Best Colleges in Alabama

Alabama College Guide – What You Need to Know

The State of Alabama is one of the least populous states of the Union. It is part of the Deep South with strong rural and agricultural traditions. The educational choices for online and on-campus programs are broad and varied. The state has traditional schools with reputations for achievement and vast alumni communities. Alabama also has some of the leading land-grant and historically Black research institutions. Tuition costs are below the national average at many of the leading Alabama schools, and the costs of living in Alabama are typically at or less than regional averages. The below-listed institutions reflect the depth and diversity of higher education in the state of Alabama.

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What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Alabama?

The State of Alabama issued 29,516 degrees in the school year 2013-2104. Trends are powerful influences in degree selection and economic growth can create greater demands in one or more fields of study. The nation continues to recognize greater needs in the health professions as the population ages, and nursing and similar fields, experience increasing demands. The agriculture and agribusiness fields represent the second most common majors in Alabama; then come communications and journalism.

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree in Alabama?


There is a strong correlation between income and education in the US economy. In Alabama, as in the US as a whole, persons with no high school diploma have the lowest median annual earnings and those with doctoral level degrees have the highest median level of salaries or earnings. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), persons with no high school diploma earn about 38 cents for every dollar earned by a bachelor’s degree holder. The bachelor’s degree median earnings more than double the median salary of a person without a high school diploma.

The below-listed items from a LinkedIn member survey describe the relative salaries on a national scale for education and salary-level.

Education Level & National Average Median Compensation


NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $43,024* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best Associate Degrees in Alabama


The best associate degree programs in Alabama must stand from the available 23 technical and community colleges in the state, not to mention larger schools that offer associate degrees. One way to do this is through accreditation, which measures the quality of the institution and its faculty as well as evaluating the quality of the degree programs.

Community colleges offer one of the more affordable avenues toward a postsecondary education. Tuition generally costs less and you can graduate with an associate degree.

Lurleen B Wallace Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,767
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$6,913
Grads Salary
$66,000
George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,985
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$6,107
Grads Salary
$55,000
Northeast Alabama Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,981
Graduation Rate
47%
Net Price
$3,351
Grads Salary
$49,000
Snead State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,237
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$6,116
Grads Salary
$49,000
George C Wallace Community College-Dothan
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,478
Graduation Rate
29%
Net Price
$2,699
Grads Salary
$59,000
Northwest-Shoals Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,512
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$6,460
Grads Salary
$65,000
Gadsden State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,599
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$4,776
Grads Salary
$55,000
Fortis College-Montgomery
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
342
Graduation Rate
53%
Net Price
$21,053
Grads Salary
$54,000
Central Alabama Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,799
Graduation Rate
19%
Net Price
$3,776
Grads Salary
$57,000
Chattahoochee Valley Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,592
Graduation Rate
22%
Net Price
$3,125
Grads Salary
$54,000
Full Ranking Report

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Alabama


Colleges and universities offering bachelor’s degrees are abundant in Alabama. The colleges and universities reflect the values of the state’s residents—friendly and loaded with Southern charm. There are Christian schools available and some are classified as Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBUC). You may be able to determine the quality of the education provided by reviewing retention and graduation rates.

Auburn University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
30,460
Graduation Rate
79%
Net Price
$24,028
Grads Salary
$70,800
University of Alabama in Huntsville
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
9,988
Graduation Rate
57%
Net Price
$16,990
Grads Salary
$75,300
Birmingham-Southern College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,209
Graduation Rate
71%
Net Price
$21,474
Grads Salary
$70,000
University of Alabama at Birmingham
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
22,563
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$16,978
Grads Salary
$70,600
The University of Alabama
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
38,100
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$20,518
Grads Salary
$64,000
University of South Alabama
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
14,397
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$14,822
Grads Salary
$70,800
Troy University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
16,497
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$13,257
Grads Salary
$65,700
Jacksonville State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
9,238
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$13,616
Grads Salary
$64,300
Columbia Southern University
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
18,533
Graduation Rate
30%
Net Price
$11,241
Grads Salary
$70,900
University of North Alabama
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,702
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$13,279
Grads Salary
$61,000
Full Ranking Report

Best Master's Degrees in Alabama


The best way to choose a program is to look at the quality and accreditation of the degree programs you’re interested in. You can ask faculty about the challenge the program presents to students. These will give you a good indication of whether or not the graduate school you’re considering is the best one for you. If you are looking for an MBA, you may want to check out our best MBA program rankings in Alabama.

