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Why This Matters

This list features some of the best online schools in Alabama. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

Choosing only accredited higher learning institutions for the list helps guarantee high standards of educational quality. For Alabama colleges, the most common accreditor is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a regional body focusing on Southern states. Its core values of accountability, transparency, continuous quality improvement, and peer review help fulfill the mission of ensuring educational quality.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Alabama

Best Online Colleges in Alabama Badge

University of Alabama

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Auburn University

Athens State University

University of Alabama in Huntsville

University of North Alabama

Troy University

Jacksonville State University

University of South Alabama

Samford University

University of Mobile

University of West Alabama

Amridge University

Heritage Christian University

Spring Hill College

Faulkner University

Oakwood University

Talladega College

University of Montevallo

Tuskegee University

Alabama A & M University

Auburn University at Montgomery

United States Sports Academy

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Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Alabama

Does Alabama have good online colleges and universities?

In a word, yes. Alabama offers flexible, affordable online degree options, many of which are highly ranked. For instance, U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Alabama as the #6 best school in the country for earning an online Bachelor’s in Business. A degree in business can take you a long way in Alabama, as management positions are in high demand. Alabama offers many other types of online degrees and growing industries for you to choose from as well.

It’s also worth mentioning that we selected the University of Alabama as one of the 30 best schools in the entire United States for distance education. For more information, check out our guide to the best accredited online colleges. In addition to showing you the top options in the country for remote learning, this guide offers expert advice on how to choose a college and complete the application process.

Do online college credits in Alabama cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some colleges offer discounted rates for online courses, whereas others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc.

Why should you choose Alabama for online higher education?

Alabama is home to a range of private colleges and public two- and four-year institutions, most of which offer online degree options. Many universities in the state charge the same online tuition for in-state and out-of-state learners, meaning you don’t have to live in Alabama to take advantage of its affordable tuition fees.

The Cost of Online College in Alabama

How much does an online degree in Alabama cost?

The cost of an online degree in Alabama depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you choose to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you may find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save a lot of money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the lowest and highest rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Alabama below:

Most affordable online college in Alabama: University of North Alabama, $320 per credit

Most expensive online college in Alabama: University of Alabama—Birmingham, $458 per credit

Average College Tuition Costs

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Alabama to get in-state tuition rates?

To be considered an Alabama resident and qualify for in-state tuition, you need to prove that you moved to Alabama for reasons other than education and that you intend to stay there for the foreseeable future. When evaluating your residency, institutions consider factors such as whether you pay income taxes or are employed full-time in the state. Some groups, such as military veterans, active-duty service members, and permanent full-time employees, may be able to access in-state tuition rates without meeting the residency requirement. 

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Alabama?

Alabama offers residents several ways to reduce their tuition costs. One of the primary sources of tuition assistance is the Alabama Student Assistance Program (ASAP). Depending on your income, the size of your family, and which institution you attend, you may be able to receive up to $5,000 to put toward the cost of tuition through this state-run program.

It’s also worth noting that you should submit your FAFSA application to see if you are eligible for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and other financial aid awards.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Alabama

In addition to ASAP, there are a number of other programs available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are based on financial need, whereas others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent financial aid options for you below:

Alabama Student Grant Program

This grant program offers up to $3,000 in tuition assistance for students who attend one of 12 eligible universities. The grant is not need-based, which means that it does not take your financial background into consideration.

Who’s eligible? Alabama residents enrolled at one of these institutions: Ambridge University, Birmingham Southern College, Faulkner University, Huntingdon College, Miles College, Oakwood University, Samford University, Spring Hill College, South University – Montgomery, Stillman College, the United States Sports Academy, or University of Mobile.

Contact information: [email protected] | 334-242 2269

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CollegeCounts Scholarship

CollegeCounts Scholarships are offered in association with the Alabama state treasurer. The awards provide $4,000 in one-time grant funding to freshmen at a four-year institution in Alabama and $2,000 in one-time grant funding to freshmen at a two-year institution in Alabama.

Who’s eligible? Incoming college freshmen who are U.S. citizens, residents of Alabama, enrolled (or will enroll) in a two- or four-year university in Alabama, demonstrate financial need, and have a GPA of at least 2.75.

Contact information: [email protected] | 800-309-1198

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Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program

This federal loan repayment program aims to encourage students to pursue certification in math or science teaching and seek STEM teaching positions at public schools in Alabama that are most in need. The program offers two levels of repayment: one for students pursuing a teaching certificate in math or science, and a second for teachers who choose to work in an underserved public school in Alabama.

Who’s eligible? Students working toward an Alabama teaching certificate in math or science who pledge to teach at an underserved public school in the state.

Contact information: [email protected] | 334-242-2273

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Top 5 Fast-Growing Careers in Alabama

If you’re still in the process of weighing your college options, there’s a chance you may also be undecided on your major. When making this decision, one of the most important factors to consider is your future employability. You should think about which industries and careers are projected to grow the fastest in Alabama — such information may make it easier to find a job when you graduate, and being in demand can help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Long-Term Occupational Projections (2020–2030), we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest projected growth rates in Alabama:

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants are one of the most in-demand health professionals. They work under physicians to support patient care and must complete extensive education and medical training. The average annual PA salary in Alabama is $94,220.

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts monitor and manage an organization’s computer networks and systems. Specifically, information security analysts keep an organization’s data safe. As cybersecurity and information security become increasingly important in our digital world, security analysts are in high demand. They are also well-compensated, making an average annual salary of $107,280 in Alabama.

Software Developers and Testers

As governments, companies, and individuals become ever more reliant on web-based technologies, it’s no surprise that the skills of software developers and testers are in high demand. Salaries in this field tend to be quite high — in Alabama, software developers earn an average salary of $107,870, and software testers make $90,030.

Personal Care Aides

As Alabama’s population ages and chronic and acute medical conditions become more prevalent, the state is in increasing need of personal care aides to assist patients, often older adults or disabled people, with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. In Alabama, personal care aides make an average annual salary of $23,330.

Financial Managers

Financial managers tend to the financial health of an organization. With an average salary of $141,070 in Alabama, this is one of the highest-paying jobs available that typically only requires a bachelor’s degree.

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