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Best Community Colleges in Alabama: Admission Requirements, Transfer Options, and Online Degrees

Odedeyi Feyisayo Anthonia - June 17, 2022


The best community colleges in Alabama serve an important role in preparing students for the workforce. They provide students with associate degrees and certificates that give them good foundations in their chosen professional field. If you plan to attend a community college, knowing of the best community colleges in Alabama is a fantastic place to start.

To assist you, we have compiled a list of top community colleges in Alabama, the best online community colleges in Alabama, and their top community college programs. Continue reading to learn more.

How Many Community Colleges are in Alabama?

There are 25 community colleges in Alabama. Community colleges provide affordable education and training to prepare students for their careers or to transfer to four-year universities to complete their bachelor’s degrees. They are well known for their inclusive environments, attracting a variety of students of all ages.

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How Many Community College Districts Are in Alabama?

Alabama doesn’t have a community college district. However, the Alabama Legislature established an independent Board of Trustees for the Department of Postsecondary Education, which is now known as the Alabama Community College System. The Board of Trustees serves 300,000 people, combining colleges, the workforce, and Alabama Technology Network.

The Board of Trustees is required to meet quarterly at a date set by the President or Chancellor. It’s authorized to make rules and regulations that benefit the community and technical colleges. They are also authorized to accept gifts, donations, personal property, or money for the benefit of the community and technical colleges.

What Is the Biggest Community College in Alabama?

The biggest community college in Alabama is John C. Calhoun State Community College. With a total enrollment of around 8,700 students, 55 percent are women, while 45 percent are men. This community college is Alabama’s largest two-year school.

What Are The Best Community Colleges in Alabama?

Ranking Community College Graduation Rate Student-to-Faculty Ratio
1 Bevill State Community College 37% 11:1
2 Wallace Community College Selma 35% 11:1
3 Marion Military Institute 35% 14:1
4 Calhoun State Community College 32% 21:1
5 Enterprise State Community College 30% 16:1
6 Bishop State Community College 28% 14:1
7 Gadsden State Community College 27% 15:1
8 Lawson State Community College 25% 16:1
9 Jefferson State Community College 21% 21:1
10 Southern Union State Community College 16% 16:1

The Best Community Colleges in Alabama: Explained

The best community colleges in Alabama are a mix of public and private institutions that offer certificates and associate degree programs. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of their student and tuition data, as well as the programs they offer.

1

Bevill State Community College

Grad Rate: 37%

Established in 1992, Bevill Community College is a public college offering two-year programs. The community college is dedicated to delivering comprehensive education and educational support services to residents of West Central Alabama and beyond.

Bevill State Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $123/credit hour (in state); $246/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 3,204
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 98%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
  • Minimum GPA: 1.5

Best Bevill State Community College Programs

  • Associate of Science in Nursing. This five-semester nursing program educates students to provide safe, competent, and patient-focused care. Its 66-credit curriculum includes general education and core nursing courses.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Design Technology (EDT). This degree can be completed in as little as two years. Graduates of this curriculum can work as drafters considering their proficiency in the application of basic math, such as arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Students need to complete 64 to 65 credits to earn this degree.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Child Development. This 60-credit program includes core child and general education courses. It prepares students for work as directors, instructors, or aides in preschools and daycares. Students can also work in public schools and become teachers after graduation.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Systems Technology (ELT). This program offers four concentrations, including automated manufacturing, industrial electronics, industrial plant technician, and manufacturing engineering. It trains students to become electrical technicians who build and repair all electrical and power systems in homes, companies, and factories. This program requires students to complete 61 to 62 credits.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology (IT). This is a two-year program that offers general education and computer science courses. It has six concentrations, including general IT, cyber security, data science, network administration, software development, and app development. It prepares graduates to transfer to a bachelor's degree program.

2

Wallace Community College

Grad Rate: 35%

Wallace State Community College is a public institution founded in 1966. It offers over 100 degree, certificate, and transfer opportunities to over 7,000 students every semester. It’s known to be one of the largest colleges in the Alabama Community College System.

