours for undergraduates and 9 to 13 hours for graduates. Additional course fees range between $20 and $150 per credit hour.

To view the ranking results, visit

For more information about the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families, call 601-264-4629, or visit their Twitter and Facebook pages, USM Vets Center, or their website, veterans. To find out more about the online programs, visit