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Columbia Southern University Data & Information Overview

435 awards Ranking Badges
Great Price Value for Your Money
7% Student Loan Default Rate
Find out more about how Columbia Southern University ranks, how diverse it is, what majors it offers, and other essential facts below.
Want to know more about a specific stat? Just click on its tile, and you’ll go to a page that goes more in-depth on that subject. You can also use the links below to go directly to any section on this page.

How Well Is Columbia Southern University Ranked?

#114 Best Colleges in Nation
#1 Best Colleges in AL
Criminal Justice & Corrections Highest Ranked Major
Quality Badge

2024 Rankings

In its yearly rankings, College Factual analyzes over 2,000 colleges and universities to determine which ones are the best in a variety of categories, such as overall value, quality, diversity, which schools are the best for each major, and much more.

Columbia Southern University was awarded 435 badges in the 2024 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is criminal justice & corrections.

Explore Best Ranked Schools for You

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Overall Quality

College Factual ranked Columbia Southern University as #114 out of 2,217 colleges and universities in the country on its 2024 Best Colleges list. This puts it in the top 10% of all schools in the nation. This is an improvement over the previous year, when Columbia Southern University held the #1,652 spot on the Best Overall Colleges list.

Columbia Southern University is also ranked #1 out of 40 schools in Alabama.

See all of the rankings for Columbia Southern University.

Is It Hard to Get Into Columbia Southern University?

Open Admissions Policy

Acceptance Rate

Columbia Southern University has an open admissions policy, so you should not have much trouble being accepted by the school. Still, it is important to fill out the application completely and submit any requested materials, which may include proof that you have a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Learn more about Columbia Southern University admissions.

Columbia Southern University Faculty

31 to 1 Student to Faculty
63% Full Time Teachers

Student to Faculty Ratio

At Columbia Southern University, the student to faculty ratio is 31 to 1. Compared to the national average of 15 to 1, this is somewhat high. This could mean that class sizes may be larger than they are at other colleges or universities or that professors may be required to teach more classes.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

When estimating how much access students will have to their teachers, some people like to look at what percentage of faculty members are full time. This is because part-time teachers may not have as much time to spend on campus as their full-time counterparts.

The full-time faculty percentage at Columbia Southern University is 63%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  63 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Columbia Southern University

40% Freshmen Retention
11% On-Time Graduation Rate

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate is a measure of what percentage of first-year, full-time students come back for their sophomore year. The 40% rate at Columbia Southern University is a good bit lower than the national rate of 68%. This could be for a number of reasons, such as students transferring after a year because they changed majors.

Freshmen Retention Rate  40 out of 100

Graduation Rate

The on-time graduation rate is the percent of first-time, full time students who obtain their bachelor's degree in four years or less. This rate is 11% for first-time, full-time students at Columbia Southern University, which is lower than the national rate of 33.3%.

On-Time Graduation Rate  11 out of 100

Find out more about the retention and graduation rates at Columbia Southern University.

Columbia Southern University Undergraduate Student Diversity

6,866 Full-Time Undergraduates
26.7% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
41.0% Percent Women

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 13,254 undergraduates at Columbia Southern University with 6,866 being full-time and 6,388 being part-time.

How Much Does Columbia Southern University Cost?

$11,241 Net Price
41% Take Out Loans
$22,804 Total Student Loans
The overall average net price of Columbia Southern University is $11,241. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group. See the table below for the net price for different income groups.

Net Price by Income Group for Columbia Southern University

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$10,318 $10,957 $11,752 $13,035 $13,490

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.Note that the net price is typically less than the published for a school. For more information on the sticker price of Columbia Southern University, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

While almost two-thirds of students nationwide take out loans to pay for college, the percentage may be quite different for the school you plan on attending. At Columbia Southern University, approximately 41% of students took out student loans averaging $5,701 a year. That adds up to $22,804 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at Columbia Southern University is 6.5%. Although this is lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, you'll still want to keep this in mind when taking out student loans.

Get more details about paying for Columbia Southern University.

How Much Money Do Columbia Southern University Graduates Make?

$74,398 Avg Salary of Grads
High Earnings Boost
The pay for some majors is higher than others, but on average, students who graduate with a bachelor's degree from Columbia Southern University make about $74,398 a year during their first few years of employment after graduation. That's great news for Columbia Southern University students since it is 75% more than the average college graduate's salary of $42,485 per year.


See which majors at Columbia Southern University make the most money.

Location of Columbia Southern University

Alabama State
6,866 Full-Time Undergraduates
Town Campus Setting
Columbia Southern University is a private for-profit institution located in Orange Beach, Alabama. The surrounding location of Orange Beach is ideal for students who enjoy the charms of a college town.

Get more details about the location of Columbia Southern University.


Contact details for Columbia Southern University are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, AL 36561-9000
Phone: 251-981-3771

Columbia Southern University Majors

15 Majors With Completions
4,712 Undergraduate Degrees
2,115 Graduate Degrees
During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 15 majors graduated from Columbia Southern University. Of these students, 4,712 received undergraduate degrees and 2,115 graduated with a master's or doctor's degree. The following table lists the most popular undergraduate majors along with the average salary graduates from those majors make.

Most Popular Majors Bachelor’s Degrees Average Salary of Graduates
Business Administration & Management 823 $50,330
Quality Control Technology 683 $68,385
Fire Protection 527 $70,128
Criminal Justice & Corrections 263 $52,800
Health & Medical Administrative Services 192 $46,392
Human Resource Management 165 $48,176
Computer Information Systems 107 $47,097
Mental & Social Health Services 92 $36,507
Natural Resources Conservation 84 $60,105
Homeland Security 67 NA

Learn more about the majors offered at Columbia Southern University along with which ones have the highest average starting salaries.

Online Learning at Columbia Southern University

100% Take At Least One Class Online
100% Take All Classes Online

Online courses area a great option for busy, working students as well as for those who have scheduling conflicts and want to study on their own time. As time goes by, expect to see more and more online learning options become available.

In 2020-2021, 16,412 students took at least one online class at Columbia Southern University. This is a decrease from the 18,533 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2020-2021 16,412 16,412
2019-2020 18,533 18,533
2018-2019 20,027 20,027
2017-2018 21,104 21,104
2016-2017 20,818 20,818

Learn more about online learning at Columbia Southern University.

If you’re considering Columbia Southern University, here are some more schools you may be interested in knowing more about.

Curious on how these schools stack up against Columbia Southern University? Pit them head to head with College Combat, our free interactive tool that lets you compare college on the features that matter most to you!

Notes and References


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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