Alabama features a variety of accredited, affordable online programs that provide students the flexibility they desire. Students who earn a degree enjoy more career opportunities, and those who pursue a graduate education will find even more opportunities — including those in higher pay brackets. Alabama students experience the benefits of affordable, in-state tuition along with an array of networking connections to help them in their post-graduate endeavors.
Higher Learning Initiatives in Alabama
The ACCESS Distance Learning Initiative is a state program launched in 2004 to make public education more equal across schools. It aims give students in every zip code access to additional, high-quality learning material through online coursework. The state hopes that the ACCESS initiative will eventually reverse the statistics that cite Alabama as one of the lowest-performing states for high school and college graduates. Students may complete ACCESS online courses as part of their regular school work, or they can complete them on their own time outside of school.
The Alabama Learning Exchange was launched in 2002 by the Alabama Department of Education. It serves as an online resource for elementary and high school teachers, students, and parents. The site provides free lesson plans, links to other online learning resources, interactive activities, and more. In 2011, the site won a Best of the Web Award from the Center for Digital Education.
Alabama Virtual Library
The Alabama Virtual Library is a free online resource that provides access to a group of magazine, journal, and newspaper databases, ideal for academic research. The Alabama Virtual Library was launched in 1999 to give all students and citizens in Alabama equal access to a collection of educational reading material. The site serves a research tool for high schools and higher education institutions. It offers one of the best online learning resources in the state for teachers and students at various educational levels.
Popular Degree-Granting Programs in Alabama
According to Business Insider, counseling and business management and administration count as the top two majors that students pursue in Alabama. These majors qualify students for careers as school counselors, business administrators, financial advisers, small business owners, and marketing specialists.
- School Student Counseling: Students pursuing a degree in school student counseling focus on counseling techniques in a school setting with students of various ages. Courses focus on adolescent counseling and child counseling; students also learn how to understand children and teenagers from different cultures and backgrounds, allowing them to take the most effective approach during the counseling process.
- Business Management and Administration: Courses in these programs focus on finance, marketing, accounting, and communications. Students must master a variety of skills and techniques in order to thrive in business settings.
Paying for College in Alabama
Many cheap online colleges in Alabama offer students affordable tuition rates. When deciding which program to pursue, online students should evaluate price closely. Each institution sets its own tuition structure. In addition to tuition, students should consider things like the cost of books, online fees, and course materials.
Alabama boasts affordable tuition rates in line with the average costs in the U.S. Two-year institutions in Alabama lists an average tuition cost of $4,760 compared to the $4,234 average for the U.S. Public four-year institutions in Alabama cost an average of $10,870 and $9,978 in the U.S. These prices do not factor in any additional expenses.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18
|Public Two Year||Public Four Year|
Source: College Board
Employment Outlook in Alabama
Students graduating from online colleges in Alabama can pursue many career opportunities. Alabama's unemployment rate is 4%, close to the U.S. average of 3.8%. Alabama's annual mean wage of $43,170 for all occupations ranks a bit lower than the U.S. mean of $50,620. Depending on their ideal occupation, graduates can explore some high paying jobs with favorable employment rates.
Accreditation for Colleges in Alabama
Students considering enrolling at one of the online colleges in Alabama should choose an accredited online program. Many employers and graduate schools require students to earn their previous educational experience from an accredited institution
Two main types of accreditation exist: regional and national. Regionally accredited institutions typically feature more liberal arts coursework than nationally accredited institutions and often feature curricula less career focused than nationally accredited counterparts. Regionally accredited institutions tend to charge higher tuition rates than nationally accredited colleges and universities; however, they are included in most tuition reimbursement plans.
Nationally accredited institutions offer more technical and career-focused coursework, with minimal liberal arts courses. These institutions, though often less expensive than regionally accredited colleges and universities, often get excluded from tuition reimbursement plans. One important difference between regionally accredited and nationally accredited institutions lies in the fact that regionally accredited institutions feature credits that transfer easily while nationally accredited credits do not always transfer. Students should prioritize attending a regionally accredited institution.
Scholarships for Alabama Online College Students
Students attending online colleges in Alabama can explore a variety of scholarship opportunities. Students can earn merit- or need-based scholarships and explore scholarship opportunities specific to students in Alabama. Students can research opportunities available to them online to determine the programs for which they might qualify.
Who Can Apply: Open to high school or homeschooled graduates in Alabama enrolling as full-time college freshmen, the CollegeCounts scholarship provides $2,000 scholarships for two-year institutions and $4,000 for four-year institutions.
