Whether Alabama is your “sweet home” or you’re just considering one of its many colleges, online colleges in Alabama are an excellent choice for most. 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.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
As with online colleges in Alaska, clearly, state policymakers in Alabama are investing in education and making sure students are prepared for the future of online learning.
Online Colleges in Alabama
Many of the top colleges in Alabama offer online degrees. Alabama online universities offer students the choice of 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.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), at least 22.2% of Alabama undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in exclusively online college programs, while 22.4% are enrolled in a mixture of online and on-campus classes.
Common Online Degrees in Alabama
Online universities in Alabama offer a selection of degrees with the potential to further your career. Some of the most common programs available at Alabama schools are listed below.
- Business Administration: Studying for a business degree would help you learn about accounting, finance, marketing, and office technology. Having a bachelor’s degree could qualify you for a variety of management positions.
- Computer and Information Science: You can study online to learn about computer hardware and the software systems that make computer systems run. The curriculum for this degree could prepare you for various tech-related jobs, such as network support specialist, web developer or computer systems analyst.
- Education: A college program in education would prepare you to become an elementary or secondary teacher. After taking classes in teaching methods, instructional design and learning disabilities, you could complete a teaching practicum and apply for state licensure.
- Nursing: In a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, you would learn about the human body, the healthcare system, and methods of diagnosis and treatment. This course of study would prepare you to take industry exams and become licensed as a registered nurse (RN).
- Psychology: Learning how people think and act could provide valuable insight into relationships, communication, and leadership. Getting a psychology degree might qualify you to work in human resources, criminal justice, social services, or another field.
While these degrees are pretty easy to find at online Alabama colleges, they’re not the only options. If you’re interested in another area of study, look around to see if there’s an Alabama school offering that program.
Overview of Higher Education in Alabama
If you’re looking for an Alabama online degree, you’ll find 62 degree-granting institutions to consider, according to a report from the NCES. Of those, 38 are public, 20 are non-profits, and 4 are for-profits. As you consider online universities in Alabama, tuition costs may be an important factor.
NCES reported that 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.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
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.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Alabama
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Alabama has 1,928,110 people employed. In general, job growth in Alabama may be slow over the coming years.
Students who want the most career opportunities might want to look into some of the state’s largest industries since more jobs may be available in those areas. The top sectors include production, sales, transportation, and healthcare.
For full-time employees who work approximately 2,080 hours per year, the median annual salary in Alabama is about $37,250. It’s a bit higher in some metropolitan areas. For example, in the Birmingham-Hoover area, the median income is $38,400. Even still, salaries in Alabama are generally lower than the national average, which is $45,760.
Careers & Salaries in Alabama
There are a wide variety of industries for prospective college students to consider when choosing online degree programs in Alabama.
One key employment sector is healthcare, and the state employs many registered nurses. You could enter that field with a nursing bachelor’s degree. Computer-related careers also offer a good number of employment opportunities in Alabama. One high-paying example is being a software developer.
A business degree could lead to various careers. Many people are employed as general or operations managers. Accounting and customer service are other popular Alabama options. Teaching elementary school is just one example of Alabama’s jobs in education. There are also positions in middle and high schools.
Sales jobs are available too. Representatives are especially needed for selling services and wholesale goods. People in Alabama can go into criminal justice. It’s common to start a law enforcement career as a patrol officer. Petroleum engineering is one of the more unique job opportunities in Alabama. This job category has a limited number of Alabama employees, but it offers noteworthy wages.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time workers in certain Alabama industries may earn salaries like the ones listed below.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|General and Operations Managers||$96,260|
|Accountants and Auditors||$62,190|
|Elementary School Teachers||$53,110|
|Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives||$51,110|
|Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers||$48,300|
|Sales Representatives of Services||$49,630|
|Customer Service Representatives||$30,870|
These figures were calculated by multiplying the hourly median wage by 2,080 hours, which is commonly considered a full-time, year-round work schedule.
Alabama Online Colleges Admissions Requirements
When applying to an online university in Alabama, you’ll face similar admission requirements to those at other schools around the country.
The admissions guidelines might include:
- ACT or SAT scores (not needed at all schools)
- High school transcripts or GED certificate
- Letters of reference from people who know you well
- Personal essay that showcases your writing abilities and tells the school about you
In addition, you’ll need to fill out a form, and you might have to pay an application fee.
AL Online Colleges Accreditation
The best online colleges in Alabama hold regional accreditation. The regional accrediting association for Alabama is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
This regional accreditor evaluates colleges in the Alabama area to ensure that they meet respected standards of education. If you earn an accredited degree from an Alabama university, it will be recognized all around the country. Regionally accredited coursework may transfer from one college to another, or it may qualify you for graduate studies.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
An accredited degree will also be appreciated by potential employers, and it could help you secure a desirable job.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
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.
