Best Value Colleges in Alabama

Only one school in the Yellowhammer state ranks nationally within the top 200 colleges in terms of ROI, meaning that students who earn degrees from this school generally go on to earn excellent incomes following college graduation.  Read More

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1University of Alabama - Huntsville Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$506,000
Total 4 Year Cost$91,300
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,200
2University of Alabama - Huntsville Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$458,000
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,200
3Auburn University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$413,000
Total 4 Year Cost$101,000
Grad Rate71%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,300
4Auburn University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$349,000
Total 4 Year Cost$165,000
Grad Rate71%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,300
5Tuskegee University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$282,000
Total 4 Year Cost$132,000
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,100
6University of Alabama - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$279,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Grad Rate66%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$36,800
7Alabama A&M University (AAMU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$235,000
Total 4 Year Cost$79,500
Grad Rate35%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,700
8 (tie)Troy University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$222,000
Total 4 Year Cost$71,500
Grad Rate35%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,400
8 (tie)University of Alabama - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$222,000
Total 4 Year Cost$162,000
Grad Rate66%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$36,800
10University of South Alabama(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$217,000
Total 4 Year Cost$76,500
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$36,400
11Alabama A&M University (AAMU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$210,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate35%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,700
12Troy University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$198,000
Total 4 Year Cost$96,000
Grad Rate35%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,400
13University of South Alabama(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$192,000
Total 4 Year Cost$102,000
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$36,400
14University of Alabama - Birmingham Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$184,000
Total 4 Year Cost$89,700
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,000
15Jacksonville State University (JSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$175,000
Total 4 Year Cost$79,400
Grad Rate30%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,000

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

PayScale's report on the best value colleges in Alabama is based on the cost to earn a degree versus future earning potential. But just because not all of Alabama's schools rank in the top 200, doesn't mean that they couldn't be a good match for you. Whether you're thinking about spending your collegiate years in Alabama because of its natural beauty, culture or even it's fascinating history, you can use PayScale's data to research the perfect Alabama college with the highest return on your tuition dollars.

This year, the University of Alabama - Huntsville again tops our list at number one for the best value college in the state of Alabama, with an average 20-year net ROI of $506k for in-state tuition while out-of-state tuition averages around $458k. UAH was founded in 1961, and the public university has consistently ranked among the top Alabama schools in past PayScale reports. Attending UAH in-state will put you back $91,300 compared to out-of-state costs, which average $139,000.

At UAH, you can choose from 83 degree programs, including 38 bachelors, 29 Masters, and 16 PhD programs. Because of Huntsville's recent economic growth in technology, UAH has become best known for its engineering and science programs. You might be surprised to find out that UAH is a Space Grant university, and scientists at UAH managed the very first commercial, non-government rocket programs in the US.

In general, public colleges tend to be large and are not the best fit for everyone. If you have your heart set on attending a private school in Alabama, Tuskegee University is an excellent choice compared to other private colleges in Alabama. For in-state, you can expect an ROI of 282k from the historically black college, which is relatively high compared to other private colleges in Alabama. For example, alumni from Faulkner University report an ROI of only $32,300. Tuskegee University was the first historically black college to offer an accredited BS degree in aerospace engineering.

The majority of Alabama institutions that made our list for best value colleges are public. Ranked at 248 on our national list, Auburn University alumni have an average ROI of $413k for in-state tuition, and $349 for out-of-state tuition. Despite its cost, it is a worthwhile option to consider. Auburn has a student population of around 25,000 and is best known for its programs in pharmacy and veterinary science. The school is even credited with offering the first interior architecture degree program.

Whatever college you decide to attend, going to school in the state of Alabama ensures you will get a great education, a low cost of living and a true, southern experience. Bonus points if you're a sports buff. The University of Alabama boasts the Crimson Tide football team, perhaps one of the most well-known college football teams in the US. If you're heading to Bryant-Denny stadium to catch the Crimson Tide in action, you can expect to hang out with over 100k other fans. If you have problems with crowds, Auburn University Tigers bring in over 80k fans per game.