Wallace Community College Overview

  • Tuition and Fees: $154/credit hour (in state); $308/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 1,316
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 98%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: 1.5

Best Wallace Community College Selma Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Imaging. This four-semester program prepares students to become competent radiologic technologists. Students will be expected to help physicians in diagnosis and treatment by reading a patient's anatomy and creating images using technology.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Investigation. This two-year program prepares students to work as forensic scientists who collect and analyze physical evidence to solve crimes. Students in this program frequently specialize in firearm examinations and DNA analysis. Students need to complete 66 to 68 credits for graduation.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Art and Design. In this 66-credit program, students learn traditional studio art production, computer-based graphic design, and commercial art creation. Graduates of this program can start careers as graphic designers or commercial artists in the creative industry.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Agriculture and Horticulture. This program teaches students the fundamentals of agricultural production. It covers landscaping, forestry, aquaculture operations, conservation, and farming. This 65-credit degree helps students to start careers in local agriculture and business industries.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science. This program provides four specializations, including Cyber Security/Computer Forensic Technology, Programming, Software Support, and Internet/Networking Technology. This associate degree prepares students for entry-level careers in the computer science field.

3

Marion Military Institute

Grad Rate: 35%

Marion Military Institute (MMI) is a community institution founded in 1842. It has a reputation for educating men and women in civilian and military professions. The Early Commissioning Program allows graduates of the institute to become the second lieutenant in two years. After this, they can serve in either the Army National Guard or US Army Reserve.

Marion Military Institute Overview

  • Tuition: $6,000/year (in state); $12,000/year (out of state)
  • Student Population: 401
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 97%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.0

Best Marion Military Institute Programs

  • Associate Degree in Leadership Education Program. This program is specifically created for students who aspire to attend MMI without being required to serve in the military. Cadets in the Leadership Education Program attest to the benefits of earning an associate's degree in a military setting.
  • Associate Degree in Early Commission Program. This program lets students earn an army officer commission two years earlier than their peers taking four-year programs. To be eligible for this accelerated curriculum, cadets must qualify for the program and commit to active duty or reserve duty in the US Army.
  • Associate Degree in Air Force ROTC Program. MMI cadets may pursue a commission as an Air Force officer through the Air Force ROTC program. This is offered in collaboration with University of Alabama's Air Force ROTC program. Cadets attend MMI for two years before transferring to a senior college.
  • Associate Degree - The General Bruce K. Holloway Academy Program. The General Bruce K. Holloway Service Academy Program was founded in 1910. It’s the country's oldest program that provides academic preparation, military training, leadership development, and physical development to students before they join service academies.

4

Calhoun Community College

Grad Rate: 32%

Founded in 1946, Calhoun Community College is a community-based, coeducational college dedicated to delivering high-quality and accessible education to everyone. It’s one of the largest two-year colleges in Alabama with more than 10,000 staff and students and over 100 associate degree programs.

Calhoun Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $123/credit hour (in state); $246/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 8,278
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 94%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: No minimum requirement

Best Calhoun Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technology. This two-year accounting degree program will teach you the core skills you need to get started in this field. Some of its courses include Payroll Accounting, Business Income Tax, and Principles of Accounting.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration. This program provides students with the basics of entering any business-related field. Its curriculum promotes logical thinking, decision-making, and career-specific skills. Students need to complete 61 to 62 credits to earn this associate degree.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Music Technology. This program is for students interested in starting to work in the music industry. It prepares students for careers, ranging from music theory to audio production in the entertainment business.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Design Technology. This program teaches students about innovative design, design processes, advanced critical thinking, and project management, among others. Students also learn how to develop and execute design plans for residential and commercial use. The program requires the completion of 65 to 69 credits.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Visual Communication. This program is for students who want to hone their artistic skills. They learn the basics of digital photography, technical illustration, and graphic design. At the end of the program, students are expected to prepare a professional-quality portfolio to improve their career opportunities.

