100 EPIC STUDENTS: ALABAMA
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In Alabama, college education is within everyone’s reach. The state is among the top 10 for investing public funds in higher education, and more than 300,000 students attend Alabama colleges and universities every year. Here are details that might be useful as you search for certificate programs or degree programs in Alabama.
- The most populated college campus in Alabama is the University of Alabama (UA) in Tuscaloosa. About 36,000 students attended during the 2014-2015 school year. This school is well respected nationwide and about half its students are from out of state. The University of Alabama awards degrees at the bachelor level and higher. It has the state’s only publicly funded law school. UA also offers graduate programs that aren’t available anywhere else in the state; some examples are doctoral programs in anthropology, social work and music.
- Troy University, a state school with its flagship campus in the city of Troy, is the Alabama university with the largest enrollment across all its campuses. These include four campuses in Alabama and 60 learning centers in other states and countries. Troy University awards associate degrees through doctoral degrees.
- Interested in studying medicine? As of 2015 Alabama had four medical schools, two veterinary schools, a dental school, an optometry college and two pharmacy schools.
- The Alabama Community College System is designed for accessibility statewide. You can choose from about 20 physical campuses or earn college credits online.
How much does college cost in Alabama? What should you know about the state more generally? Here’s a mix of trivia and education statistics.
- Nicknames for Alabama include “The Cotton State” and “The Yellowhammer State.” (Cotton is a major export and the Yellowhammer is the state bird.) The state is also known as “The Heart of Dixie.”
- Can you take the heat? Alabama has a humid subtropical climate. Generally the summers are very hot and the winters are mild.
- Affordable bachelor degrees! Four-year universities and colleges in Alabama are competitively priced. For the 2012-2013 academic year the tuition at public institutions was about $8073 for in-state students while the national average for state schools was $8070. As for private four-year schools in Alabama, the average tuition was $13,983 in 2012-2013. The national average was $24,525.
- Community colleges in Alabama charged an average tuition of $4048 per year in 2012-2013. That’s a bit high — the national average was $2792 — but most community college students in Alabama receive financial aid. In any case, associate degrees tend to pay off quickly! Community college graduates have significantly higher income than people who only finish high school.
- What percentage of Alabama college students graduate within six years? We’ve seen numbers as low as 5 percent and as high as 68% for bachelor degree programs. (Nationwide the average was 59% in 2013.) Use our search tool to compare the graduation rates for any Alabama colleges you’re considering.
- Which industries are strong in Alabama? The state has a diverse economy and its employment rate tends to mirror the national average. Agriculture is strong; cotton, fruit and peanuts are some top exports. The steel industry is also robust and Alabama is a leading manufacturer for the automobile industry. Hydroelectric power and coal mining also employ many Alabamans. Some other major industries are apparel, textiles and rubber.
- Football is a big part of Alabama college culture. This is especially true at the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Their teams (the Crimson Tide and the Tigers, respectively) are major rivals in the Southeastern Conference. The schools’ stadiums are regularly filled to capacity — and at the University of Alabama, there’s room for more than 101,000 fans.