School Types & Scholarships

Explore your options, and find the best fit for your family.

Traditional Public

Traditional public schools are tax-funded, tuition-free schools overseen by a local school district and an elected school board. Most students in Mississippi attend traditional public schools and are typically assigned to these schools based upon where they live.

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Special State

Mississippi has four special state schools that focus on certain disciplines or student needs. These public schools are tax-funded and tuition-free, though fees for room and board may be associated with residential programs. Students from anywhere in the state may apply to attend.

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Magnet schools are tax-funded, tuition-free public schools that have a particular theme or academic focus, such as performing arts, STEM, or early college. Typically, students within the district where the school is located may apply, audition, or opt to attend based on available seats or admissions criteria.

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Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tax-funded and tuition-free. In Mississippi, they are open to all students residing in the school district where the school is located or in nearby C, D, or F-rated school districts. Overseen by independent boards, charter schools have freedom from some traditional public school regulations and often have a special curriculum or focus.

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Private schools are independent schools that are run by private organizations or individuals. They may be affiliated with a church or have a special purpose or curricular emphasis. They often have admissions criteria and typically charge tuition.

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In Mississippi, students may learn at home and are not subject to state curriculum or testing requirements. Home-based instruction may include online programs, homeschool groups, or classes at a traditional school or college.

 See All Homeschool Co-ops 


Virtual schools enable students to pursue a part-time or full-time K-12 education program online. They can be public or private and are available to students in many different settings. In particular, students who are homebound, travel often, or need learning flexibility may benefit from virtual options.

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Scholarship Programs

Mississippi has three scholarship programs that allow state tax dollars to follow students with special needs to a private school or to a different public school.

See All Scholarship Programs