Online Degree Programs In Alabama (AL)

Online degrees in Alabama

Alabama  or the Heart of Dixie, encompasses a wide variety of industries from aerospace and automotive to agriculture and forestry products. Known to be one of the top five business climates in the country, Alabama is home to a number of Fortune 5000 companies creating great job opportunities, particularly for those with more than a high school diploma. You’ll see why these opportunities are mostly for college graduates as you read on.

Alabama has 79 two- and four- year colleges and universities, many of which offer online degree programs designed to meet the needs of Alabama’s growing job market. Whether you’re a high school graduate or a professional wanting to transition to a new career field or update your skills for higher positions, online degree programs in Alabama can give you the flexibility you need to earn a living and earn a degree at the same time.

Alabama’s economy is growing, creating a widening gap between job market needs and the state’s current educational attainment level. By 2025, Alabama expects about 500,000 jobs requiring more than a high school education to be added to the workforce. About 330,000 of these may be new job openings and about 170,000 vacancies are expected to open up as a result of baby boomers retiring.

How many of these jobs require more than a high school diploma? According to a study conducted by the Georgetown University, Alabama is likely to need 63 percent of its workforce to be educated beyond high school by 2020.

  • 36 percent of jobs may require some college credential, an associate degree, or a postsecondary vocational certificate
  • 19 percent of jobs may require a bachelor’s degree
  • 8 percent of jobs may require a master’s degree or higher

Better and wider job opportunities are not the only benefits that can come with higher education. The 2018 Alabama State Progress Report by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) shows that across the SREB region the average yearly earnings of college graduates were $15,300 more than those with a postsecondary credential such as some college or an associate degree. In Alabama, the earning gap between high school graduates and college graduates in 2016 was on average $21,160 a year.

Why is this important? According to a 2018 Learning House study of online students, some of the salient factors important to online students and their success are career services, including job placement services, interaction with peers, available scholarships and grants, along with a host of other factors. Pooling data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), we’ve taken many of those factors into consideration while crafting our methodology.

1
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL
https://www.uab.edu
Average in-state tuition
$8,568
No. of online programs
18
% of students in distance education
57%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,292
Admissions Rate
92%
Graduation Rate
58%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL
https://www.ua.edu/
Average in-state tuition
$10,780
No. of online programs
30
% of students in distance education
39%
Avg. amount of Aid
$14,968
Admissions Rate
59%
Graduation Rate
72%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Troy University
Troy, AL
https://www.troy.edu
Average in-state tuition
$7,800
No. of online programs
46
% of students in distance education
51%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,883
Admissions Rate
88%
Graduation Rate
43%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Auburn University
Auburn, AL
https://www.auburn.edu
Average in-state tuition
$9,624
No. of online programs
26
% of students in distance education
23%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,062
Admissions Rate
75%
Graduation Rate
78%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
University of North Alabama
Florence, AL
https://www.una.edu
Average in-state tuition
$8,310
No. of online programs
22
% of students in distance education
58%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,335
Admissions Rate
64%
Graduation Rate
46%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Columbia Southern University
Orange Beach, AL
https://www.columbiasouthern.edu
Average in-state tuition
$5,400
No. of online programs
50
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$1,903
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
24%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
7
University of West Alabama
Livingston, AL
https://www.uwa.edu
Average in-state tuition
$8,450
No. of online programs
30
% of students in distance education
71%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,874
Admissions Rate
40%
Graduation Rate
31%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville
Hanceville, AL
https://www.wallacestate.edu
Average in-state tuition
$3,870
No. of online programs
3
% of students in distance education
44%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,265
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
University of Mobile
Mobile, AL
https://www.umobile.edu
Average in-state tuition
$21,620
No. of online programs
7
% of students in distance education
41%
Avg. amount of Aid
$12,263
Admissions Rate
47%
Graduation Rate
50%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL
https://www.southalabama.edu
Average in-state tuition
$7,896
No. of online programs
13
% of students in distance education
48%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,725
Admissions Rate
79%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
11
Samford University
Birmingham, AL
Average in-state tuition
$30,800
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
30%
Avg. amount of Aid
$15,760
Admissions Rate
82.080329557158
Graduation Rate
76
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
12
Faulkner University
Montgomery, AL
Average in-state tuition
$19,880
No. of online programs
34
% of students in distance education
52%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,858
Admissions Rate
52.265069262449
Graduation Rate
28
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
13
Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville, AL
Average in-state tuition
$9,720
No. of online programs
21
% of students in distance education
68%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,784
Admissions Rate
54.301342615614
Graduation Rate
42
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
14
Snead State Community College
Boaz, AL
Average in-state tuition
$3,870
No. of online programs
0
% of students in distance education
80%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,524
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
15
Amridge University
Montgomery, AL
Average in-state tuition
$9,000
No. of online programs
27
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,163
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
40
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
16
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL
Average in-state tuition
$9,730
No. of online programs
9
% of students in distance education
28%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,916
Admissions Rate
80.871670702179
Graduation Rate
52
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
17

