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Old 10-09-2013, 04:35 PM
82 posts, read 141,011 times
Reputation: 55


Originally Posted by EarlVanDorn View Post
Ole Miss' mission isn't to be MIT or Stanford. It is a state-supported university that is supposed to provide maximum educational opportunities for Mississippians. For legal reasons Ole Miss can't raise its admission standards, as it would reduce the percentage of black students. So there it is.

Ole Miss routinely ranks as one of the prettiest campuses in America. The small size of the town is perfect for some, hated by others. It's great to have choices.

About 10 or 15 years ago Ole Miss revamped its honors program and opened the McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College. This has gotten a lot of funding from Jim Barksdale, founder of Netscape and an Ole Miss grad. Students in the honors college will take one-third to one-half of their classes in "honors" classes, which are limited to students in the honors college. They have their own dorm and an old sorority house serves as their social and academic center. There are roughly 1,000 students in the honors college. Last year the average ACT score of entering freshmen in the honors college was greater than 31. This is higher than all but perhaps a dozen or so of this country's most elite colleges.

Now, if you aren't smart enough to get in the honors college then you really aren't going to miss much by going to Ole Miss. You aren't smart enough to need an elite education. If you are smart enough to get into the honors college, then you will receive an education nearly on a par with the best schools in the nation. So Ole Miss really offers one as much as one can take. Of course, the various ratings don't show this.

In recent years Ole Miss has become a very popular school for out of state students. More than half of entering freshmen are now from out of state. A lot of these students are coming from Texas, where the 10 percent rule is denying many extremely smart kids from good, suburban schools the chance to attend the University of Texas. Supposedly there is an unwritten rule in Texas that children who can't get into UT have the option of attending SMU or Ole Miss. If they choose Ole Miss their parents buy them a BMW or Tahoe as a reward for choosing a much cheaper school.

As for the Ole Miss law school, it has gone from being very mediocre 30 years ago to pretty good. Yes, there are better, but if one wants to practice in Mississippi it is the place to go. There is a new law school building designed to handle 175 new students each year. The demand for law school slots is down and this year the law school accepted 112 new students. So they seem willing to let the numbers drop in order to keep up the standards. A family friend's daughter went to Yale undergrad and to Ole Miss for law school. After graduation she got a federal appeals clerkship. She certainly could have gained admission to a fancier law school, but it looks like she is doing just fine.

The Ole Miss accounting school is considered to be one of the 10 best in the entire nation. So it is not as good as most elite schools have; it is better.

The estimated total cost to attend Ole Miss one year for residents is around $22,500; for non-residents, $33,500. Students admitted to the honors college usually get substantial merit scholarships, and often attend for free with a substantial stipend. I'm sure students can spend more if they try. The cost to attend Vanderbilt is $61,000, but they didn't include transportation in that number, so bump it up to $65,000. And Vandy gives few merit scholarships, and those it does give are small in relation to total expenses.

So the question is, are you willing to take a free or nearly free education from Ole Miss in the honors college, or do you pay a quarter-million to attend a school like Vanderbilt? Everyone will have a different answer to that.

One more thing. Ole Miss is a socially active school with a relatively affluent and socially sophisticated student body when compared to most state schools. Most Ole Miss students will have a certain degree of social polish when they graduate. Of course, someone who seems socially polished in Jackson, Memphis, or Nashville might still come off as a bumpkin in Boston. That said, I know an entering freshman from Boston who chose Ole Miss over a lot of more elite schools. All it took was one day of attending a football game and socializing in the Grove.

Well said. I went to Ole Miss for my undergrad and I feel I got a great education. There's a reason you have Ivy League schools. Some of you are trying to compare Harvard and Yale and these top notch schools to Ole Miss. Of course Ole Miss grads won't get a job over someone that went to Columbia. That's not the point. Much like a Vanderbilt graduate won't get a job over a Harvard graduate. If you graduate from Harvard, you are automatically put at the top of anyone's hiring list.

As far as it being a regional school, I don't think so. I live and work in Arizona. I was offered a job in Michigan and Tampa, Fl. I'm in grad school at Arizona State University- I was excepted to the University of California, Northern Arizona University, and National University in San Diego. So, whereas it might seem like a degree from Ole Miss doesn't hold much weight in California, it's because they don't see it very often. I'm the only person at my job that is from Mississippi and went to Ole Miss.
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