Auburn University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
30,460
Graduation Rate
79%
Net Price
$24,028
Grads Salary
$70,800
University of Alabama in Huntsville
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
9,988
Graduation Rate
57%
Net Price
$16,990
Grads Salary
$75,300
University of Alabama at Birmingham
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
22,563
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$16,978
Grads Salary
$70,600
The University of Alabama
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
38,100
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$20,518
Grads Salary
$64,000
University of South Alabama
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
14,397
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$14,822
Grads Salary
$70,800
Troy University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
16,497
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$13,257
Grads Salary
$65,700
Jacksonville State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
9,238
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$13,616
Grads Salary
$64,300
Columbia Southern University
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
18,533
Graduation Rate
30%
Net Price
$11,241
Grads Salary
$70,900
University of North Alabama
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,702
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$13,279
Grads Salary
$61,000
Samford University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,692
Graduation Rate
77%
Net Price
$31,322
Grads Salary
$64,400
Full Ranking Report

Best Online Degree Colleges in Alabama (Distance Learning Only)


Attending an in-person degree program may not be realistic for you. You may work full-time, have family that needs your income or your time, or you may have a disability. Here you can find the best online colleges in the state that allow you to do all your learning from your own home. Alabama had 302,959 postsecondary students in 2017; 37,749 undergraduate and 20,513 graduate students were enrolled in online-only degree programs.

Auburn University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
30,460
Graduation Rate
79%
Net Price
$24,028
Grads Salary
$70,800
University of Alabama in Huntsville
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
9,988
Graduation Rate
57%
Net Price
$16,990
Grads Salary
$75,300
University of Alabama at Birmingham
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
22,563
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$16,978
Grads Salary
$70,600
The University of Alabama
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
38,100
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$20,518
Grads Salary
$64,000
University of South Alabama
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
14,397
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$14,822
Grads Salary
$70,800
Troy University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
16,497
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$13,257
Grads Salary
$65,700
Jacksonville State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
9,238
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$13,616
Grads Salary
$64,300
Columbia Southern University
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Student Population
18,533
Graduation Rate
30%
Net Price
$11,241
Grads Salary
$70,900
University of North Alabama
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
7,702
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$13,279
Grads Salary
$61,000
Samford University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
5,692
Graduation Rate
77%
Net Price
$31,322
Grads Salary
$64,400
Full Ranking Report

Cost of Alabama College Education & Salaries


The State of Alabama offers high-quality education at prices that are lower than the national average. The Alabama averages for tuition and fees for public and private four-year colleges and universities are lower than their national counterparts. Alabama schools offer high value for the education dollar. Students can pursue a wide range of majors at regionally accredited schools. African American students can compete for Thurgood Marshall scholarship assistance at some Historically Black institutions like Tuskegee and Alabama State University.

The total or Costs of Attendance figures may reveal a more precise measure of the expenses of college than tuition alone. The average costs of attendance at Alabama universities and colleges is $18,932 for Alabama residents and $24,392 for out of state students. The COA figure includes estimates for books, supplies, on-campus room and board, and incidental living expenses.

The estimated average costs for living on-campus in Alabama is $11,425 and about $12,000 for students that live off-campus. In the state of Alabama, 37 schools offer on-campus living facilities such as dormitories or student apartments.

College Cost Analysis - Alabama vs National


Average Alabama Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

Alabama In-State Tuition National In-State Tuition Alabama Out-of-State Tuition National Out-of-State Tuition
$6,226 $9,970 $13,875 $25,620

Alabama private schools’ average tuition and fees for four-year institutions are $16,758 which compares favorably to the national average for private schools at $34,750.

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

In the year 2014-15, about 85% of all full-time college students received financial assistance. About 57% of the undergraduate students that got financial aid received grants, and about 35% of the aid funds were loans. Students in Alabama are high on the percent of students receiving financial aid, and the amount the receive is close in line with the national average. This means that you have a good chance of receiving financial aid in Alabama, but you should still keep your eyes open for likely scholarship opportunities.