,
Average in-state tuition
$0
No. of online programs
% of students in distance education
0%
Avg. amount of Aid
N/A
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
N/A
Placement Services
N/A
18
Lurleen B Wallace Community College
Andalusia, AL
Average in-state tuition
$3,870
No. of online programs
2
% of students in distance education
40%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,393
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
19
Auburn University at Montgomery
Montgomery, AL
Average in-state tuition
$7,536
No. of online programs
12
% of students in distance education
48%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,442
Admissions Rate
92.812657801717
Graduation Rate
34
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
20
Jefferson State Community College
Birmingham, AL
Average in-state tuition
$3,870
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
39%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,157
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
Ready to Explore Colleges Offering Online Degree Programs?

If you want to align your degree to the demand of Alabama’s job market, here’s a list of the most popular programs derived from data retrieved from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Popular degree programs are usually an indication of industry demands so these programs are worth your consideration.

Program Name
No. of online programs
Business Administration and Management, General
34
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
15
Elementary Education and Teaching
13
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
12
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration
11
General Studies
9
Accounting
8
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General
7
Bible/Biblical Studies
6
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
6

The Alabama state government is a member of the National Council State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA), an organization that ensures the delivery of quality online programs across the country. There are 35 approved SARA institutions in Alabama including the Alabama A & M University, Jacksonville State University, and Faulkner University.

Several universities offer online degree programs in Alabama that have been certified by Quality Matters (QM), which is a faculty-centered, peer-review process designed to assure quality of online programs and its components. A few of the colleges that participate in the QM process include the University of Alabama, Troy University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The QM review is an ongoing process to improve the quality of online education offerings.

Look for credit transferability

According to a 2018 Online Student Survey, 85 percent of students seeking undergraduate online programs have credits they would like to see transfer into their next program. Credits that you have earned can put you in good pace toward completing your bachelor’s degree. Alabama’s Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System (STARS) makes it easier for you to know which credits can transfer to your undergraduate program.

Look for services that can help you succeed as an online student

Most colleges offer real-time support tools such as instant messaging, web conferencing, virtual meeting rooms, and online chat rooms. Asynchronous classes make it easier for you to access your classes any time of the day or night. Some colleges in Alabama have taken a step further in assisting online students. For instance,

  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Student Success Center (SSC) offers its online students academic tutoring and live coaching.
  • Bridging the online gap between faculty, students and peers, Troy University has switched to the Canvas learning management system. Canvas can be a hub of information for Troy online students and it also allows access to the Trojan Café, an international community of Troy students, faculty and staff.

Look for accreditation

Prospective students should also look for accredited institutions and programs in the state. Major accrediting bodies in Alabama include:

According to the Alabama Department of Labor, occupations that are more likely to be in demand in the next decade are related to healthcare, management, administrative support, production, sales and STEM. Here’s the list of the top occupations in the state according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Occupation
Number of Workers
Median Salary
Office and Administrative Support Occupations253,500$33,530
Production Occupations219,280$32,140
Sales and Related Occupations208,730$25,150
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations186,900$19,320
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations170,120$29,070
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations129,690$54,510
Educational Instruction and Library Occupations105,240$48,910
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations98,500$44,500
Management Occupations83,760$93,660
Construction and Extraction Occupations83,040$39,460
Business and Financial Operations Occupations78,600$65,410
Healthcare Support Occupations68,060$23,690
Retail Salespersons64,130$22,850
Fast Food and Counter Workers62,620$18,580
Cashiers61,180$20,400
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations55,720$23,700
Registered Nurses49,190$58,800
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive47,030$35,390
Protective Service Occupations44,660$36,660
Architecture and Engineering Occupations44,480$83,960
Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Top Metropolitan Areas in Alabama

