The University of Mississippi

Scholarships & Access

Securing private support to strengthen Ole Miss

Ole Miss turns to its alumni and friends for support to provide a level of excellence that would not be possible with only state funding. In fact, funds we receive from the state of Mississippi make up less than 13% of the University’s operating revenues. With the decrease in state funding for higher education — an occurrence across the nation — the University continually seeks private support to make a positive impact on its students’ lives.

Graduating with significant debt in student loans can be discouraging and overwhelming. Scholarships assist the broadest range of deserving students and give them the essential keys to developing a career and earning a good living.

The cost of a Mississippi student attending Ole Miss in the 2021-2022 academic year is approximately $26,946 annually ($107,784 total for four years) based on tuition, books, housing, food, personal expenses and travel. A non-resident student will pay approximately $43,788 annually ($175,152 total for four years). Endowing a scholarship is the most effective way to offset the often insurmountable expense of obtaining a college degree.

How endowed scholarships work

A minimum gift of $50,000 creates an endowed scholarship. Endowments are held permanently and managed by the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the annual income or interest directed to the scholarship. Usually an endowment matures over a two-year period before we begin awarding the scholarship. Your commitment to a scholarship endowment could be paid outright or pledged over five years.

Below are examples of two endowment levels and the positive impact each one would have on Ole Miss undergraduate students.

Example 1: Annual income from a $50,000 scholarship endowment would be approximately $2,175 awarded to one student each year. As the endowment grows, the award will also.

Example 2: Annual income from a $250,000 scholarship endowment would be approximately $10,625, which could support one or more students.

By becoming a scholarship donor, you would determine the name of the fund and you would have the option of determining the award’s criteria, such as:

  • Merit-based, need-based or both
  • Geographical area served (example: Mississippi and Texas students)

If you would like to see the scholarship awarded immediately, you can provide an additional cash gift in the first few years until the endowment matures and generates enough interest to cover the award.

Endowment gifts generate annual earnings and play a critical role in the long-term financial stability of the University of Mississippi. The stability of an endowment provides resources to maintain the margin of excellence for generations to come.

Providing non-endowed scholarships

Scholarships can be created with funds to be used immediately and do not require a $50,000 minimum. A gift of any amount can have a powerful impact on our students. If you chose to support an existing scholarship program examples are:

Ole Miss First Scholarship

A named Ole Miss First Scholarship can be established with a gift of $25,000. It is awarded to one student for four years and covers $4,500 for tuition each year and provides special programming, leadership development and mentoring.

Ole Miss First Scholarships that are created, named and endowed at the $125,000 level will be awarded in perpetuity.

Awards are based on students’ high school record of academic excellence, leadership and commitment to service. Additionally, some scholarships are based on financial need, academic major or geographic location. For more information about Ole Miss First, please visit

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Ole Miss Opportunity Program

Gifts of any amount can help Ole Miss provide access to quality education for Mississippi students from the most challenged economic circumstances. Through our Ole Miss Opportunity program, the University guarantees that eligible Mississippi residents receive financial aid support to cover the average cost of tuition, residence hall housing and a meal allowance. This program fills the gap in funding after all federal, state, institutional, and private scholarships and grants awarded to the student have been exhausted.

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