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.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
You can also look for scholarships only open to residents of Alabama or students wishing to attend school in Alabama, such as these:
- Alabama Home Builders Foundation Scholarship: Varies
- CollegeCounts Scholarship Program: $4,000
- Linly Heflin Scholarship: $7,000 per year
- The David Womack Memorial Alabama LGBT Scholarship: $1,000
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!
Alabama Online Education Resources
As you get ready to start an online college program in Alabama, take advantage of the various resources available in this state.
- Alabama Community College System (ACCS): The state’s community colleges offer two-year degrees as well as coursework that transfers into four-year universities.
- AlabamaWorks!: For information about job opportunities and Alabama industries, turn to AlabamaWorks! website.
- Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE): To learn about the colleges in the state, explore funding opportunities, and research majors, turn to ACHE.
These resources can help you make smart decisions about going back to school and pursuing a career in Alabama.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Online College in Alabama?
The cost of an Alabama university online degree varies by school. Various factors influence the cost. For example, public universities usually cost less than private ones, and in-state students may pay less than out-of-state students.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in-state students paid, on average, $10,617 per year for tuition and fees at public four-year universities in Alabama. With an average price tag of $5,048 for in-state students, Alabama’s two-year public colleges cost less. For private colleges, the average tuition cost was $17,350.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Attending one of the state’s public universities is usually cheaper for Alabama residents than for residents of other states. There are some exceptions to that, though.
Alabama belongs to the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). One of this organization’s benefits is the Academic Common Market. Through this program, you might be able to get in-state tuition at an Alabama college.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
There are specific qualifications that must be followed. For one thing, you must live in an SREB member state. Also, you must be pursuing a degree program that’s not available from one of your own state’s schools.
What Jobs Are in High Demand in Alabama?
As a general rule, job growth in Alabama is slow compared to the country as a whole. Even still, certain industries in Alabama are experiencing tremendous job growth.
Based on data from the Alabama Department of Labor, they include:
- Home health aides: 38.62% growth
- Transportation inspectors: 38.46% growth
- Aircraft mechanics and service technicians: 38.11% growth
- Avionics technicians: 36.98% growth
- Physician assistants: 36.98% growth
You may want to consider getting your college education in one of these high-demand fields.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Alabama?
Going to college can be an investment, but a high-paying job could be the payoff. If a good salary is a top priority for you, consider one of Alabama’s top-paying jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the most lucrative job categories in the state:
- Family Physicians: $194,360/year
- Administrative Law Justices: $175,300/year
- Dentists: $166,630/year
These figures use the mean hourly salary and multiply it by a full-time workload of 2,080 hours per year. Remember that individual salaries depend on education, experience, and other factors.
List of Online Colleges in Alabama
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Alabama A&M University offers online degrees for both undergraduates and graduates. Undergraduates can earn a degree in management. Offered graduate degrees include Computer Science, Early Childhood Education, and Educational Leadership (K-12). Programs are completely online and asynchronous, so students can complete courses on their own schedule.
Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Alabama State University offers online degree programs through several of its academic departments, including the Colleges of Education, Business Administration, Health Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Undergrad degrees include a BS in Marketing and a BS in Psychology. Students can earn master’s in fields like elementary education and rehabilitation counseling. The school offers doctorates in the fields of educational leadership, microbiology, and physical therapy.
ASU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Amridge University’s online degree programs are designed for people who plan to work while furthering their education. The college has a Christian focus and has offered online programs since 1993. The university is entirely online and offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in fields like business, education, and theology.
Amridge University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees.
Athens State University is unique in that it only admits transfer students. Students may be adult learners returning to get their degrees or current students who have completed some undergraduate coursework. Undergraduates can earn degrees in Accounting, Criminal Justice, Healthcare Management, and more. Graduate degrees include Religious Studies, Career Tech Education, and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Athens State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Auburn University offers distance learning and continuing education programs to serve a larger student base. Programs include undergraduate, graduate, professional credit, and personal enrichment.
Undergrad degrees include Computer Science and Business Administration. Graduate degrees include Aerospace Engineering and Special Education. Professional credit programs are designed to help students meet requirements for distinction or licensing in their field.
Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Auburn University at Montgomery offers completely online and hybrid programs. Hybrid programs require students to come to campus once a week. Incoming freshmen are offered free laptops when they enroll. The school offers programs for certificates and degrees from bachelor’s to doctorate. Degree options include a BS in Nursing and an MS in Elementary Education.
Auburn University at Montgomery is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Faulkner University is a Christian liberal arts college offering online degrees. Students attending Faulkner may pursue associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degrees. Students can pursue a Bachelor’s in Sports Psychology, Biblical Studies, Criminal Justice, and more. Master’s degrees include Justice Administration and School Counseling. Students can pursue a Doctorate in Biblical Studies, Humanities, or Health Sciences.
