2022 Top Public Colleges and Universities in Alabama

Public colleges and universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it's not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public institutions also rank highly among the best colleges and universities in many states, Alabama included.

Public colleges and universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

2022 Best Public Colleges and Universities in Alabama

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Auburn University

    Auburn, AL

    Graduation Rate

    79%

    Enrollment

    30,460

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11492

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31124

    Located in Auburn, Alabama, Auburn University offers multiple programs as a public institution. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the school choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #2

    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Birmingham, AL

    Graduation Rate

    63%

    Enrollment

    22,080

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20400

    From its Birmingham, Alabama campus, University of Alabama at Birmingham enrolls students in 171 programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. Information on the average student-to-faculty ratio is unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. The school reports a 63% graduation rate for its programs. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #3

    Northeast Alabama Community College

    Rainsville, AL

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    2,981

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4800

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8730

    From its campus in Rainsville, Alabama, Northeast Alabama Community College offers programs as a public institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Northeast Alabama Community College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #4

    J F Ingram State Technical College

    Deatsville, AL

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    485

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5400

    J F Ingram State Technical College, located in Deatsville, Alabama, often ranks as one of the best schools. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique professional goals. Academic programs generally take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. The school is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #5

    University of Alabama in Huntsville

    Huntsville, AL

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    9,988

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11122

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $23518

    From its campus in Huntsville, Alabama, University of Alabama in Huntsville enrolls students as a public institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. At the accredited institution, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The school reports a graduation rate of 58%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. University of Alabama in Huntsville holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Jacksonville State University

    Jacksonville, AL

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    9,021

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11120

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20840

    A public institution located in Jacksonville, Alabama, Jacksonville State University offers multiple programs. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. Jacksonville State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #7

    The University of Alabama

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Graduation Rate

    71%

    Enrollment

    38,100

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10780

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30250

    From its campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, The University of Alabama offers multiple programs as a public institution. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    University of Montevallo

    Montevallo, AL

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    2,553

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13708

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26728

    Located in Alabama, University of Montevallo offers 36 programs for students. Students benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The average student-to-teacher ratio is unknown. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. The public institution reports a 55% graduation rate. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Many schools no longer require test scores for admission. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #9

    George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville

    Hanceville, AL

    Graduation Rate

    44%

    Enrollment

    4,985

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4800

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8730

    Located in Hanceville, Alabama, George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville operates as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete an academic or technical program often enter the workforce right away. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school reports a graduation rate of 44%. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #10

    Snead State Community College

    Boaz, AL

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    2,237

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4950

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8880

    From its campus in Boaz, Alabama, Snead State Community College offers multiple programs as a public institution. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. The school's cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Snead State Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #11

    George C Wallace Community College-Dothan

    Dothan, AL

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    4,478

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4740

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8670

    A top-ranked school, George C Wallace Community College-Dothan enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Dothan, Alabama. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique professional goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. George C Wallace Community College-Dothan is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #12

    John C Calhoun State Community College

    Tanner, AL

    Graduation Rate

    26%

    Enrollment

    9,315

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4880

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8810

    John C Calhoun State Community College, located in Tanner, Alabama, offers 34 programs for degree-seekers. The institution's top-ranked programs offer students a challenging course of study. The student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. How much aid students receive on average is not currently known. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 26%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #13

    University of West Alabama

    Livingston, AL

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    5,653

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10990

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20090

    From its campus in Livingston, Alabama, University of West Alabama offers academic programs as a public institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. Degree-seekers pay a per-credit fee of around 415 at the school. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #14

    University of South Alabama

    Mobile, AL

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    14,397

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8396

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16292

    Located in Mobile, Alabama, University of South Alabama grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. University of South Alabama has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #15

    George C Wallace State Community College-Selma

    Selma, AL

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    1,529

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8430

    A public institution in Selma, Alabama, George C Wallace State Community College-Selma offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 31%. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying. George C Wallace State Community College-Selma holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #16

    Lurleen B Wallace Community College

    Andalusia, AL

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    1,767

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4800

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8730

    Located in Andalusia, Alabama, Lurleen B Wallace Community College grants degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their career goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to bolster their knowledge. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. These policies make it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Lurleen B Wallace Community College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #17

