Best Value Colleges in Alabama

PayScale’s report on the best value colleges in Alabama is based on the cost to earn a degree versus future earning potential. 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.

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Rank
School Name
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
19.7%9.7%12.8%12.8%$518,000$518,000$558,000$558,000$96,200$96,20049%5$25,00025%
1University of Alabama in Huntsville(In-State)
Annual ROI9.7%
Annual ROI9.7%
Annual ROI12.8%
Annual ROI12.8%
20 Year Net ROI$518,000
20 Year Net ROI$518,000
20 Year Net ROI$558,000
20 Year Net ROI$558,000
Total 4 Year Cost$96,200
Total 4 Year Cost$96,200
Grad Rate49%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,000
Grant Money Received25%
27.6%7.6%9.4%9.4%$471,000$471,000$512,000$512,000$143,000$143,00049%5$25,00025%
2University of Alabama in Huntsville(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROI9.4%
Annual ROI9.4%
20 Year Net ROI$471,000
20 Year Net ROI$471,000
20 Year Net ROI$512,000
20 Year Net ROI$512,000
Total 4 Year Cost$143,000
Total 4 Year Cost$143,000
Grad Rate49%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,000
Grant Money Received25%
37.5%7.5%9.6%9.6%$376,000$376,000$412,000$412,000$115,000$115,00075%5$32,20013%
3Auburn University(In-State)
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI9.6%
Annual ROI9.6%
20 Year Net ROI$376,000
20 Year Net ROI$376,000
20 Year Net ROI$412,000
20 Year Net ROI$412,000
Total 4 Year Cost$115,000
Total 4 Year Cost$115,000
Grad Rate75%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$32,200
Grant Money Received13%
46.0%6.0%7.4%7.4%$308,000$308,000$340,000$340,000$140,000$140,00046%4$15,40089%
4Tuskegee University(Private)
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROI7.4%
20 Year Net ROI$308,000
20 Year Net ROI$308,000
20 Year Net ROI$340,000
20 Year Net ROI$340,000
Total 4 Year Cost$140,000
Total 4 Year Cost$140,000
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$15,400
Grant Money Received89%
55.0%5.0%6.2%6.2%$307,000$307,000$343,000$343,000$184,000$184,00075%5$32,20013%
5Auburn University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.0%
Annual ROI5.0%
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI6.2%
20 Year Net ROI$307,000
20 Year Net ROI$307,000
20 Year Net ROI$343,000
20 Year Net ROI$343,000
Total 4 Year Cost$184,000
Total 4 Year Cost$184,000
Grad Rate75%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$32,200
Grant Money Received13%
66.8%6.8%11.0%11.0%$306,000$306,000$366,000$366,000$111,000$111,00069%5$38,80018%
6The University of Alabama(In-State)
Annual ROI6.8%
Annual ROI6.8%
Annual ROI11.0%
Annual ROI11.0%
20 Year Net ROI$306,000
20 Year Net ROI$306,000
20 Year Net ROI$366,000
20 Year Net ROI$366,000
Total 4 Year Cost$111,000
Total 4 Year Cost$111,000
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$38,800
Grant Money Received18%
77.6%7.3%9.8%9.4%$270,000$265,000$296,000$292,000$80,600$84,80038%5$41,20042%
7University of South Alabama(In-State)
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROI7.3%
Annual ROI9.8%
Annual ROI9.4%
20 Year Net ROI$270,000
20 Year Net ROI$265,000
20 Year Net ROI$296,000
20 Year Net ROI$292,000
Total 4 Year Cost$80,600
Total 4 Year Cost$84,800
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$41,200
Grant Money Received42%
84.5%4.5%6.7%6.7%$245,000$245,000$304,000$304,000$173,000$173,00069%5$38,80018%
8The University of Alabama(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI4.5%
Annual ROI4.5%
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI6.7%
20 Year Net ROI$245,000
20 Year Net ROI$245,000
20 Year Net ROI$304,000
20 Year Net ROI$304,000
Total 4 Year Cost$173,000
Total 4 Year Cost$173,000
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$38,800
Grant Money Received18%
