Best Online Colleges in Alabama
for 2022

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Online colleges in Alabama are proliferating all the time. Those that already offer courses online are increasingly adding full online degrees and programs to their college education offerings. Alabama's college students can now receive a high-quality education completely online, including online graduate degrees, online bachelor’s degrees, and online associate degrees. With a flexible online college degree program, Alabama's college students can more easily enter the state's hottest industries such as manufacturing, professional services, education, and more.

Given that the economic and employment pictures in Alabama are only improving as the nation recovers from the COVID pandemic, students with online degrees will be all the more competitive in the marketplace. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the state total non-farm employment rose 3.2% in the twelve months ending September 2021. Though the state may yet see difficulties moving forward, its robust infrastructure of online colleges and online degree programs will help to keep its economy strong and resilient.

Online education is on the rise nationwide, and Alabama is certainly no exception. While traditional classroom education still leads the pack, online education is narrowing the gap every semester. This is due to a number of factors, but the fact that nearly all students migrated to online classes for at least a portion of the COVID pandemic emergency is likely chief among them.

Currently, nearly 70,000 students are in online-only degree programs. Of those, 44,000 are in undergraduate or bachelor’s degree programs and 26,000 are enrolled in online master's degree programs. Those who are taking a portion of their course load online number nearly 63,000, with the vast majority of those coming from undergraduate online programs. However, online programs still has a ways to go in order to support the needs for online students. There are still over 170,000 Alabama students who are not currently enrolled in any online courses, including 153,000 undergraduate and 19,000 graduate students.


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Online Higher Education in Alabama


Though prices vary from school to school, online colleges in Alabama are typically competitive with their traditional mates. The online degree model is also still growing in higher education, so not every school or degree type might be available. Students should investigate this prior to enrolling so that they know what to expect. Even in full online degree programs, students may have added expenses such as proctoring for examinations. Students may also be required to use specific software and hardware packages for their work, which can increase costs for some programs.

Nevertheless, Alabama online students are urged to consider online programs. Online platforms offer students great opportunities to learn and attend undergraduate and graduate programs, without the restrictions of set class schedules in many cases. Alabaman's can continue working while working towards the college degree or online master's degree that will make a difference for a lifetime.

Some Popular Online Degree Programs for Online Students:


  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Public Administration

Our School Rankings Methodology


In order to rank Alabama's best online colleges, we utilize a methodology that leads to the best, most objective results. We strive for objectivity, for obvious reasons. We can't know what each individual student seeks in an online college degree. They may factor in variables such as where their parents went to college, their personal budget, and their individual study habits and dedication to online coursework.

Thus, we rely on the best information from the Department of Education. Their information includes each college's statistics such as their retention rate, graduation rate, net cost of education, in-state vs out-of-state costs, and much more. When we take that information and factor in the presence of online degree programs, post-graduation salary expectations, and accreditation standings, we arrive at school rankings that students can rely on. From that point, students can apply their subjective needs such as specific degree types, academic focus for their chosen quality education, and more.

What are the Best Online Community College Programs in Alabama?


Community colleges offer a terrific opportunity for students in their local area, and online learning as well. We have thus ranked the best online community college degree programs. We look at online community college degree programs that are accredited and which provide students a terrific educational value.

Online community colleges are a boon to online students because they are often very affordable, feature small class sizes, and prepare students to transfer to a full four-year institution where they can complete a bachelor’s degree, whether it is an online degree or not. The online degree option means that students can find the best associate degree or certificate program for them. The online degree option also means they don't need to move across Alabama just for a two-year degree program.

George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
4,985
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$6,107
Grads Salary
$29,200
Lurleen B Wallace Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,767
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$6,913
Grads Salary
$26,500
John C Calhoun State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
9,315
Graduation Rate
29%
Net Price
$6,077
Grads Salary
$28,000
Bevill State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
3,787
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$8,978
Grads Salary
$28,100
Gadsden State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
3,993
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$4,776
Grads Salary
$26,700
George C Wallace State Community College-Selma
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,529
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$5,192
Grads Salary
$23,300
Southern Union State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
4,655
Graduation Rate
24%
Net Price
$9,467
Grads Salary
$30,700
Northwest-Shoals Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
3,512
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$6,460
Grads Salary
$25,600
Herzing University-Birmingham
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
619
Graduation Rate
22%
Net Price
$25,741
Grads Salary
$37,800
Jefferson State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
8,526
Graduation Rate
16%
Net Price
$9,044
Grads Salary
$30,600
Full Ranking Report

What are the Best Online Universities & College Programs in Alabama?


