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Midwestern students who like their state’s flagship university for its school spirit, size and affordability but yearn to experience a different – and perhaps warmer – area of the country might want to look southward to the University of Mississippi. Ole Miss, as it’s known, is increasingly on the radar of Midwestern students for its mix of highly ranked programs and appealing student life. The college’s flagship campus, with just over 18,000 full-time undergraduate students, is located in the heart of Oxford, Miss., a charming, progressive city that consistently leads national “best college town” lists. Here are a few more reasons Ole Miss may appeal!

Five Reasons The University of Mississippi Appeals to Midwestern Students

  1. The Patterson School of Accountancy is consistently top-ranked (for example, as #8 in the nation by Big4AccountingFirms.org) for outstanding faculty and excellent opportunities for experiential learning through internships. Fundraising is well underway for the school’s new building, a four-story facility that will feature tiered auditoriums and classrooms, study areas, conference rooms, administrative and faculty office suites, and outdoor balconies and terraces – and also enhance opportunities for interaction with professors, fellow students and potential employers.
  2. Game Days in The Grove are a uniquely festive experience, one that Ole Miss proudly calls “The Holy Grail of College Football Tailgating.” The Friday night before game day is the “Grove Run,” when students rush to claim their spots and pitch their tents on the 10-acre green space, dotted with oak and maple trees, in the center of campus. The next day, students, loyal alumni and other Rebels fans fill the Grove and line the Walk of Champions path that football players take to the stadium. Before kickoff, the whimsical Hotty Toddy cheer rings out from the stadium (copious research is inconclusive on the origin and/or meaning of “Hotty Toddy,” but the popular saying endures).
  3. Special Academic Programs are competitive and provide unique opportunities for the most motivated and accomplished Ole Miss students. Among them: A renowned honors college;  the Lott Leadership Institute for public policy and public service; an Excellence in Teaching Program (free tuition for an education degree with a commitment to teach for at least five years in Mississippi); and the Center for Manufacturing Excellence (the only program of its kind in the nation), which offers an interdisciplinary education combining accountancy, business, and engineering.
  4. Amazing affordability for out-of state-students. A combination of a relatively reasonable sticker price, generous merit awards for strong students with good standardized test scores and a number of out-of-state scholarship opportunities can make an Ole Miss education a terrific value, comparable to in-state flagship tuition. 
  5. A charismatic college town. Oxford is affectionately called “The Velvet Ditch” because it’s easy to fall into, and hard to leave. A short walk from campus is historic Oxford Square, the city’s economic and cultural hub with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars where students can browse, work and kick back. Artists, musicians and writers thrive in Oxford, and literary types will appreciate paying homage to perhaps Oxford’s most famous resident: William Faulkner, the Nobel Prize winning writer and chronicler of Southern life. His well-preserved home is now a small museum operated by the university. Greater Oxford offers a mix of local and chain businesses as well as a variety of housing options for students, who tend to move off campus after freshman year.
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