Students Financial Aid- Federal, State, Institutional Grants

Type Alabama Nationally
Received Federal Grants 63% 37.7%
Average $ Amount per Recipient $10,306 $10,927

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a post-secondary institution.

* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only. @ https://nces.ed.gov/search/

https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cuc.asp

Helping You Maximize Your Education Earnings

A college education is an investment in knowledge and self-improvement. For many students, college is also an investment in a higher paying economic future. When selecting schools, students can look at the costs of education and the average salary of graduates. The statistics do not predict your outcome, but they can help guide a decision and point to areas for more questions and answers.

Best Scholarships for Alabama


The State of Alabama offers a grant program that students can use in combination with federal Stafford or Pell Grants. Grants have the welcome feature of not requiring repayment. These funds are awarded on the basis of demonstrated need and can reduce the burden of tuition and expenses for Alabama scholars. There are also university or college connected grants such as the below-described merit scholarships at the University of Alabama.

UAMS

The University of Alabama Out-of-State Merit Scholarships

https://scholarships.ua.edu/
Amounts: $24,000 over 4 years (Capstone), $32,000 over 4 years (Collegiate), $60,000 over 4 years (Foundation in Excellence), $104,000 over 4 years (Presidential)
Deadline: January 15
Eligible applicants must be third-year high school students. To receive awards students must demonstrate high academic achievement, high-grade averages (3.5 GPA), and high test scores on the ACT and SAT tests (27 ACT or 1260-1290 SAT or higher). Students can fill out a unified application to apply and compete for merit-based out-of-state scholarships including the following:
The Presidential Elite Award pays complete tuition coverage for up to four years for degree-seeking undergraduate, graduate, or law studies. In addition, the award offers one-year of on-campus housing, a $1,000 per year stipend, a $2,000 summer allowance for research or international study, and a $2,000 book scholarship at $500 per year.

ASGP

Alabama Student Grant program

https://ache.edu/StudentAsst.aspx
Amount: Up to $1,200/year
Deadline: January 15, February 25, April 15
The Alabama Student Grant program provides funds up to $1,200 per academic year. Eligible applicants must be residents of the state if Alabama, a citizen or in the process of obtaining citizenship as a legal resident and be enrolled full or part-time in an eligible and approved institution. Students can pursue any field except a field of theology.

CCS_logo

CCS

The College Counts Scholarship

http://treasury.alabama.gov/collegecounts-scholarship/
Amount: $4,000
Deadline: February 28
The College Counts Scholarship helps Alabama residents that plan to enroll and attend an Alabama college or university. The scholarship awards up to $4,000 for four-year college attendance. The program welcomes applications from high school seniors or first-year college students that plan to enroll in the 2019 school year. Applicants must be US citizens or legal residents, and a resident of Alabama. The award is a one-time non-renewable scholarship. Eligible students must have an ACT score of 26 or below and a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.75. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

ACIAS_logo

ACIAS

Alabama Concrete Industries Association Scholarships

https://alconcrete.org/scholarships
Amount: $8,000 (2 Awards)
Deadline: November 30
The scholarship promotes study in architecture, engineering, or the building sciences. The applicant must have prior experience in the construction industry. The following are eligibility requirements: recipients must attend an accredited college or university located in the state of Alabama, applicants must attend on a full-time basis, applicants must have college senior status and at least ninety(90) semester credit hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a four-point scale.

CCCMS

Charles Clarke Cordle Memorial Scholarship- ARRL Foundation Scholarship

http://www.arrl.org/scholarship-descriptions
Amount: $1,000
Deadline: January 31
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) offers 80 college scholarships for Georgia and Alabama residents. Eligible applicants will be in good academic standing with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, have any type of active Amateur Radio operator license, attend an accredited college in Georgia or Alabama, and major in electronics, communications, or a related field of study. The awards go to FCC-licensed HAM radio operators that pursue a college education in the US. Alabama residents that are active in the Southeastern Division of the ARRL can apply for financial aid. The application requires a radio-related resume that highlights ARRL involvement and radio participation, a financial budget, and three letters of reference.