Significant job growth in Alabama may be expected through 2026 in industries such as transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, automotive and plastics manufacturing, information and healthcare services. Students who want to pursue online degrees in Alabama may refer to this general overview of four of the top metropolitan areas in Alabama before enrolling in a degree program.

Montgomery: Employment in the Montgomery metro area is high in industries including manufacturing, trade, transportation, business, education and health services. Companies such as Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, German auto supplier Gerhardi, and GKN Aerospace, the company that manufactures parts for Airbus airplanes, have facilities in this area. You can explore degree programs available at colleges such as Alabama State University, Huntingdon College, and Faulkner University.

Huntsville: The Huntsville metro area currently has high employment in professional and business services, manufacturing, trade, transportation and hospitality. It is a hub for aerospace and aviation companies such as The Boeing Company, GE Aviation, and Blue Origin. Huntsville is also home to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. Colleges in the area include Athens State College, Oakwood College and Alabama A&M University.

Birmingham-Hoover: The Birmingham-Hoover metro area employs large numbers of workers in sectors such as trade, transportation, manufacturing, business, education, healthcare, and finance. Major employers present in the area include Alabama Power Company, AT&T and Regions Financial Corporation. Samford University, Miles College, and University of Alabama at Birmingham are some colleges in the area.

There are hundreds of needs-based and merit-based financial aid programs that students in Alabama can apply for. Each program has its own eligibility criteria. Students can apply for federal or state aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

State-based financial aid resources include:

In addition to these, students should check with the financial aid office of their prospective college for other available scholarships or grants.

Scholarship Listing

Alabama National Guard Educational Assistance
No. of Awards
869
Deadline
September 16
Max. Award Amount
1,000
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a member of the Alabama National Guard attending an Alabama postsecondary institution.
More
Alabama G.I. Dependents' Scholarship
No. of Awards
854
Deadline
Open
Max. Award Amount
1,150
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be the dependent of a disabled veteran (child or stepchild under age 26) or spouse or non-remarried widow(er) who is enrolled in a state-supported institution in Alabama. The veteran must have honorably served at least 90 days of continuous active federal military service, be rated 20% or more disabled due to service-connected disabilities or have held the qualifying rating at the time of death, or be a former prisoner of war, declared missing in action, or have died as the result of a service-connected disability or in the line of duty while on active duty. The veteran must have been a permanent civilian resident of the state of Alabama for at least one year immediately prior to initial entry into active military service or any subsequent period of military service in which a break in service occurred and civilian residency was established. Dependents of permanently disabled service-connected veterans rated at 100% may also qualify after the veteran has established at least five years of permanent residency in Alabama.
More
Don't Wait to Reach Your Potential Scholarship for Alabama Teens
No. of Awards
1
Deadline
May 4
Max. Award Amount
500
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicants must be Alabama residents in grades 9-12. Students are required to sign up for the weekly eNewsletter.
More
Teen Spotlight Achievement Scholarship
No. of Awards
1
Deadline
Open
Max. Award Amount
500
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicants must be Alabama residents. Students must be between the ages of 13 to 17 years old and be chosen to be a Teen Spotlight for Potential Magazine.
More
Martha Corbin Scholarship
No. of Awards
1
Deadline
February 1
Max. Award Amount
2,500
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Selection based upon merit.
More

While the SAT and the ACT are the most common tests that may be required as part of the college admission process, some students may also need to take other tests such as Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to determine fluency in English.

Many colleges across the country are making entrance tests like the SAT and ACT optional. Instead of these standardized tests, institutes like Birmingham-Southern College, assess a student’s aptitude through interviews, academic portfolios including high school projects, graded papers, high school ranking, GPA, and extracurricular activities.