5

Enterprise State Community College

Grad Rate: 30%

Founded in 1963, Enterprise State Community College aims to provide students with opportunities for education, so they can be ready to enter the workforce. The college promotes learning on the job and positive contributions to the community and workplace.

Enterprise State Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $123/credit hour (in state); $246/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 1,808
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 85%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5

Best Enterprise State Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Digital Multimedia. This program lets students learn how to use computerized digital images, music, and graphics as key visual and performing arts expression media. Graduates of this degree can get a job as graphic designers, web developers, or digital media specialists.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Science - Computer Programming. This program teaches students the fundamentals of programming and software development. With this degree, graduates can get entry-level jobs as computer operators, computer programmers, or systems analysts.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Science - Information Security and Assurance. This program gives students a good understanding of how software, hardware, and server systems work. They also learn how to find weaknesses in systems and networks. It will also teach students how to create action plans that keep technology secure.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Office Administration - Health Information Technology. In this associate degree, students learn to protect patient medical records during medical coding and transcription. They also learn to manage electronic health records while conforming to the federal privacy law known as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration and Management. This program prepares students for any career path in the corporate sector. Students are also taught about human resources, finance, and other management topics.

6

Bishop State Community College

Grad Rate: 28%

Bishop State Community College is a public, open-admissions urban community college founded in 1927. It’s made up of four metropolitan campuses that serve the people of Mobile and Washington counties in southwest Alabama.

Bishop State Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $123/credit hour (in state), $246/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 2,176
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 90%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: No minimum requirement

Best Bishop State Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Communications Technology. This program enables graduates to get entry-level jobs in printing, publishing, advertising, and corporations. It provides students with a solid foundation in computer graphic design, following industry standards. It requires students to complete 64 to 65 credits.
  • Associate of Science in Electrical Technology. With this degree, students acquire the understanding and skills required to enter the workforce as entry-level electricians. The program combines theory with practical expertise in electrical systems and industrial maintenance.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant. This program combines general education and physical therapy courses. Students need to complete 69 credits to earn this degree.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. This 67-credit program provides students with specific learning experiences for careers in the food service industry. It teaches students technical skills and a healthy attitude toward food preparation and nutritious meal service.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Office Administration. Administrative assistants, secretaries, and stenographers are among the careers that students can pursue through this program. The curriculum covers business communications, business law, and report writing. Students also learn about word processing, data input, office processes, and office machine operation and maintenance.

7

Gadsden State Community College

Grad Rate: 27%

Gadsden State Community College was established in 1925 and has since played an important role in teaching and developing Alabama's workforce. The college is a public, open-door, comprehensive institution with five campuses. It prepares students for either immediate entry into the workforce or transfers to a four-year university.

Gadsden State Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $164/credit hour (in state); $287/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 3,993
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 88%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5

Best Gadsden State Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technology. This five-semester program prepares students to take the American Society of Medical Pathology Board of Certification's national certification examination. It covers microbiology, hematology, and clinical immunology topics.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Political Science. Students interested in government systems and political actions and behaviors can enroll in this program. American national government, comparative government, and international relations are among the topics under this curriculum. To earn the degree, students need to complete 60-64 credits.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Civil Engineering Technology. This 76-credit program aims to train students on the latest civil engineering techniques and practices. The program covers topics in AutoCAD, surveying, and construction.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Salon and Spa Management. If you want a career in salon and spa, this program is ideal as it trains students to become salon managers. They learn salon business fundamentals and work ethics. Students are also expected to learn about cutting techniques, color, chemicals, styling, skincare, and nail care.

8

Lawson State Community College

Grad Rate: 25%

Lawson State Community College is a public and open admissions college founded in 1949. The institution offers both degree and certificate programs and has transfer agreements with four-year institutions in Alabama.

