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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama

25 Colleges
$22,104 Avg Cost*
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. College Factual has developed its Best Value Alabama Schools ranking as one tool you can use to help make this decision.

We analyzed 25 colleges and universities to determine which were the best for overall value 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 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 in Alabama. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 354 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at BSC is 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $8,951. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from BSC is about $36,610. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot 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 also made our Best Colleges in Alabama list, coming in at #5.

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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. UA is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,542 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

At UA, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $21,335. 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 UA is $92,807. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 87%. 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

A rank of #3 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list means University of Alabama at Birmingham is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. UAB is located in Birmingham, Alabama and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,613 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at UAB to complete their degree, and it costs about $22,406 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UAB is $101,051. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

UAB did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #4 on our Best Colleges in Alabama list.

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#4

University of Montevallo

Montevallo, Alabama

Out of the 25 schools in Alabama that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Montevallo landed the #4 spot on the list. University of Montevallo is a small public school situated in Montevallo, Alabama. It awarded 465 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at University of Montevallo graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $19,046. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from University of Montevallo is about $85,517. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#5

Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Auburn University. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama list. Located in Auburn, Alabama, the large public school awarded 5,370 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Auburn is 4.4 years, and it costs about $27,484 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $121,204 to get a bachelor’s degree from Auburn. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 92%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Auburn is ranked #2 for overall quality in Alabama.

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#6

University of Alabama in Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama

University of Alabama in Huntsville came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama ranking. This medium-sized public school is located in Huntsville, Alabama, and it awarded 1,348 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UAH about 4.7 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $21,841. This means that the average student pays around $102,871 to get a bachelor’s degree from UAH. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

In addition to its great value ranking, UAH is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Alabama list.

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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.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at USA is 4.6 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $18,242. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from USA is about $84,643. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#8

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville, Alabama

Jacksonville State University came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama ranking. Jacksonville State University is a public institution located in Jacksonville, Alabama. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,345 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Jacksonville State University, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.8 years, and it costs about $16,616 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Jacksonville State University is $78,926. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#9

Samford University

Birmingham, Alabama

Samford University ranked #9 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in Birmingham, Alabama, and it awarded 891 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Samford about 4.2 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $35,135. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Samford is $146,864. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

With a freshman retention rate of 87%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Samford did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #1 on our Best Colleges in Alabama list.

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#10

University of North Alabama

Florence, Alabama

University of North Alabama landed the #10 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking. University of North Alabama is a medium-sized public school located in Florence, Alabama that handed out 1,208 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UNA about 4.7 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $18,379. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UNA is about $85,830. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#11

Auburn University at Montgomery

Montgomery, Alabama

Auburn University at Montgomery did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #11. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the medium-sized public school handed out 680 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at AUM is 4.8 years, and it costs about $15,292 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the AUM is $74,013. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#12

Troy University

Troy, Alabama

Troy University came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama ranking. TROY is a public institution located in Troy, Alabama. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,450 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at TROY about 4.6 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $17,542. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from TROY is about $80,693. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#13

Alabama State University

Montgomery, Alabama

Alabama State University landed the #13 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking. This small public school is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and it awarded 510 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Alabama State is 4.9 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $14,630. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Alabama State be around $71,394. 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 ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. University of West Alabama is a medium-sized public school situated in Livingston, Alabama. It awarded 319 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At University of West Alabama, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $18,623. This means that the average student pays around $82,500 to get a bachelor’s degree from University of West Alabama. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#15

Alabama A & M University

Normal, Alabama

Alabama A & M University ranked #15 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. Located in Normal, Alabama, the medium-sized public school awarded 560 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average student at AAMU graduates in less than 5.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $15,512. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from AAMU is $79,266. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#16

Miles College

Fairfield, Alabama

Miles College came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama ranking. Miles College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Fairfield, Alabama. The school has a small population, and it awarded 230 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Miles College is 4.7 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,982. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Miles College be around $75,755. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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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.

At Spring Hill, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and it costs about $29,432 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill is about $122,731. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#18

Talladega College

Talladega, Alabama

Talladega College came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama ranking. Talladega College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Talladega, Alabama. It awarded 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 the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,592. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Talladega College is about $79,340. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#19

Judson College

Marion, Alabama

Judson College landed the #19 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking. Judson College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Marion, Alabama that handed out 65 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Judson College is 4.3 years, and it costs about $22,106 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $94,172 to get a bachelor’s degree from Judson College. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 6 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors.

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#20

Huntingdon College

Montgomery, Alabama

Huntingdon College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #20. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and it awarded 265 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Huntingdon College graduates in less than 4.3 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $25,757. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Huntingdon College be around $111,013. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#21

University of Mobile

Mobile, Alabama

University of Mobile ranked #21 on this year’s 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.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at University of Mobile is 4.3 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $29,196. This means that the average student pays around $126,711 to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Mobile. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#22

Stillman College

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Stillman College ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and it awarded 94 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Stillman College is 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $23,462. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Stillman College be around $104,641. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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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. Oakwood is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Huntsville, Alabama. It awarded 292 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Oakwood, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.7 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $30,689. 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 Oakwood is $144,852. 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 ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Tuskegee, Alabama, and it awarded 403 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Tuskegee, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $37,488. 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 Tuskegee is $158,574. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#25

Faulkner University

Montgomery, Alabama

Faulkner University ranked #25 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Alabama list. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 497 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Faulkner is 4.7 years, and it costs about $29,869 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 Faulkner is $140,982. 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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