Amount: $2,000 – $4,000
Who Can Apply: The Linly Heflin Scholarship awards educational funding to female students in Alabama earning four-year degrees. Applicants must maintain full-time enrollment status, hold a minimum 2.5 GPA, score at least 23 on the ACT, and demonstrate financial need.
Who Can Apply: Available to students attending accredited universities in Alabama full time, the Alabama Concrete Industries Association Scholarships require students to major in architecture, building sciences, or engineering. Applicants must hold a minimum GPA of 2.5.
Who Can Apply: The Moak & McCartha Scholarship awards funding to incoming college freshmen whose parents are employed full time at any ABA member bank. Applicants must reside in Alabama and hold a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Who Can Apply: Open to full-time college students planning to join the funeral profession in Alabama, the Alabama Funeral Directors Association Scholarship awards funding to students attending an accredited mortuary science school with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Who Can Apply: For Alabama and Georgia residents, the Charles Clarke Cordle Memorial Scholarship awards funding to students with their active Amateur Radio License who attend an accredited university in Alabama or Georgia majoring in communications, electronics, or related fields.
Amount: $500 – $5,000
Who Can Apply: Open to high school seniors and college students, the Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship awards funding to students from Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Applicants must hold AQHA membership for one year and appear in approved quarter horse competitions.
Who Can Apply: The Mary Alice Beatty Scholarship awards funding through Women in Aviation International. Applicants must be Alabama residents with a minimum “B” average and a passion for aviation.
Who Can Apply: Open to college students interested in joining the residential building industry, the Alabama Home Builders Foundation Scholarship awards funding to students who reside in Alabama, pursue a construction-related curriculum, and enroll in an accredited university or technical school.
Who Can Apply: Students who currently work in environmental health and hold less than five years of experience can apply for the Ansel C. Mullins award. Applicants must dedicate themselves to meeting the needs of Alabama citizens and pursue graduate-level continuing education.
Resources for Students in Alabama
- University of Alabama AlphaPoint: Students at the University of Alabama can access the university's AlphaPoint resource to ensure the wellbeing, health, and safety of all students. An online education course, AlphaPoint provides campus-specific education through five different learning modules, including healthy relationships and interpersonal violence, community, wellness, balance, and diversity and inclusion.
- Army ROTC: Army ROTC allows students to take elective military science courses along with their core curriculum academic coursework. Students enroll in the Army Reserve and train for success in many fields. Additionally, Army ROTC offers a variety of scholarships to help students pay for their education.
- University of Alabama Career Center: The Career Center at the University of Alabama partners with students to explore career opportunities, develop their knowledge and skills, and connect them with various opportunities. Staff members work with first-year students to help them choose their career paths and subsequent majors. The center also provides career fairs, resume tips, and mock interviews to prepare students for their post-graduate careers.
- University of South Alabama Writing Center: Students can access the writing center at the University of South Alabama to improve their writing skills. The center provides tutoring staff for both undergraduate and graduate students interested in improving their success and confidence with writing.
- ACLU of Alabama: The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama works with the legislatures, communities, and courts to defend personal freedoms and individual rights granted by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The private, nonprofit membership organization preserves and protects the civil liberties of students in Alabama.
Online Colleges in Alabama
Alabama A & M University
- Graduation Rate: 32%
- Average Net Price: $17,017
- Graduation Rate: 40%
- Average Net Price: $12,992
Athens State University
- Graduation Rate: 40%
- Average Net Price: $22,008
- Graduation Rate: 68%
- Average Net Price: $18,090
Auburn University at Montgomery
- Graduation Rate: 6%
- Average Net Price: $14,031
- Graduation Rate: 33%
- Average Net Price: $20,441
Heritage Christian University
- Graduation Rate: N/A
- Average Net Price: $10,256
Jacksonville State University
- Graduation Rate: 29%
- Average Net Price: $18,901
- Graduation Rate: 37%
- Average Net Price: $11,794
- Graduation Rate: 71%
- Average Net Price: $25,840
University of South Alabama
- Graduation Rate: 37%
- Average Net Price: $15,285
- Graduation Rate: 35%
- Average Net Price: $13,122
The University of Alabama
- Graduation Rate: 67%
- Average Net Price: $20,826
University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Graduation Rate: 48%
- Average Net Price: $15,295
University of Alabama in Huntsville
- Graduation Rate: 47%
- Average Net Price: $18,786
University of Mobile
- Graduation Rate: 42%
- Average Net Price: $18,880
University of North Alabama
- Graduation Rate: 32%
- Average Net Price: $11,639
University of West Alabama
- Graduation Rate: 16%
- Average Net Price: $14,146