Lawson State Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $123/per credit hour (in state); $246/per credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 2,823
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 99%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: No minimum requirement

Best Lawson State Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Electronics. Students in the program learn theory and get hands-on experience in areas like robotics and electrical equipment. The program equips students with the skills necessary to start a career as an equipment repairer or electronic technician.
  • Associate of Science in Nursing. The curriculum is meant to train both men and women to become registered nurses (RNs). At the end of the program, students are expected to be ready for nursing practice and the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for RN licensure.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting. This program prepares students to work alongside dentists in real-world dental care settings. It teaches students how to prepare dental operations, maintain accurate patient dental records, and train patients on proper dental hygiene. To obtain this degree, students must complete 62 credit hours.
  • Emergency Medical Technician Certificate. The Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMS-B) program trains students to offer basic health treatment for illness or severe accidents. Since this is a short program, it only requires 10 credit hours for completion.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Building Construction. This program prepares students to be construction managers, building inspectors, cost estimators, surveyors, and surveying technicians. Students learn basic cartography, construction materials and selection, and cost and time management through hands-on experience.

9

Jefferson State Community College

Grad Rate: 21%

Jefferson State Community College was established in 1965. It offers over 120 two-year college-level programs of study, as well as career and professional programs. These programs train students for employment that is either vocational, semi-professional, or paraprofessional.

Jefferson State Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $166/credit hour (in state), $291/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 8,526
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 72%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5

Best Jefferson State Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting. This 66-credit-hour program is for students who want to work in accounting and those who already have jobs in the field but want to expand their accounting knowledge. Its coursework covers principles of tax and accounting.
  • Associate of Science in Business Management. This program combines accounting, business, computer science, and office administration. It gives students access to multifaceted education that will help them to be job-ready.
  • Associate of Science in Histology. Students in this program are prepared for entry-level positions in clinical, veterinary, and research laboratories. This degree also acts as a springboard for advancing one's career in specialized areas like histotechnology. After program completion, students can continue their studies to earn a bachelor’s degree.
  • Associate of Science in Manufacturing and Technology. This program covers robotic welding, hydraulics, and computer-aided drafting/design (CADD). Graduates of this program can apply for roles in biomedical equipment, industrial technology, and manufacturing industries.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Education. This program provides students with both theoretical and practical training to better prepare them for a nursing career. Graduates of this degree will be ready to get entry-level nursing jobs to prepare students to take the national licensure examination for registered nurses.

10

Southern Union State Community College

Grad Rate: 16%

Founded in 1993, Southern Union State Community College is a public, open-admission, two-year institution that provides affordable and accessible education. It caters to the different educational needs of students, community, businesses, and government.

Southern Union State Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $123/per credit hour (in state); $246/per credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 3,950
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 79%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.0

Best Southern Union State Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education. In this program, students learn how to care for young children and foster a supportive environment. Its core courses include Children's Health and Safety, Infant and Toddler Education, and Children’s Creative Experiences. The degree can be completed in five terms for a total of 67 credit hours.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing . The curriculum of this program includes biology, psychology, and nursing courses. In two years, students learn the basics of patient care and clinical reasoning. A total of 66 credit hours is required to finish the program.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems. With this degree, students gain knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of computer science. It prepares students for entry-level jobs in computer programming, web development, and database administration.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Office Management and Technology. This office management and technology associate degree offers two specializations, which include Administrative and Medical Office Management. Each specialization equips students with modern office support capabilities. These include word processing, spreadsheets, database software, and desktop publishing.
  • Associate of Science in General Studies. This flexible two-year program introduces students to a field of their choice. After completing 60 to 64 credit hours, graduates can apply for entry-level work or transfer to a bachelor's degree program.

Best Online Community Colleges in Alabama

  1. Wallace State Community College. It provides online associate degrees in fields such as business, computer science, and graphic design. It also offers certificate and transfer options in child development, medical laboratory, and general studies.
  2. Snead State Community College. Snead State Community College was the first to offer online courses in 1999, and it now provides an Associate of Science in Education and Business degrees. It also provides an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, Child Development, and Office Administration.
  3. Northwest-Shoals Community College. At Northwest-Shoals Community College , students can choose from a wide range of online educational options.  Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degrees are available at the college. The courses deliver the same learning objectives and outcomes as on-campus courses.