When we ranked the best online programs in Alabama, we evaluated each one according to its own merits. We examine data from the U.S. Department of Education, including each school's retention rate, graduation rate, gross cost of tuition, net costs, accreditation, and more to determine the best online degree programs. Students can take our rankings and measure them against their own personal standards for an online degree program. For instance, some online programs may support a student's preferred technologies, such as iPads, and others may not require that students login at specific times for online chats, streamed lectures, or other time-specific events. All of these things can make a program more attractive and accessible to today’s busy student body.

Auburn University

Auburn University is one of Alabama's best academic institutions. Founded in 1856, the institution became the South's first land-grant college in 1872. With 24,600+ undergraduate and 4,700+ graduate students, over 30,000 altogether, Auburn is a large institution. With 14 colleges and schools that each encompass a wide range of degrees and programs, Auburn students never lack for an outlet for curiosity and research. They can also enjoy a 91% retention rate and an excellent 79% graduation rate.

College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
30,737
Graduation Rate
79%
Net Price
$24,028
Grads Salary
$70,800
University of Alabama in Huntsville

Huntsville is home to one of the University of Alabama's top campuses. The diversity of bachelor’s degrees available is terrific and includes over 80 programs in the arts & humanities, business, education, nursing, engineering, Science, and more. Graduate students also flock to Huntsville to become masters of business, education, and engineering, among many other choices. Given that the Huntsville campus is part of the state university system, Alabaman students will find a terrific and affordable education at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. However, students from all over the United States come to Northern Alabama to study and enrich their lives on both a personal and professional level. The educational value makes paying the affordable out-of-state tuition well worth the money.

College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
9,999
Graduation Rate
57%
Net Price
$16,990
Grads Salary
$75,300
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Alabama students who are seeking a first-class college experience need look no further than the University of Alabama at Birmingham. UAB provides a comprehensive list of undergraduate degrees and certificates. They also support some of the South's best graduate degree programs. University of Alabama - Birmingham students can pursue their passion for arts & sciences, business, dentistry, engineering, education, public health, health professions, and more. For those who can't make it to Birmingham for their degree, UA-B is also online. Undergraduates have many options for an online bachelor's degree including but not limited to human resource management, criminal justice, psychology, or information systems.

College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
22,563
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$16,978
Grads Salary
$70,600
The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama is a public research university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Considered the state’s flagship university, it was founded in 1831 and offers a variety of degree types including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. With a robust campus environment for students, the institution is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service. It also strives to cultivate learners capable of making a positive difference in the community, state, and the world.

College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
37,840
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$20,518
Grads Salary
$64,000
University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama is a mid-sized to large, public university founded in 1963. It’s located in Mobile, Alabama, which isn’t far from the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. The student population is close to 14,400, with roughly 67% of them being undergraduate students. All students will have access to opportunities that lead to long-term success including academic, research, cultural, and human service experiences. USA offers 50 bachelor's degrees and certificate programs and more than 40 graduate degree programs.

College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
14,397
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$14,822
Grads Salary
$70,800
Troy University

Troy University, located in Troy, Alabama is the flagship school of the Troy University System and has five campuses, including an online university option. This Alabama university consists of primarily undergraduate students. The student body as a whole is over 16,000; however, the overall undergraduate population comprises almost 13,000. Troy University has a low 15 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio and a decent 75% retention rate.

College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
16,497
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$13,257
Grads Salary
$65,700
Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University (JSU) is a four-year, public university located, unsurprisingly, in Jacksonville, Florida. The student population at this midsize school is just over 9,000, with 7,700+ of those being undergraduates, and the school offers those students degrees from bachelor's to doctorate's, as well as a variety of certificates. These degrees are available from a variety of departments and the most popular options include nursing, liberal arts and humanities, elementary educatio, business, and more.

College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
9,238
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$13,616
Grads Salary
$64,300
Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University is focused on helping students flourish in their personal and professional lives. To that end, students can start at CSU with an associate degree that lays the groundwork for an entry-level position. Once they've established themselves with a clear career focus, students can return to CSU's flexible online degree program and complete a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degree options include criminal justice, emergency medical services, business, information technology/cyber security, and psychology, among others.

College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Student Population
18,533
Graduation Rate
30%
Net Price
$11,241
Grads Salary
$72,000
University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is a mid-size, publicly funded university established in 1830. It is located in Florence, Alabama, a small city on the Tennessee River in the far northwestern corner of the state. The school has a student population of around 7,700, most of which are undergraduates. However, students can earn more than just a bachelor's degree. Students have the option to earn certificates, bachelor's, master's, and research doctorate degrees.

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
5,729
Graduation Rate
77%
Net Price
$31,322
Grads Salary
$64,400
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