Alabama Higher Education Options

Alabama is home to nearly 100 public and private colleges and universities. See rankings of the best and most affordable schools in Alabama to determine which schools might be right for you.

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Need to know about higher education options in Alabama? Keep reading to learn more about schools throughout the state that are near larger metropolitan areas, have high student enrollment, low net costs and high graduation rates.

Alabama State Schools Near Large Cities

Students throughout the state of Alabama have numerous options available when looking for a school near a large city, all of which are public. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Alabama A & M University (Normal)
  • Alabama State University (Montgomery)
  • Auburn University at Montgomery
  • Bishop State Community College (Mobile)
  • Jefferson State Community College (Birmingham)

Largest Schools in the State

Throughout Alabama, students will find a mix of public and private schools. The schools with largest enrollment in the state typically had more than 17,000 students enrolled as of 2015.

  • University of Alabama (37,098 students)
  • Auburn University (27,287 students)
  • Columbia Southern University (20,823 students)
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (18,333 students)
  • Troy University (17,765 students)

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 full-time undergraduate receives from the total cost of attendance. The figures for these five Alabama schools are based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the 2014-2015 academic year. Generally, low net prices for traditional Alabama schools come in at under $5,000 per year.

  • Chattahoochee Valley Community College ($1,287)
  • Northeast Alabama Community College ($3,117)
  • George C Wallace State Community College ($3,263)
  • Jefferson Davis Community College ($4,030)
  • Reid State Technical College ($4,096)

Highest Graduation Rate

The overall graduation rate for a school includes the number of students who completed their studies in 150% of 'normal time' (for example, six years would be the 'normal time' for a bachelor's program). Based on NCES figures for full-time students, the following 4-year Alabama schools had minimum graduation rates of roughly 55% in 2015.

  • Samford University (74% graduation rate)
  • Auburn University (73% graduation rate)
  • University of Alabama (67% graduation rate)
  • Birmingham Southern College (61% graduation rate)
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (55% graduation rate)

Students looking for affordable higher education opportunities in a mix of settings have diverse options available throughout the state of Alabama. Comparing these options with specific data from the NCES can help students make an informed education decision.

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