    University of North Alabama

    Florence, AL

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    7,702

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10620

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20220

    University of North Alabama, located in Florence, Alabama, enrolls students in 83 programs. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-instructor ratio is currently unavailable. The amount of aid students receive on average is currently unknown. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 49%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #18

    Bevill State Community College

    Jasper, AL

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    3,787

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5150

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9342

    From its Jasper, Alabama campus, Bevill State Community College enrolls learners in 51 programs. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio is unknown. Data on the amount of aid students receive per year on average is unavailable. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 28%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #19

    Shelton State Community College

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Graduation Rate

    20%

    Enrollment

    4,201

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4541

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8471

    Located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Shelton State Community College often ranks among the best schools. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Check the program website for specifics on the degree- or certificate-completion timeline. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. Shelton State Community College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #20

    Reid State Technical College

    Evergreen, AL

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    489

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4860

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8790

    A public institution, Reid State Technical College grants degrees from its campus in Evergreen, Alabama. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at this accredited school also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #21

    Enterprise State Community College

    Enterprise, AL

    Graduation Rate

    20%

    Enrollment

    1,804

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4800

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8730

    Enterprise State Community College is a public institution located in Enterprise, Alabama. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 20%. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Enterprise State Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #22

    Troy University

    Troy, AL

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    16,436

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8908

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16708

    Troy University enrolls students at its Troy, Alabama campus as a public institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The public school reports a graduation rate of 47%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. Troy University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #23

    Southern Union State Community College

    Wadley, AL

    Graduation Rate

    22%

    Enrollment

    4,655

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4800

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8730

    Southern Union State Community College grants degrees as a public institution from its location in Wadley, Alabama. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Bachelor's students graduate from the school at a rate of 22%. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #24

    Gadsden State Community College

    Gadsden, AL

    Graduation Rate

    25%

    Enrollment

    4,599

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3888

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7032

    Gadsden State Community College, which operates a campus in Gadsden, Alabama, often ranks as a top school. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover educational costs. Gadsden State Community College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #25

    Chattahoochee Valley Community College

    Phenix City, AL

    Graduation Rate

    19%

    Enrollment

    1,592

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4860

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8790

    Chattahoochee Valley Community College, located in Phenix City, Alabama, grants degrees and certificates as a public institution. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 19%. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. Chattahoochee Valley Community College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #26

    Bishop State Community College

    Mobile, AL

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    2,846

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4740

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8610

    Located in Mobile, Alabama, Bishop State Community College enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Bishop State Community College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #27

    Central Alabama Community College

    Alexander City, AL

    Graduation Rate

    17%

    Enrollment

    1,799

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4870

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8800

    From its campus in Alexander City, Alabama, Central Alabama Community College enrolls students in programs as a public institution. Students can earn a degree or certificate that prepares them for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Central Alabama Community College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #28

    Marion Military Institute

    Marion, AL

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    409

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9418

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15418

    Marion Military Institute, which offers programs from its Marion, Alabama campus, often ranks among the top schools. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. Marion Military Institute has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #29

    Lawson State Community College

    Birmingham, AL

    Graduation Rate

    19%

    Enrollment

    3,375

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4800

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8730

    Lawson State Community College, located in Birmingham, Alabama, enrolls students in 71 programs. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The average student-to-faculty ratio is unknown. The amount of aid students receive on average is not currently known. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 19%. The institution understands that hands-on experience makes graduates more competitive in the job market. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #30

    Northwest-Shoals Community College

    Muscle Shoals, AL

    Graduation Rate

    24%

    Enrollment

    3,512

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4771

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8701

    From its campus in Alabama, Northwest-Shoals Community College administers 48 total programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer students a challenging course of study. Information on the student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. How much aid students receive on average is currently unknown. The school reports a 24% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    Why Choose a Public College or University in Alabama?

    Choosing a college is one of the most critical decisions in a person's life. In Alabama, there are many top public and private colleges and universities to choose from.

    A public college or university education provides many benefits, including an enriching campus experience with many activities and cocurricular programs from which to choose. Public colleges and universities typically charge less tuition than private schools, making public education a more accessible and affordable option for many students.

    However, some students might not thrive at a public college or university. Some learners need or want more attention and personalized advising from instructors, which they can more easily access at a private school with smaller class sizes.