Best Online Associate Degrees

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Other Alabama Community College Rankings

The best community colleges in Alabama offer different transfer options and study programs. In this section, we’ll be looking in-depth at some of Alabama’s community colleges that have the best offerings.

Best Community Colleges in Alabama for Transfer

  1. Coastal Alabama Community College. This college offers high-quality, low-cost education and has partnered with four-year universities to assist students in transferring to a bachelor’s degree program. The University of Alabama, Auburn University, and Alabama State University are a few that collaborated with the school to make this possible.
  2. Shelton State Community College. Students can be granted admission into a four-year program at University of West Alabama after completing their associate degrees.
  3. Bishop State Community College. In this community college, students who complete an associate degree in a technical program can transfer to Troy University in Alabama and start their four-year bachelor’s programs.

Best Community Colleges for Nursing in Alabama

  1. Coastal Alabama Community College. This college offers a nursing program that trains students to practice safe, competent, and patient-centered care. It fosters the belief that nursing should be led by the highest of standards.
  2. Shelton State Community College. This college offers a practical nursing program with both core nursing and general education courses. Students who complete this program are eligible to take the NCLEX or earn a practical nursing certificate.
  3. Chattahoochee Valley Community College. The nursing program at Chattahoochee Valley Community College is a five-semester-long program with stackable credentials. Program completion grants students an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree.

Best Alabama Community Colleges That Offer Bachelor’s Degrees

There aren’t any community colleges in Alabama that offer bachelor’s degrees. However, you can transfer from a community college in Alabama to a university in Alabama to complete your bachelor’s degree. Choosing this option will allow you to earn your bachelor’s degree within two years of transferring.

Best Associate Degrees

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Best Community College Programs in Alabama

A girl wearing a white t-shirt and reading in the library
Choosing the best community college in Alabama ensures that you get an affordable and quality education as a student.

The highest-quality programs offered in the best community colleges in Alabama are typically those that provide certificates and degrees to be used for entry-level jobs or transfer options. We’ll explore examples of these high-quality programs below.

Child Development

Child development programs strive to equip students with the necessary skills and education to help children reach their full potential. Students pursuing this major can choose from an Associate in Applied Science in Child Development, Child Development Certificate, or Child Development Short-Term Certificate.

Nursing

Community colleges in Alabama offer two versions of a nursing program. The first option is the nursing associate degree, which is a full-time program that trains students to become competent registered nurses. The second option is the Practical Nursing Certificate, which is also a full-time program that prepares students to become competent licensed practical nurses (LPN).

Business Administration

This program is aimed at students who want to start their careers in business sectors, such as accounting, finance, marketing, or economics. A business administration program awards an Associate of Science in Business Administration. You can also pursue a Short-Term Certificate in General Studies related to business administration.

Radiologic Technology

Radiologic technology is the art and science of creating diagnostic medical images with ionizing radiation. Students who successfully complete the radiologic technology program are awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree. They are also qualified to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists national certification exam.

Banking and Finance

This program provides students with a solid foundation in accounting principles, banking and monetary systems of the US, and the credit granting process. Students also learn basic management principles specific to financial services. Students who finish this program will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Alabama Community College Admission Requirements

The admission requirements to attend a community college in Alabama are a completed application, official high school transcripts, and an identity verification form. You also need to consider the GPA, residency, and age requirements of your chosen community college.

Alabama Community College GPA Requirements

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 1.5 to be admitted to a community college in Alabama. The required grade point average varies depending on the college selected. For example, the Marion Military Institute requires at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA for students to be accepted into any of the school’s programs. Enterprise State Community College requires a 2.5 GPA for admission into any program.

Residency Requirements for Community Colleges in Alabama

Community colleges that have residency requirements for admission typically require applicants to have legally registered residency in Alabama for at least a year prior to application. Non-residents are people who are visiting Alabama to pursue a degree or certificate. To be considered for in-state tuition, you must be an Alabama resident.

