Whether Alabama is your “sweet home” or you’re just considering one of its many colleges, it’s an excellent choice. The state is working hard to keep students ahead of the curve.
In Alabama, the state education system offers online learning opportunities to public high school students through a program called Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide (ACCESS). ACCESS familiarizes students with the virtual classroom concept, which offers students a leg up should they choose to pursue an online postsecondary degree program.
Clearly, state policymakers are investing in education and making sure students are prepared for the future of online learning.
Overview of Higher Education in Alabama
If you’re looking for a college education in Alabama, you’ll find 62 degree-granting institutions to consider, according to a 2018-2019 report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of those, 38 are public, 20 nonprofit, and 4 for-profit.
As you consider these schools, tuition cost will be an important factor.
NCES reported that in 2018-2019 the average tuition and fees price for 4-year public institutions was $10,138 for in-state students, and $25,782 for out-of-state students. The out-of-state tuition cost is slightly lower than the national average.
Alabama is also a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which allows residents to pursue out-of-state college degrees at in-state tuition rates, through agreements among the participating states.
About Online Colleges in Alabama
At Troy University, online students can choose from 95 fully online degree programs including certificate, undergraduate and graduate programs.
Programs like these make it easier for adults to return to college while still balancing full-time jobs and family commitments.
In Alabama, students may select a hybrid of online and on-campus classes, or instead enroll in a fully online degree program available through the Alabama Community College System (ACCS), or through public or private institutions around the state.
According to the NCES, at least 22.2% of Alabama undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in exclusively online programs, while 22.4% are enrolled in a mixture of online and on-campus classes.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Alabama
The first step to securing financial assistance for any Alabama college is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will give you access to federal, state and even private funds.
When filling out the FAFSA, you will enter financial information for yourself as well as your parents (unless you’re considered “Independent” according to these questions), which will help determine how much need-based aid is offered to you.
The FAFSA is available starting October 1 of the year before you plan to attend, and money is awarded on a first come, first served basis, so it’s important to fill it out right away.
In addition to the federal aid programs open to all US residents, Alabama residents have exclusive access to the following grant programs:
- Alabama Student Assistance Program (ASAP): $300-$5000; Need-based; Almost all schools in Alabama participate; Apply by filling out the FAFSA
- Alabama Student Grant Program: Up to $1200 per year; Not need-based; 13 participating Alabama institutions; Obtain application through financial aid office at participating schools
- Alabama National Guard Education Assistance Program: Up to $2000 per year; Need-based; For active members of the Alabama National Guard
- Police Officer’s and Firefighters Survivors Educational Assistance Program (POFSEAP): Unlimited amount to cover tuition, fees, books and supplies; Not need-based; For dependents and spouses of Alabama police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty
As you check sites like Fastweb.com for financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid, you will discover thousands of scholarships, including those open to all US residents, students living in the southern states, students of a specified race, religion, gender and so on.
You can also look for scholarships only open to residents of Alabama or students wishing to attend school in Alabama, such as these:
|Scholarship Name||Scholarship Information||Scholarship Amount|
|CollegeCounts Scholarship Program||Funding assistance for Alabama high school students with financial need and a desire to impact the future||$4000|
|Linly Heflin Scholarship||Assistance for Alabama women seeking an undergraduate degree at 4-year accredited schools in Alabama||$7000 per year|
|The David Womack Memorial Alabama LGBT Scholarship||Scholarship available to a gay or lesbian Alabama resident attending any US school||$1000|
|Alabama Home Builders Foundation Scholarship||Alabama residents pursuing an education in a field related to residential construction can apply for this scholarship||Varies|
You will also find numerous scholarships and grants offered through each individual Alabama institution, both need-based and merit-based. Be sure to check with the financial aid office at the school of your choice to see what financial aid you qualify for!
List of Online Colleges in Alabama
|Online Colleges in Alabama||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|Athens State University||Athens, Alabama||$5,730||Regional||$30|
|Auburn University||Auburn, Alabama||$10,696||Regional||$50|
|Jacksonville State University||Jacksonville, Alabama||$7,500||Regional||$35|
|Judson College||Marion, Alabama||$17,376||Regional||$43|
|Samford University||Birmingham, Alabama||$29,402||Regional||$40|
|Troy University||Troy, Alabama||$8,260||Regional||$30|
|University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa, Alabama||$10,470||Regional||$40|
|University of Alabama – Birmingham||Birmingham, Alabama||$8,040||Regional||$30|
|University of Alabama – Huntsville||Huntsville, Alabama||$9,842||Regional||$30|
|University of North Alabama||Florence, Alabama||$8,114||Regional||$35|
|University of South Alabama||Mobile, Alabama||$7,548||Regional||$35|
|University of West Alabama||Livingston, Alabama||$8,876||Regional||$40|
Alabama may be known for athletics, but their educational system is also top notch!
From their multi-state partnerships that ensure you’re able to pursue your chosen field at an affordable cost, to their dozens of unique grants, scholarships and online learning opportunities, Alabama is focused on helping students finish ahead of the game.