The life of a soldier can be a busy one, and it's not always possible to attend a 4-year university in person when you also must deal with military or veteran life. A solution to this problem is to enroll in online courses, which can be taken at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Several colleges in Alabama have online course options, including many courses that would fit in with military life.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||Tuition (in-state)*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits|
|Troy University||4-year, public||Troy, AL||$8,260||Troy for the Troops centers, school credit for military service|
|Auburn University||4-year, public||Auburn, AL||$10,696||Transitional Patient program, anonymous mental health services|
|University of Alabama||4-year, public||Tuscaloosa, AL||$10,470||Financial aid assistance, Office of Veteran & Military Affairs|
|Amridge University||4-year, private||Montgomery, AL||$7,180||Vocational Rehabilitation Services|
|Jefferson State Community College||2-year, public||Birmingham, AL||$4,440||Vocational Rehabilitation Services|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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Overview of Military-Friendly Online Colleges in Alabama
Military personnel and veterans come from all walks of life and may be looking for a variety of educational experiences. We've broken down five Alabama schools with online programs for a variety of different courses offered, prices and commitments.
Troy offers 47 different online undergraduate and graduate programs, including several that would fit with a service member or veteran's military life, such as aviation operations, criminal justice, political science, and more. Troy University is also well-known for being a military-friendly university, and offers many assistance programs for current and former members of the armed forces such as credit for military experience and a minor in military operations, which can be used toward a Bachelor of Science program. The school has 'Troy for the Troops' centers on several of its campuses, designed to help active service members, vets, and their families transition from military to college life. And for a member of the Navy, Troy is a partner in the Navy College Program Distance Learning Partnership (NCPDLP), which offers relevant degrees in an online or distance learning capacity.
Like Troy, Auburn University prides itself for having an online course program that gives opportunities to military and veterans. Auburn is known for providing strong undergraduate and graduate programs in both business and education, with their Raymond J. Harbert College of Business graduate program being well-regarded as an online course of study. Other online courses that could be a good fit for service members include programs in engineering, computer science, and agriculture. Auburn also offers several services for its enrolled veterans. The Transitional Patient program assists veterans returning from service to transition back into civilian life with specialty healthcare services. The school also provides anonymous mental health services for its military students, including treating potential Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama offers its signature program 'Bama by Distance' as a commitment to online and distance studies that takes special consideration for military students. Between graduate and undergraduate programs, Bama by Distance offers 68 different courses, including many that would work for military or veterans. Courses include engineering, human sciences, and communication in both undergrad and graduate programs, and Bama by Distance also covers Doctoral degrees in education, engineering, and nursing. The Bama by Distance program also provides support for those who have served, with financial aid for both undergraduate and graduate programs, and an Office of Veteran and Military Affairs to assist in transitioning to civilian life.
For those looking for a school that will fit with their faith while still offering an online degree program, Amridge University is a private, not-for-profit Christian university that has online courses for undergrad, graduate, and PhD studies. Amridge's business programs would work for a service member or veteran looking for a stable, reliable, and well-paying job. The school is known for graduate and PhD programs in human services, a good potential career path for the veteran who already spent their military career learning to help others. Amridge is also a member of Alabama's Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) program, which helps Alabamans with disabilities gain employment that supports independence. Through the VRS program, veterans with disabilities can apply while at Amridge for additional training and assistance in finding a job that fits for them.
Jefferson State Community College
Of course, not everyone wants to go straight into a 4-year college right out of service, or while still serving. A community college could help alleviate the pressure of a continuing education, and Jefferson State offers online courses so that no matter what a person's schedule, they can earn their undergraduate degree. Jefferson offers hybrid learning courses, where classes mostly meet online with only occasional in-class meetings, as well as non-credit online classes that act like an internship for specific careers like IT and software development. If a service member is looking to just start their secondary education, or has a career in mind that they could use some non-credit experience with, studying online at a community college like Jefferson could be a great start.