Tuition rates vary between in-state and out-of-state students. For instance, out-of-state students at Marion Military Institute have to pay twice the amount that in-state students pay. Residents pay $6,000 per year, while out-of-state students pay $12,000 per year.

Alabama Community College Age Requirements

According to the US Education Code, there are generally no age restrictions for college entrance. Although 17 is widely regarded as the minimum age, the legislation allows elementary-grade children to enroll in institutions with special permission.

Alabama Community College Admission Requirements: A Summary

  • College application for admissions
  • Identity verification
  • Official high school transcripts
  • Minimum of 1.5 GPA

Why Study in Alabama?

You should study in Alabama because it has plenty of educational opportunities and job opportunities. It also has a more affordable cost of living than other US states. We’ll go over three reasons why you should study in Alabama, in the section below.

Educational Opportunities

The state provides students with a wide range of educational opportunities. There are 14 four-year public universities in Alabama and 17 private undergraduate and graduate universities. It also has multiple two-year community colleges. In total, Alabama has 61 higher education options for students. Alabama is ranked 39th among the best states for higher education in the country, according to US News & World Report.

Cost of Living

Alabama is one of the most affordable states to live in within the US. Alabama citizens pay less for groceries, housing, and transportation on average than residents of other states. So, although students coming from out of state will likely have to pay higher tuition, the low cost of living should help.

Job Opportunities

There are various job opportunities in Alabama. In the State of Alabama Personnel Department alone, graduates of community colleges can apply for entry-level jobs as lab technicians, custodians, or IT technicians. They can earn an average salary of around $20,000 to $50,000 a year.

Alabama Employment Outlook for Community College Students

The state has 2,2 million employed people and a 2.9 percent unemployment rate , according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Community college graduates in Alabama have a diverse range of job prospects in public and private organizations, including account clerks, administrative supervisors, and EMS lab assistants.

5 In-Demand Alabama Jobs

After finishing your education, you can already explore your job options with the degree or certificate you earned. In the upcoming sections, we discuss five jobs that are now in high demand.

1

Physical Therapist Assistant

Average Salary: $49,180

Physical therapists assistants assist physical therapists in helping people regain movement and manage pain. They help treat people suffering from chronic ailments, illnesses, or injuries. To be a professional physical therapist, you need to earn an associate degree in a relevant field.

  • Average Salary in Alabama: $49,180
  • Employment in Alabama: N/A
  • Overall Job Growth: 32%
  • Best Alabama Community College Program: Kinesiology

2

Software Developer

Average Salary: $102,990

Software developers create computer programs that enable users to complete specific tasks on computers or other devices. They may also create new systems or modify existing programs that control devices or networks. To qualify for this job as a community college graduate, you need to transfer to a four-year school and obtain a bachelor’s degree in software engineering.

  • Average Salary in Alabama: $102,990
  • Employment in Alabama: 14,240
  • Overall Job Growth: 22%
  • Best Alabama Community College Program: Computer Programming

3

Registered Nurses

Average Salary: $61,920

Registered nurses provide patient care. Their work responsibilities and daily tasks vary depending on the demands of the healthcare team they serve and the patients’ needs. The minimum requirement to become a nurse is an Associate Degree in Nursing, although some states require a bachelor’s degree.

  • Average Salary in Alabama: $61,920
  • Employment in Alabama: 49,780
  • Overall Job Growth: 9%
  • Best Alabama Community College Program: Nursing

4

Computer Systems Analyst

Average Salary: $103,080

Computer systems analysts assist businesses and other organizations in using computer technology effectively and efficiently. They integrate new technology into existing systems after doing a cost-benefit analysis for the organization. To qualify for this job, you need a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology.

  • Average Salary in Alabama: $103,080
  • Employment in Alabama: 4,360
  • Overall Job Growth: 7%
  • Best Alabama Community College Program: Computer Science

5

Accountants

Average Salary: $72,200

Accountants maintain and interpret financial records and manage various financial activities for individual clients or larger organizations. To become a professional accountant, you need to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or Business.

