The University of Mississippi

Student Success

Students encounter numerous obstacles as they make their way through the university and retention rates drop after the first year. Some obstacles are academic and others are personal, so we are establishing a Student Success Center as the hub to direct academic advising, career pathways, hands-on-experiences, undergraduate research, leadership programming and more. Students who do not complete college cannot compete for many jobs and rarely are as comfortable financially as those who do.

Based on our pilot program results, the student success programs will be transformational as graduation rates for students will improve significantly beyond the current 66.7% rate. Replacing students who leave is costly to the university.  We estimate that the average amount in tuition lost per cohort/class over three years is $32.9M.  If we had a 1% increase in student retention for one class or cohort of students, revenue will increase by an average of $1.6M over three years.  If we did that for all four classes enrolled, the 1% increase in retention would be $6.4M per year. Just imagine the impact of only a 5% increase.


Student Success Center Naming Opportunity
$5,000,000

This gift would endow the director’s position and the Center’s infrastructure to oversee and coordinate the programs which aid students along their journeys to commencement and fulfilling careers. A critical part of making a difference is reaching out when the first red flags appear. Software can capture data on students, which alerts and informs advisors and success coaches about student progress, poor grades or absences. Advisors’ and coaches’ early intervention prevent students from getting too far behind or continuing in a field for which they will not be successful without making changes.

Examples of other gift opportunities:

Success Coach Network $2,000,000
Endowed Named Directorship $1,000,000
Endowed Named Success Coach $600,000
Software initial purchase $500,000
Success Coaches (10) for one year $325,000
Success Coach for one year $32,500

Undergraduate Student Research Program Naming Opportunity
$2,000,000

When students engage with faculty members for more than a semester, they complete their degrees and build important qualifications for graduate or professional school. Working on a research project allows students to study interest areas in-depth and consider career options. The projects can be based anywhere from science labs, under-resourced K-12 schools or international locations. When the project is completed, submitting it to the undergraduate research journal — a double-blind, peer-reviewed publication for all disciplines — exposes students first hand to the review process. Publishing showcases their undergraduate academic achievements and honors their endeavors. Research stipends allow students to earn money and enhance their career options instead of working in unrelated jobs.

Examples of other gift opportunities

Undergraduate Research Scholars Endowment
($5,000 stipends for 8 students)
$1,000,000
Named Student Stipend Endowment
(one student per year) 
$125,000
Named Student Research Travel Endowment  $50,000

High-Impact Experience Center Naming Opportunity
$2,000,000

As a critical part of the Student Success Center, endowing the program and director’s position ensures that these student opportunities are permanent. Study abroad, internships and co-ops bolster student satisfaction, career exploration, professional networks and work readiness. Stipends allow students of all economic backgrounds to participate in these exceptional opportunities, making them more competitive and helping them build a network of contacts. By naming the center, you can provide the director’s position, infrastructure and high-impact opportunities for numerous students each year.

Examples of other gift opportunities

Named Endowed High Impact Student Fund
($5,000 stipends for 8 students)
$1,000,000
Named Student Stipend Endowment
(one student per year) 
$125,000
Group engagement opportunity
(one experience for 8 students and advisor)
$50,000

Success Coach Network Naming Opportunity
$2,000,000

Coaches help first-year students get through multiple barriers, pointing them in the right direction for assistance beyond their scope and sometimes making the difference in students completing their degrees. With the help of private support, we will hire and train coaches to work with students, helping to them navigate beyond the first year, find a major and gain experiences that make them competitive in job searches.

Examples of other gift opportunities

Endowed Directorship $1,000,000
Success Coach endowed position $600,000
Success Coaches (10) for one year $325,000
Success Coach for one year $32,500

Peer Network Naming Opportunity
$2,000,000

Students relate to students. This fact is critical to any program designed to enhance overall student success and why UM’s Student Success Center will formalize a peer mentoring program. Upper-class students can train to tutor, mentor and advise students just beginning or struggling with classes or non-academic barriers. And the peer tutors earn money and learn while helping. They know to look for signs of when the struggles are more than they can handle and know where to refer them to professionals.    By endowing the Peer Network, the director’s salary, training sessions and three peer advisor positions would be funded each year.

Examples of other gift opportunities:

Named Endowed directorship $1,000,000
Named Endowed peer advisor position $125,000
Named Peer advisors fund (4 for one year) $25,000
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