Tuscaloosa, Alabama (AL) Colleges and Universities

There are fewer than 5 schools within Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Read about the schools with the most program variety, highest graduation rates, lowest student-faculty ratios and lowest costs to find the school for you.

School Ranking Overview

Students seeking to attend a postsecondary institution in Tuscaloosa, AL, can choose from among one large university, a small 4-year school awarding only bachelor's degrees, and one community college. To help students choose the best institution for them, this article compares these three schools in the following categories:

  • Most Program Variety
  • Lowest Net Price
  • Highest Graduation Rate
  • Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Most Program Variety

A wide range of programs means that students can sample from different disciplines while pursuing their postsecondary studies. The 3 schools below offer students the most programs from which to choose. Keep in mind that there are only a few traditional, not-for-profit school options in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, area.

1 - University of Alabama

Located in Tuscaloosa, this public university offers students the most variety with its approximately 128 undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2011, its most popular undergraduate majors were business, health professions, communications, engineering, and family and consumer sciences, according to U.S. News & World Report. The university ranks as the 77th best national university and 32nd top national public school. At the graduate level, the law school is 21st best, while the graduate program in library and information studies is ranked 18th, U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) reported.

2 - Shelton State Community College

Students can also explore this Tuscaloosa public school, which has about 54 programs for students. Programs cover welding, culinary arts, auto body repair, and cosmetology, among other areas. Students can choose to earn associate degrees and certificates, which may help them find entry-level employment. Another option is for students to earn transfer degrees so that they can work towards bachelor's degrees at 4-year universities and colleges.

3 - Stillman College

A third choice is this Tuscaloosa school, which has about 23 programs for students. This private liberal arts school is a Historically Black College that offers only bachelor's degrees. Undergraduate students in 2011 typically majored in nursing, biology, business administration, health, and history, according to U.S. News & World Report. Other majors include math, journalism, religion, and psychology. High school counselors ranked the school as their 189th pick, USNWR found.

Lowest Net Price

The average net price for a college or university is determined by subtracting the amount of government or institutional financial aid a student receives from the total cost of attendance. The figures for these 3 traditional schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the 2011-12 academic year.

1 - Shelton State Community College

With a net price of $8,508, this public school is the most affordable option for students. For the 2012-13 school year, in-state students paid $4,140 in tuition and fees, while out-of-state students paid $7,410, according to NCES. In 2011-12, 79% of full-time, beginning students received financial aid to help pay for school. During that year, 64% of undergraduate students were awarded an average $3,977 in grant or scholarship aid, NCES found.

2 - Stillman College

Students may also want to consider this college and its net price of $17,866. Students who enrolled during the 2012-13 school year paid $15,665 in tuition and fees, NCES reported. Ninety-one percent of full-time, beginning undergraduate students were given financial assistance in 2011-12, NCES found. On average, 91% of all undergraduate students received $9,833 in grant or scholarship aid during the 2011-12 school year.

3 - University of Alabama

This university has a net price of $18,462. Alabama students paid $9,200 in tuition and fees during the 2012-13 school year, while out-of-state students were charged $22,950, according to NCES. The majority of full-time, beginning undergraduate students, about 76%, received financial aid for the 2011-12 school year, NCES found. During the same period, 53% of all undergraduate students were awarded an average of $8,535 in grant or scholarship aid.

Highest Graduation Rate

The overall graduation rate for a school includes the number of students who completed their studies in 150% of 'normal time'. According to NCES figures for full-time students, the following traditional Tuscaloosa, Alabama, schools had minimum graduation rates of 9% in 2011.

1 - University of Alabama

This school has an overall graduation rate of 66%, which is based on students who enrolled in fall 2005. NCES reported a transfer rate of 21% among students who enrolled that year. It also found that 86% of first-time, full-time students who enrolled in fall 2010 returned the following year to continue work on their bachelor's degrees. As for first-time, part-time students, the retention rate was 50% during the same period.

2 - Stillman College

Another option is this school, which has an overall graduation rate of 34%, based on students who started in fall 2005. NCES reported that 61% of first-time, full-time students who started in fall 2010 came back to the college in fall 2011 to work on their undergraduate degrees. As for first-time, part-time students, 26% returned between fall 2010 and fall 2011, according to NCES.

3 - Shelton State Community College

Students who enroll at this school will find an overall graduation rate of 9%, based on students who started in fall 2008. NCES found that out of students who enrolled in fall 2008, 38% transferred out of the community college. As for the retention rate, 54% of first-time, full-time students who started in fall 2010 came back the next year, according to NCES. For first-time part-time students, the retention rate was 32%.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Low student-faculty ratios often promote more individual attention, which is something students frequently consider. The 3 Tuscaloosa, Alabama, schools below have student-faculty ratios of 24:1 or less. They represent the only traditional postsecondary options for students who want to study in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

1 - Stillman College

This school has a student-faculty ratio of 18:1 for its more than 1,000 undergraduate students. The majority of faculty at this school are hired to teach on a full-time basis. As of fall 2012, there were 54 full-time faculty and 7 part-time faculty, according to NCES.

2 - University of Alabama

Students can also check out this school, which has a student-faculty ratio of 19:1 for its nearly 32,000 students. Out of the 31,647 student population, 26,234 were undergraduate students, according to NCES. As of fall 2012, there were 1,217 full-time instructional faculty and 443 part-time faculty, NCES found. There were also 1,628 graduate assistants who helped provide instruction to students.

3 - Shelton State Community College

This community college has the highest student-faculty ratio of the 3 schools on this list at 24:1. All of the roughly 5,300 students are enrolled at the undergraduate level. Additionally, part-time faculty represented the majority in fall 2012, with only 92 full-time faculty and 202 part-time faculty employed at the school, NCES reported.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Schools at a Glance

School Name Location School Type Degrees Offered Area Ranking
Shelton State Community College Tuscaloosa, AL 2-year, public <1-year and 1-year to <2-year certificates; associate degrees Lowest Net Price,
2nd Most Program Variety,
3rd Highest Graduation Rate,
3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Stillman College Tuscaloosa, AL 4-year, private, not-for-profit Bachelor's degrees Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
2nd Lowest Net Price,
2nd Highest Graduation Rate,
3rd Most Program Variety
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 4-year, public Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; post-master's certificates Highest Graduation Rate,
Most Program Variety,
2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Lowest Net Price

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