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2021 Best Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Alabama

25 Colleges
$20,310 Avg Cost (With Aid)*
4.5 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Alabama Schools For The Money For Those Getting Aid ranking.

Our analysis looked at 25 schools to determine which ones were the best for overall value for the money with aid in Alabama. This ranking doesn't just identify the colleges with the lowest costs. Rather, it highlights those institutions that offer excellent educational experiences for a lower cost than other schools of roughly the same caliber. Because of this, it is possible for one college to rank better than another, even if the latter college has a lower average cost.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

When determining average cost, we look at total expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, and then deduct the average amount of financial aid awarded to a student. This estimate is meant to give you a better picture of how much money you'll have to pay each year, either through self-pay, loans, or external scholarships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors, such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those seeking diversity and overall quality.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Alabama

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Birmingham Southern College

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham Southern College tops this year’s ranking as the best school for overall value for the money with aid in Alabama. BSC is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Birmingham, Alabama. It awarded 354 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At BSC, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.1 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $8,687 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $35,530 to get a bachelor’s degree from BSC. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. BSC did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #5 on our Best Colleges in Alabama list.

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#2

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend The University of Alabama. The school came in at #2 in Alabama on this year’s best value ranking. This large public school is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and it awarded 7,542 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UA is 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $15,048 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UA be around $65,459. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 87%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UA also made our Best Colleges in Alabama list, coming in at #3.

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#3

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of Alabama at Birmingham helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in Alabama. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, the large public school handed out 2,613 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UAB graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $19,338 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UAB is $87,214. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, UAB is ranked #4 for overall quality in Alabama.

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#4

Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list means Auburn University is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Auburn is a large public school situated in Auburn, Alabama. It awarded 5,370 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Auburn graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $23,134 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $102,021 to get a bachelor’s degree from Auburn. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 92%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Auburn also made our Best Colleges in Alabama list, coming in at #2.

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#5

University of Montevallo

Montevallo, Alabama

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of Montevallo helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in Alabama. Located in Montevallo, Alabama, the small public school handed out 465 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at University of Montevallo graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $17,142. This means that the average student pays around $76,968 to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Montevallo. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#6

University of Alabama in Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama

University of Alabama in Huntsville landed the #6 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking. Located in Huntsville, Alabama, the medium-sized public school awarded 1,348 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.7 years for the average student at UAH to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $18,720 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UAH is $88,171. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UAH also is in the top 20% of our Best Colleges in Alabama ranking.

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#7

University of South Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

University of South Alabama did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #7. Located in Mobile, Alabama, the fairly large public school handed out 1,940 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.6 years for the average student at USA to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,687 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from USA is $72,788. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#8

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville, Alabama

With a ranking of #8, Jacksonville State University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. Jacksonville State University is a medium-sized public school situated in Jacksonville, Alabama. It awarded 1,345 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Jacksonville State University about 4.8 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $14,047 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Jacksonville State University is $66,723. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#9

University of North Alabama

Florence, Alabama

University of North Alabama ranked #9 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. UNA is a medium-sized public school situated in Florence, Alabama. It awarded 1,208 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UNA about 4.7 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $16,415 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $76,658 to get a bachelor’s degree from UNA. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#10

Auburn University at Montgomery

Montgomery, Alabama

Auburn University at Montgomery landed the #10 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the medium-sized public school handed out 680 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at AUM graduates in less than 4.8 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $13,208 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $63,927 to get a bachelor’s degree from AUM. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#11

Samford University

Birmingham, Alabama

Samford University landed the #11 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking. Samford University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Birmingham, Alabama that handed out 891 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Samford is 4.2 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $33,874. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Samford is $141,593. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.9%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. Samford did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #1 on our Best Colleges in Alabama list.

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#12

Troy University

Troy, Alabama

Troy University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. Located in Troy, Alabama, the fairly large public school handed out 2,450 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At TROY, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.6 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,895 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from TROY be around $73,117. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#13

Alabama State University

Montgomery, Alabama

Alabama State University ranked #13 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the small public school handed out 510 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Alabama State about 4.9 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $13,705 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $66,880 to get a bachelor’s degree from Alabama State. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#14

University of West Alabama

Livingston, Alabama

University of West Alabama did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #14. Located in Livingston, Alabama, the medium-sized public school awarded 319 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at University of West Alabama about 4.4 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,331 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Alabama is $76,776. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#15

Alabama A & M University

Normal, Alabama

Alabama A & M University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #15. Alabama A & M University is a medium-sized public school located in Normal, Alabama that handed out 560 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 5.1 years for the average student at AAMU to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $14,250 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from AAMU is $72,818. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#16

Miles College

Fairfield, Alabama

Miles College ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. Miles College is located in Fairfield, Alabama and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 230 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Miles College is 4.7 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $15,541. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Miles College is $73,664. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#17

Spring Hill College

Mobile, Alabama

Spring Hill College came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Mobile, Alabama, and it awarded 279 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Spring Hill is 4.2 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $29,133 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $121,485 to get a bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#18

Talladega College

Talladega, Alabama

Talladega College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #18. Talladega College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Talladega, Alabama that handed out 101 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at Talladega College to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $17,142 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Talladega College is $77,310. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#19

Judson College

Marion, Alabama

Judson College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #19. Marion, Alabama is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 65 students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.3 years for the average student at Judson College to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $21,361 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Judson College is $90,998. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

With a student-to-faculty rate of 6 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed.

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#20

Huntingdon College

Montgomery, Alabama

Huntingdon College landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking. Montgomery, Alabama is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 265 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Huntingdon College about 4.3 years to graduate, and it costs students who receive aid about $24,852 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Huntingdon College is $107,112. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#21

University of Mobile

Mobile, Alabama

With a ranking of #21, University of Mobile did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. Located in Mobile, Alabama, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 281 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.3 years for the average student at University of Mobile to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $27,847. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Mobile is $120,856. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#22

Stillman College

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Stillman College landed the #22 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking. Stillman College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that handed out 94 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Stillman College, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $22,708 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Stillman College is $101,278. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#23

Oakwood University

Huntsville, Alabama

Oakwood University came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Huntsville, Alabama, and it awarded 292 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.7 years for the average student at Oakwood to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $29,815 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Oakwood is $140,727. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#24

Tuskegee University

Tuskegee, Alabama

Tuskegee University came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama ranking. Tuskegee University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Tuskegee, Alabama that handed out 403 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Tuskegee about 4.2 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $35,403 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $149,755 to get a bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#25

Faulkner University

Montgomery, Alabama

With a ranking of #25, Faulkner University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 497 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Faulkner about 4.7 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $27,477 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Faulkner is $129,691. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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