9 (tie)6.8%6.6%9.1%8.8%$242,000$239,000$272,000$270,000$88,500$91,40027%5$39,00074%
9 (tie)Alabama A & M University(In-State)
Annual ROI6.8%
Annual ROI6.6%
Annual ROI9.1%
Annual ROI8.8%
20 Year Net ROI$242,000
20 Year Net ROI$239,000
20 Year Net ROI$272,000
20 Year Net ROI$270,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,500
Total 4 Year Cost$91,400
Grad Rate27%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$39,000
Grant Money Received74%
9 (tie)6.0%5.8%7.6%7.3%$242,000$238,000$269,000$264,000$108,000$113,00038%5$41,20042%
9 (tie)University of South Alabama(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI5.8%
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROI7.3%
20 Year Net ROI$242,000
20 Year Net ROI$238,000
20 Year Net ROI$269,000
20 Year Net ROI$264,000
Total 4 Year Cost$108,000
Total 4 Year Cost$113,000
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$41,200
Grant Money Received42%
117.3%7.0%11.3%10.6%$233,000$229,000$272,000$267,000$75,000$79,40037%5$27,30039%
11Troy University(In-State)
Annual ROI7.3%
Annual ROI7.0%
Annual ROI11.3%
Annual ROI10.6%
20 Year Net ROI$233,000
20 Year Net ROI$229,000
20 Year Net ROI$272,000
20 Year Net ROI$267,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,000
Total 4 Year Cost$79,400
Grad Rate37%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$27,300
Grant Money Received39%
126.1%6.1%8.4%8.4%$221,000$221,000$255,000$255,000$97,400$97,40053%5$27,30034%
12University of Alabama at Birmingham(In-State)
Annual ROI6.1%
Annual ROI6.1%
Annual ROI8.4%
Annual ROI8.4%
20 Year Net ROI$221,000
20 Year Net ROI$221,000
20 Year Net ROI$255,000
20 Year Net ROI$255,000
Total 4 Year Cost$97,400
Total 4 Year Cost$97,400
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$27,300
Grant Money Received34%
135.3%5.2%6.9%6.7%$213,000$210,000$243,000$241,000$118,000$120,00027%5$39,00074%
13Alabama A & M University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.3%
Annual ROI5.2%
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.7%
20 Year Net ROI$213,000
20 Year Net ROI$210,000
20 Year Net ROI$243,000
20 Year Net ROI$241,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Total 4 Year Cost$120,000
Grad Rate27%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$39,000
Grant Money Received74%
145.7%5.5%8.2%7.9%$206,000$202,000$245,000$240,000$102,000$106,00037%5$27,30039%
14Troy University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROI5.5%
Annual ROI8.2%
Annual ROI7.9%
20 Year Net ROI$206,000
20 Year Net ROI$202,000
20 Year Net ROI$245,000
20 Year Net ROI$240,000
Total 4 Year Cost$102,000
Total 4 Year Cost$106,000
Grad Rate37%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$27,300
Grant Money Received39%
153.7%3.6%5.8%5.6%$184,000$180,000$241,000$237,000$172,000$176,00073%4$35,80011%
15Samford University(Private)
Annual ROI3.7%
Annual ROI3.6%
Annual ROI5.8%
Annual ROI5.6%
20 Year Net ROI$184,000
20 Year Net ROI$180,000
20 Year Net ROI$241,000
20 Year Net ROI$237,000
Total 4 Year Cost$172,000
Total 4 Year Cost$176,000
Grad Rate73%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$35,800
Grant Money Received11%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

The University of Alabama – Huntsville frequently lands near the tops of our list for the best value colleges in the state of Alabama. UAH was founded in 1961, and the public university has consistently ranked among the top Alabama schools in past PayScale reports. 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. 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. Despite its cost, Auburn University 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 100.000 other fans. If you have problems with crowds, Auburn University Tigers bring in a smaller mass; only about 80,000 fans per game.


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