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2022 Best Colleges in Alabama

48 Colleges
$36,088 Avg Salary*
29% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. One of our goals at College Factual is to give you as much information as we can - such as our Top Alabama Schools ranking - to help you make that decision.

Our analysis looked at 48 schools in Alabama to determine which ones were the best in terms of overall quality. To come up with this ranking, we look at more than 20 factors that are all objective measurements. These factors include freshman retention, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and post graduate earnings, among other things.

Get more details on our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location or field of study and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most 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 in Alabama

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

Auburn University tops this year’s ranking as the best school in Alabama for overall quality. This large public school is located in Auburn, Alabama, and it awarded 7,516 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 91%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Auburn make an average of $48,800 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Auburn University Report

#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 overall quality ranking. The University of Alabama is a large public school located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that handed out 10,340 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 87%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. During the early years of their career, graduates from UA make an average of $44,500 a year.

Read full report on The University of Alabama

#3

Samford University

Birmingham, Alabama

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Samford University helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Alabama.Birmingham, Alabama is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,726 students in 2019-2020.

With a freshman retention rate of 89%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Samford go into careers with an average salary of $49,900 during the early years of their career.

Full Samford University Report

#4

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Alabama at Birmingham. The school came in at #4 in Alabama on this year’s overall quality ranking. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, the large public school awarded 5,675 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from UAB make an average of $41,200 a year.

Read full report on University of Alabama at Birmingham

#5

University of Alabama in Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of Alabama in Huntsville helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Alabama. Located in Huntsville, Alabama, the medium-sized public school awarded 2,267 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UAH make an average of $46,700 per year during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#6

Birmingham Southern College

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham Southern College ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges in Alabama list. Birmingham Southern College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Birmingham, Alabama that handed out 251 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.7%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $46,700 during the early years of their career..

Full Birmingham Southern College Report

#7

University of South Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

University of South Alabama landed the #7 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama ranking. USA is a public institution located in Mobile, Alabama. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 3,538 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from USA make an average of $37,800 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of South Alabama

#8

Herzing University - Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

Herzing University - Birmingham ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges in Alabama list. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 149 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Herzing University - Birmingham is $37,800 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#9

Enterprise State Community College

Enterprise, Alabama

Enterprise State Community College landed the #9 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama ranking.Enterprise, Alabama is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 181 students in 2019-2020.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Enterprise-Ozark Community College go into careers with an average salary of $31,800 during the early years of their career.

Full Enterprise State Community College Report

#10

Jefferson State Community College

Birmingham, Alabama

Jefferson State Community College came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Alabama ranking. Jefferson State Community College is a medium-sized public school located in Birmingham, Alabama that handed out 835 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Jeff State make an average of $30,600 a year.

Read More…

#11

Marion Military Institute

Marion, Alabama

Marion Military Institute did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #11. Located in Marion, Alabama, the small public school awarded 92 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $42,700 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Marion Military Institute

Wallace Community College, Dothan ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges in Alabama list. Located in Dothan, Alabama, the small public school handed out 554 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Wallace, Dothan go into careers with an average salary of $24,700 during the early years of their career.

Full Wallace Community College, Dothan Report

#13

Athens State University

Athens, Alabama

Athens State University did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #13. Located in Athens, Alabama, the small public school handed out 737 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Athens State University go into careers with an average salary of $38,700 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Athens State University

#14

University of West Alabama

Livingston, Alabama

University of West Alabama came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Alabama ranking.Livingston, Alabama is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,240 students in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from University of West Alabama make an average of $37,400 per year during the early years of their career.

Read More…

John C Calhoun State Community College landed the #15 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama ranking. Calhoun Community College is located in Tanner, Alabama and has a medium-sized student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 1,202 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Calhoun Community College go into careers with an average salary of $28,000 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on John C Calhoun State Community College

#16

Bevill State Community College

Jasper, Alabama

Bevill State Community College came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Alabama ranking. Located in Jasper, Alabama, the small public school awarded 584 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Bevill State Community College make an average of $28,100 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Bevill State Community College

#17

University of North Alabama

Florence, Alabama

With a ranking of #17, University of North Alabama did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama list. UNA is located in Florence, Alabama and has a medium-sized student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 1,660 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UNA go into careers with an average salary of $37,800 during the early years of their career.

Full University of North Alabama Report

#18

Gadsden State Community College

Gadsden, Alabama

With a ranking of #18, Gadsden State Community College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama list. GSCC is a public institution located in Gadsden, Alabama. The school has a small population, and it awarded 702 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from GSCC make an average of $26,700 a year.

Read More…

Wallace State Community College, Hanceville came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Alabama ranking.Hanceville, Alabama is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 979 students in 2019-2020.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Wallace State, Hanceville go into careers with an average salary of $32,200 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Wallace State Community College, Hanceville

#20

Bishop State Community College

Mobile, Alabama

Bishop State Community College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama ranking, coming in at #20. Bishop State Community College is located in Mobile, Alabama and has a small student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 342 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $22,800 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Bishop State Community College

#21

University of Montevallo

Montevallo, Alabama

University of Montevallo landed the #21 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama ranking. Montevallo is a public institution located in Montevallo, Alabama. The school has a small population, and it awarded 593 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Montevallo make an average of $34,200 per year during the early years of their career.

Full University of Montevallo Report

#22

Huntingdon College

Montgomery, Alabama

Huntingdon College ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges in Alabama list. Huntingdon College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Montgomery, Alabama. The school has a small population, and it awarded 244 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Huntingdon College go into careers with an average salary of $39,900 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Huntingdon College

#23

Shelton State Community College

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Shelton State Community College came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Alabama ranking. Located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the small public school awarded 494 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $27,100 during the early years of their career..

Full Shelton State Community College Report

#24

Coastal Alabama Community College

Bay Minette, Alabama

Coastal Alabama Community College came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Alabama ranking. Coastal Alabama Community College is a public institution located in Bay Minette, Alabama. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 798 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Coastal Alabama Community College make an average of $29,100 a year.

Read full report on Coastal Alabama Community College

#25

Troy University

Troy, Alabama

With a ranking of #25, Troy University did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in Alabama list.Troy, Alabama is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 3,727 students in 2019-2020.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $37,000 during the early years of their career..

Full Troy University Report

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

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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