Mississippi College is indeed a private Christian university. Those last three words alone can be a selling point for many who are searching for a college. Many have also described it as "just a small school," but with much evidence of prosperous alumni, powerful relationships among students, and an overall mission to serve God, it is very apparent that a college experience here accomplishes more than possibly expected at first glance.
MC has aspects of both "types" of institutions: the large state funded universities and smaller private colleges. With approximately 5100 students, it falls in the middle tier of institutions as far as enrollment. Perhaps it's ability to perform as both is what has made it the top ranked 4-year institution in Mississippi.
One aspect of the MC culture that will never change is the community. Probably the majority of current students would probably say the best thing about the college is the people that inhabit it. The students here genuinely care about each other. Unlike my high school experience, MC students ensure that everyone is becoming who they want to be; they want to know that you are happy with your journey through independence, and want to guide you if you're not there yet.
At the same time, people are so invested into their individual fields of study, you have the chance of meeting someone new every day. It's a weird, paradoxical feeling to describe; it's like everyone knows everyone, but you always find someone new with whom you can share your life.
Perhaps what has kept me most intrigued in my studies are the professors. You may hear "low student-teacher ratio" on a campus tour, but you don't truly appreciate nature of it until you have first-hand experience. At MC, you are getting higher education with a close connection to the source of that education. One professor consistently asks me to meet with him and catch up on life, something that you and I both know you wouldn't get at a larger school.
The skepticism of the smaller education is usually whether you will be adequately prepared for the workforce, knowing that many state funded universities have been trusted for years. MC has been ranked at the top of Mississippi secondary education this past year (according to bestcolleges.com), beating two much larger competitors. Thus, the quality of the information taught has been proven effective. As far as employment, the Career Services program carries on the mission of personal interaction, using a one-on-one approach of helping you connect to future employers. With the over 80 different majors, a recently accredited business school, an acceptance rate of medical school students twice the national average, and a 99% employment rate of nursing school graduates, MC is very obviously more prestigious than one may first think.
One obvious separation from the typical university is that MC is faith-based. The Christian atmosphere will always be central to the leadership here, and the eternal mission is manifested through all of the faculty members and is what drives a lot of the culture of its students.
Some of you might think, "MC is filled with only Christian people, how could I impact others if everyone is already committed to God?" MC is "not like the real world" to others. Of the 5100 students, 29 countries and 39 different states are represented. Thus, the diverse backgrounds create an atmosphere that is not 100% Christian, so the mission minded students will have plenty of opportunity.
MC definitely has some small college aspects. The community is welcoming, and you will know your professors personally. One interesting situation to me: you may know the athletes personally and can develop just as personal of a relationship with them as anyone else you may encounter.
There are also elements of a larger school within the MC culture as well. The clubs and tribes, though not Greek affiliates, provide typical college fun like formals off campus, date parties, and swaps. There is tailgating on Saturdays in the fall, and intramural sports often draw huge crowds. As alluded to earlier, there is a tremendous range of academic opportunity.
Whatever your desire for a college, there are many things that MC offers that could match your personality.
A big school personality who's glad his professors are also his friends