A Mississippi State University education has the highest value of any college or university in the state, according to a recent analysis from SmartAsset, a financial technology company.

In SmartAsset’s third annual Best Value Colleges study, Mississippi State has an education value index of 41.36, three points higher than the University of Mississippi, which comes in a close second.

Of course, there is no definitive ranking of colleges and universities. In the 2017 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges list, Ole Miss is the top public university in the state and No. 64 nationally. State follows at No. 93 nationally and University of Southern Mississippi at No. 125 nationally.

In the 2017 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings (public and private), Ole Miss is No. 325, State No. 487 and USM No. 801.

According to SmartAsset’s analysis, Mississippi State graduates earn higher average starting salaries of $45,200, thousands more than their peers from other state colleges and universities.

To determine which school provided the most value to students, SmartAsset examined cost of tuition, student living costs, student retention rate, average scholarships awarded and average starting salary. The different categories were weighted to determine each institution’s college education value index.

After Ole Miss ranks second, Mississippi University for Women is third, followed by Jackson State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi College and Delta State University.

To see where your university or college ranks according to SmartAsset, click here.

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Ashley F. G. Norwood, a native of Jackson, earned a bachelor's degree in English from Jackson State University and a master’s degree from the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi. Norwood, who specializes in multimedia journalism, has been recognized nationally for her documentary film the fly in the buttermilk, which covers the history, perceptions and principles of black Greek-lettered organizations at the University of Mississippi.