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), students in Alabama can choose between 19 public four-year colleges and universities. The state of Alabama also belongs to the Academic Common Market and has a regional reciprocity agreement with other Southern states, which offer comparable tuition rates. According to a 2022 National Student Clearinghouse Research Center survey, over 60% of Alabama college students in the fall 2015 cohort completed their degrees within six years.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Public College or University in Alabama

    Pros

    Students at public colleges and universities in Alabama tend to pay less tuition than private school attendees.Public schools typically offer more degree programs and majors.Students usually gain more access to research facilities and opportunities.Public colleges and universities typically offer more cocurricular activities and programs, contributing to more enriched higher education experiences.

    Cons

    Students do not get as much access to scholarships and federal grants as private school learners.Larger class sizes can mean getting less attention from instructors and student services staff.Students who do not thrive in independent learning environments might prefer private college settings.Private institutions often enroll more diverse students, including individuals from other countries.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Alabama

    All public colleges and universities are nonprofit institutions. Private institutions may be nonprofit or for-profit. Nonprofit schools obtain their funding from tuition, state and federal governments, endowments, and donations. They primarily serve to educate the public, with boards of trustees and education administrators typically undertaking their management.

    In contrast, private for-profit schools exist to make money for their shareholders and investors. They receive their funding primarily from tuition and fees. Graduates of these schools generally experience lower employment rates than students from nonprofit institutions.

    These schools also do not typically hold accreditation, creating challenges for students who want to transfer credit hours to other institutions. According to NCES, 21 private, for-profit schools exist in the state of Alabama.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Public College or University in Alabama?

    According to NCES, in-state students at public four-year institutions in Alabama paid an average of about $10,320 in tuition and fees during the 2019-2020 academic year. Out-of-state tuition at the same schools averaged roughly $26,520 during the same year. NCES also reports that room averaged $5,700 and board, $4,470.

    According to NCES, in 2021-2022, in-state students paid about $26,420 for tuition, fees, room, and board at Auburn University, one of Alabama's most expensive public institutions. In contrast, one of the least costly schools for in-state students the same year was Auburn University at Montgomery, which charged $16,230 for tuition, room, and board.

    Although public school students typically save money on tuition, they still need to consider other college-related expenses, such as student services, on-campus healthcare, technology, books, and supplies.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in Alabama

    How many public colleges and universities are there in Alabama?

    The state of Alabama hosts 19 public four-year colleges and universities, which enrolled over 170,000 students during the 2020-2021 academic year, according to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.

    According to NCES, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa is one of the biggest schools in the state, with an undergraduate student body of more than 31,000. This school ranks highly in the nation among other public institutions, along with Auburn University, Jacksonville State University, and Troy University.

    What is the most expensive public college or university in Alabama?

    Auburn University is one of the most expensive schools in Alabama. In-state students pay over $26,000 each year in tuition, room, and board. Although public higher education typically costs less than private institutions, it is often still a significant investment.

    College has become increasingly expensive in the last several decades. Rising tuition, growing administrative costs, and state and federal funding decreases have contributed to theseincreased costs.

    What is the least expensive public college or university in Alabama?

    Auburn University at Montgomery is one of the least expensive public universities in Alabama, costing a total of $16,228 each year in tuition, room, and board.

    Because they receive federal and state funds, endowments, and private donations, several public four-year colleges can offer many students an affordable education. Individuals can apply for scholarships, financial aid, and other programs to defray the cost of higher education.

    What is the biggest public college or university in Alabama?

    Among the big public schools in the state, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa boasts the largest enrollment, with more than 31,000 full-time undergraduate students.

    This school was founded in 1831 as Alabama's flagship university. As the oldest public four-year institution in the state, the University of Alabama consists of 12 colleges and schools and offers more than 70 undergraduate programs.

    Is a public college or university right for me?

    A publiccollege or university education can be an affordable and viable option for many students, especially individuals who cannot afford to go to a private institution. In addition to lower tuition and other costs, public schools tend to offer more majors and degree programs, which might suit students who are unsure about their academic and career goals.

    Also, many of the best public schools in Alabama provide ample cocurricular activities and groups that students can join to enhance their college experiences.