  • Average Salary in Alabama: $72,200
  • Employment in Alabama: 20,830
  • Overall Job Growth: 7%
  • Best Alabama Community College Program: Business

What Community Colleges in Alabama Have Dorms?

There are a number of community colleges in Alabama with dorms. Although basic necessities such as electricity, cable, and Internet are available for you as a student when living on campus, there are disadvantages too. There can be little to no privacy and regular room checks by superiors. Below, we list community colleges in Alabama that have dorm options for students.

Alabama Community Colleges with Dorms

  1. Bevill State Community College
  2. Lawson State Community College
  3. Lurleen B. Wallace Community College
  4. Snead State Community College
  5. Southern Union State Community College

What Community Colleges Offer Winter Intersession in Alabama?

There are two community colleges in Alabama that offer winter intersessions. A winter intersession class is a short class that lasts about three to four weeks during the winter. Courses that should take four months are rushed through in four weeks. This is suitable for students who want to graduate early, take fewer classes, or improve their GPA.

Alabama Community Colleges with Winter Intersession

Shelton State Community College is the only community college in Alabama that offers winter sessions.

What Community Colleges in Alabama Have Summer Classes?

There are several community colleges in Alabama that have summer classes. Summer classes give you an extra chance to finish classes and stay on track or get ahead in your degree program. If you want to graduate early, you can take the required classes in the summer, so you can focus on other classes in the fall and spring.

Alabama Community Colleges with Summer Classes

  1. Bishop State Community College
  2. Central Alabama Community College
  3. Gadsden State Community College
  4. Northwest-Shoals Community College
  5. Southern Union State Community College

How to Apply to Community College in Alabama

You can apply to a community college in Alabama by choosing a college, filling out an application, and sending in a valid ID and transcripts. You may also want to consider whether to live on or off-campus and apply for financial aid and scholarships, among others.

Alabama Community College Application Steps

  1. Submit an online application.
  2. Submit your valid ID and official transcripts.
  3. Apply for financial aid and scholarships.
  4. Connect with your student advisor.
  5. Pay tuition and fees.

Cost of Community Colleges in Alabama

The total cost of attending a community college in Alabama, including tuition and fees, is $4,854 per year for in-state students and $9,707 per year for out-of-state students . Usually, students from out of state are required to pay twice as much for tuition as in-state residents.

Are Community Colleges Ever Free in Alabama?

No, community colleges in Alabama are not free. However, a person can attend a community college for free under a scholarship, financial aid, or grants. For example, back in 2015, Alabama’s government offered free entrance to 10,000 sixth and seventh-grade pupils into a community college of their choice.

Which Community Colleges Are Free in Alabama?

There are no free community colleges in Alabama. Community colleges in Alabama can only be considered free when a student applies for financial aid or is awarded a scholarship.

Who Qualifies for Free Community College in Alabama?

Tuition-free college in Alabama is made possible through financial aid programs. All you have to do is fill out the Financial Aid for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form at your chosen college and submit any required documentation. All public community colleges offer financial aid.

How to Apply for Free Community College in Alabama

  1. Get an FSA ID.
  2. Fill out the FAFSA application.
  3. Select the schools that will receive your FAFSA data.
  4. Submit your application.
  5. Formally accept the awarded amount.

Scholarships for Community Colleges in Alabama

Scholarships for community colleges in Alabama are available in different schools. Each community college offers a unique set of scholarship options. Below, we list the steps on how to acquire a scholarship and a list of community college scholarships in Alabama.

How to Get a Scholarship for Community Colleges in Alabama

  1. Fill out the scholarship application to the community college of your choice.
  2. Examine the eligibility requirements for scholarships.
  3. Wait for a decision.