Faulkner University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Jacksonville State University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in several fields along with select microcredentials, graduate certificates, and doctorates.
Undergraduate programs include Emergency Management and Sociology. Students can earn master’s degrees in fields like education, history, public administration, and more. All courses are completely online. Online courses have the same professors and distinctions as in-person courses.
Jacksonville State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Samford University offers a Christian-centered online education. While courses may be taken online, online students also have opportunities for on-campus experiences. Samford’s offerings include nationally recognized graduate programs in education, nursing, legal studies, and business. Undergraduates can earn a BA in Liberal Studies or a BA in Organizational Leadership.
Samford University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Spring Hill College strives to create an enriching experience that goes beyond video lectures for their online learners. They use a variety of methods to deliver a more authentic college experience. Offered programs include bachelor’s in entrepreneurship and sports management and master’s in nursing and theology and an accelerated MBA. Certificates and professional development opportunities are also available.
Spring Hill College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Troy University’s programs have five start dates throughout the year and 9 week terms. Troy offers support to help their online students be successful in their chosen programs. Troy has 109 completely online degree programs. Students can earn a BS in Human Services, Graphic Design, Cyber Security, and more. Master’s programs include Criminology, Gifted Education, and Kinesiology, to name a few.
Troy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuskegee University’s degree programs are entirely online. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and personal enrichment programs. Undergraduate options include a BS or BA in Liberal Studies and a BS in Veterinary or Animal Science. Graduate options include an MS in Animal Science, Environmental Science, or Environmental Management.
Tuskegee University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Alabama’s online degree program is designed to fit the schedules of students who already have jobs and families. It is also recognized as one of the state’s military friendly online colleges.
Degree types include bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctorate. Students can earn bachelor’s degrees in fields like food and nutrition and hospitality management. The school also offers master’s degrees in fields like marketing and mechanical engineering.
The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Alabama—Birmingham offers completely online and blended degrees. Classes run for a full term or for 7 week sessions. In addition to bachelor’s and master’s programs, UAB also offers certificates and minors. Students can earn a BS in fields like finance, information systems, and psychology. Graduate students can earn a Master’s in Biotechnology or Optometry.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Students at the University of Alabama—Huntsville can choose between 23 online programs. Some courses are entirely online, while others are hybrid. Most of the programs are at the graduate level, including BS or BA degrees in Professional Studies, Leadership Strategies, and Organizational Studies. Graduate degrees include Civil Engineering and Nursing.
UAH is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Mobile is a Christian-focused college with online programs that are 8 weeks long. UM’s goal is to help students discover God’s purpose for them. Students can get a BS in Nursing, Christian Ministry, or Psychology. Master’s programs include Music Performance, Biblical and Theological Studies, and Education. Courses are either entirely online or hybrid.
The University of Mobile is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Montevallo is a Quality Matters member to ensure their programs offer a quality online experience. UM was also named one of Alabama’s best schools by EDsmart. While the school doesn’t offer online undergraduate programs, it does offer online classes, such as Accounting and Introduction to Black Culture. Graduate programs include Business Administration and Instructional Leadership.
The University of Montevallo is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
At the University of North Alabama, the degrees earned by online students are the same degrees as those earned by on-campus students in the same programs. The online programs are also taught by the same faculty members as those on campus.
Students can earn undergraduate degrees in fields like political science, history, and applied health science. Graduate degrees include an MAEd in Collaborative Special Education and an MS in Applied Manufacturing Engineering. UNA offers a New Start scholarship for first-time students.
The University of North Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of South Alabama designs online courses to fit busy schedules, particularly those with families, working professionals, and military members. Undergraduate students can pursue a BA or BS in Interdisciplinary Studies or an RN-to-BSN degree. Graduate students can choose between several MEd degrees, an MSN in Nursing, or a Master of Accounting.
The University of South Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of West Alabama offers over 70 degrees and certificates at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Bachelor’s degrees include Marketing and Psychology. Students can pursue master’s degrees in fields like school counseling and conservation biology. Specialist degrees are available for students in education fields. Doctoral programs include Rural Business and Rural Education.
The University of West Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your College Degree in Alabama Online
Alabama offers many college opportunities for both in-state and out-of-state students. Getting a college degree could set you up for success in a growing or high-paying line of work.
Some of the top sectors in Alabama include healthcare, business administration, technology, and sales. One of those areas might catch your interest, or you might want to pursue another line of work. Whatever sort of degree you choose, be sure to consider the opportunities that online Alabama schools could offer you.
You could earn an accredited college degree while also experiencing the freedom of studying when and where it works for you.