See Methodology Information Here

Sources:

  • Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
    • Alabama Economy, accessed May 2018, Data USA,https://datausa.io/profile/geo/alabama/#economy
    • Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi and Texas Join SARA, November 2, 2015,https://www.sreb.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/al_ga_md_ms_tx_join_distance_ed_agreement.pdf
    • Alabama Labor Market Information Division, accessed May 2018, Alabama Department of Labor, http://www2.labor.alabama.gov/
    • Annual Report 2015-2016, accessed May 2018, Alabama Commission on Higher Education, http://www.ache.alabama.gov/Content/AgencyRpt/2016-Annual-Report.pdf
    • Annual Report 2016-2017, accessed May 2018, Alabama Commission on Higher Education,http://www.ache.state.al.us/Content/AgencyRpt/2017-Annual-Report.pdf
    • Alabama State Progress Report: Looking Closer, accessed May 2018, Southern Regional Education Board, https://www.sreb.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/2018progress_al.pdf
    • Approved SARA Institutions in Alabama, accessed May 2018, National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements,http://nc-sara.org/states/AL
    • A Stronger Nation: Alabama’s Progress toward the Goal, accessed May 2018, Lumina Foundation, http://strongernation.luminafoundation.org/report/2018/#state/AL
    • BSC Moves to Test-Optional Admission, August 17, 2016, Birmingham-Southern College,https://www.bsc.edu/communications/news/2016/08/bsc-moves-to-test-optional-admission/
    • Building Human Capital: The Educational Path to Alabama’s Economic Success, accessed May 2018, Alabama Commission on Higher Education, http://www.ache.state.al.us/Content/AgencyRpt/State_plan.pdf
    • Directory of Accrediting Organizations Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), accessed May 2018, Alabama Commission on Higher Education, http://www.ache.state.al.us/Content/CollegesUniversities/AccredDir.pdf
    • Made in Alabama, Industries,http://www.madeinalabama.com/industries/ ,accessed July 2018
    • National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements,http://nc-sara.org/states/AL, accessed July 2018.
    • Online College Students 2018, Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences,https://www.learninghouse.com/knowledge-center/research-reports/ocs2018/, accessed July 2018.
    • Partnerships, accessed May 2018, University of Alabama, http://bamabydistance.ua.edu/about-us/partnerships.php
    • Preparing Alabama’s Workforce for Opportunity and Growth, April 30, 2018, Alabama Workforce Council, https://alabamaworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2018.04.30_SuccessPlus.pdf
    • Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020 State Report, accessed May 2018, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce,https://cew-7632.kxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/StateProjections_6.1.15_agc_v2.pdf
    • Student Financial Assistance, accessed May 2018, Alabama Commission on Higher Education,http://www.ache.state.al.us/Content/Departments/StudentAsst/StudentAsst.aspx
    • The University of Alabama, http://www.itas.ua.edu/course-development/development/quality-matters-rubric.php, accessed July 2018
    • University of South Alabama, Quality Matters, http://www.southalabama.edu/departments/ilc/qm-courselist/, accessed July 2018
    • Why UAB?, accessed May 2018, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, https://www.uab.edu/home/online/why-uab
    • Quality Matters, Troy University Case Study, https://www.qualitymatters.org/qa-resources/resource-center/articles-resources/troy-university, accessed July 2018
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham, Quality Matters, https://www.uab.edu/elearning/faculty/quality-matters, accessed July 2018
    • QM Program Certification Overview, https://www.qualitymatters.org/qm-reviews-certifications/program-reviews, accessed July 2018
    • What are my benefits as a student? National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements,http://nc-sara.org/what-are-student-benefits, accessed July 2018
    • Top Companies in Alabama on the 2017 Inc. 5000, https://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2017/state/al, accessed July 2018
    • Student Success Center Rolls Out Online Academic Coaching and Tutoring, January 2018, https://www.uah.edu/news/campus/student-success-center-rolls-out-online-academic-coaching-and-tutoring
    • Trojan Café, Troy University,https://www.troy.edu/cafe/, accessed July 2018
Methodologies and Sources