Alabama Community College Scholarships List

  1. Alabama Student Assistance Program | Amount: $300-$5,000 . The Alabama Student Assistance Program provides need-based scholarships to undergraduate students enrolled in a state college or university. Students must be residents of Alabama. The prize money ranges from $300 to $5,000 per year.
  2. The CollegeCounts Scholarship | Amount: $2,000-$4,000. The CollegeCounts Scholarship provides $2,000 to high school students interested in attending a two-year college and $4,000 to students pursuing a four-year college.
  3. Lily Heflin Scholarship | Amount: $9,000. The Linly Heflin Scholarship was designed to assist women in Alabama seeking financial assistance to obtain an undergraduate degree.

Other Alabama Community College Financial Aid Options

Apart from scholarships, there are other Alabama community college financial aid options for students. In the following sections, we will discuss further types of financial assistance that are available for students to study tuition-free at a community college in Alabama.

Federal Grants

A federal grant is a cash gift provided by the government to a student beneficiary. This is a stimulation permitted by a US Statute. An example of federal grants in Alabama includes the Federal Pell Grant.

Alabama Grant

One of Alabama’s grant programs is the ACHE Junior and Community College Performing Arts Scholarship Program. This grant is available to Alabama students attending public junior and community colleges. Applications for the program are available at any public or community junior college’s financial assistance office.

Student Loans

Another financial aid option in Alabama is student loans. These can be availed through federal student loans and private student loans. The US Department of Education provides federal student loans. In comparison, private student loans are provided by private institutions, such as banks, credit unions, or colleges.

Federal Work-Study Program

To be considered for the federal work-study program, students need to fill out the FAFSA application. Students with financial need who express their interest in employment on their FAFSA form are eligible for this program. The number of hours a student can work is regulated by their financial aid eligibility. Students are compensated via student payroll on a monthly basis and may not earn less than the federal minimum wage.

The Best Financial Aid for Your Situation

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What Are the Financial Aid Requirements for Community Colleges in Alabama?

The financial aid requirements for community colleges in Alabama are a demonstration of financial need, US citizenship, and a valid social security number. Students must also be already enrolled or accepted into a degree or certificate program. They must maintain satisfactory academic progress to qualify. Below is a summary list of these financial aid requirements.

Alabama Financial Aid Requirements: Overview

  • Expression and qualification of financial need
  • US citizenship or eligibility as noncitizen
  • Valid social security number
  • Enrollment or acceptance as regular students in a degree or certificate program
  • Satisfactory academic progress
  • Certification statement on FAFSA

Should You Attend Community College in Alabama?

Yes, you should attend community college in Alabama because it offers affordable college tuition and fees. They also provide financial assistance to those who cannot afford to pay through student loans, federal grants, and other means. Alabama has 25 community college options for you to choose from, with each college offering distinct and high-quality programs.

Alabama Community College Rankings: Methodology

Our rankings of Alabama community colleges is based mainly on graduation rate. If graduation rate statistics were not available, we used data on student-to-faculty ratios to rank the remaining schools. These figures, sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), best reflect a student’s chances of getting the education and help they need to succeed.

Best Accelerated Degrees

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Best Alabama Community Colleges FAQ

How are Alabama’s community colleges funded?

Alabama’s community colleges are funded by the US government. In 2021, through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, the American Rescue Plan donated funds to Alabama to aid students who had difficulty getting back to school due to the impacts of COVID.

What are the benefits of attending a community college?

Affordability, flexibility, and transfer options are among the many benefits and reasons to attend a community college . Community colleges are known for their affordable tuition rates. The two-year programs they offer are also flexible in terms of specializations. After completing a degree, students can use their credits for transfer to a four-year college.

What is the cheapest college in Alabama by in-state tuition?

The Huntsville Bible College is the cheapest college in Alabama by in-state tuition. The cost of undergraduate education here is $4,270 per academic year, which is 86 percent less than the average tuition cost across the country .

What is a six-year degree?

A six-year degree is also referred to as a dual or double degree. A six-year degree usually consists of two years at a community college and four years at a university.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Odedeyi Feyisayo Anthonia

About the author: Odedeyi is an expert content writer. She has written content in various niches, including but not limited to finance, technology, and arts and culture. She attended the University of Lagos and also has a certification from the Association of Accounting Technicians of West Africa.

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