There are various institutions in Alabama that offer tuition rates on the lower cost end. This applies across the board for either in-state, out-of-state, or international students. Though costs are always higher for international students, the schools listed in this article present international rates that are not much more inflated than in-state and out-of-state tuition. In this article, we will be looking at the cheap universities in Alabama.

It is important to remember that any student can apply for financial aid, as well as various scholarships, which are best located on the university’s official website. These options, if granted, can cut down your tuition fees exponentially.

The fees listed below are presented as a per year (or, two full-time semesters) tuition rate, and are presented in USD currency. Fees in this article are presented at the undergraduate level only (consult university websites for graduate or post-baccalaureate tuition rates). For many of these institutions, students can opt for part-time education.

Some international rates listed include the approximate cost for room and board and are indicated accordingly.

Affordable Schools in Alabama for International Students

1. Troy University

Located in Troy, AL, Troy University is a public university that was established in 1887. Troy has been on the Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast” list for the past 14 years. Troy University is known for being a cheap university in Alabama for the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

Its undergraduate colleges include the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Communications and Fine Arts, College of Education, College of Health and Human Services, and The Sorrell College of Business. With Division I athletics and over 46 bachelor’s programs, Troy University offers learning opportunities both in-person and online.

The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:15, and its undergraduate enrollment is approximately 13,500.

2.  Athens State University

  • Tuition Fees: From $6,810 – $12,870/Year

Next on our list of cheap universities in Alabama is Athens State University. Located in Athens, AL, this public institution was established in 1822. ASU states on its official website that it garners a “friendly, affordable and convenient” environment. They offer options and flexibility for both full-time and part-time students, making it an accessible choice for any prospective student. Programs are offered through three colleges, which include the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, and College of Education. ASU offers 50 degree options.

With a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:15, Athens State University has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2900.

3. Columbia Southern University

  • Tuition Fees: From $6,900/Year

Located in Orange Beach, AL, Columbia Southern University is a private institution founded in 1993. This university specializes in online-only education, making it a particularly accommodating option for students living out of state and internationally. With over 26 degree options at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, options include specialized programs like Emergency Medical Services, Homeland Security, Cyber Security and Occupational Safety.

The undergraduate enrollment at CSU is approximately 15,000.

4. Jacksonville State University

  • Tuition Fees: From $8,760 – $16,536/Year

Located in Jacksonville, AL, this public institution was founded in 1883. JSU offers over 95 programs through six major academic schools, including a School of Business and Industry, School of Education, School of Arts and Humanities, School of Nursing and Health Professions, School of Human Services and Social Sciences, and School of Science. JSU is known for being a career-centered institution. It also is one of the cheapest universities in Alabama.

JSU has a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:18 and an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 7500.

5. Selma University

  • Tuition Fees: From $7,717 – $17,915

Selma University is a private Baptist Bible institution located in Selma, AL, Founded in 1878. It is known for its diversity and for being a historically black college. Focusing predominantly on the liberal arts, programs are geared towards training students on professional growth with an inherent emphasis on faith and religion. Though there have historically been either little to no international students attending Selma University, the option for international students to attend is available.

The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:19, with an undergraduate enrollment of 230. The official university website can be found here.

6. University of West Alabama

  • Tuition Fees: From $9,100 (Domestic) | $19,000 (International)

This cheap university in Alabama was founded in 1835. UWA offers over 60 undergraduate programs, offered through its 7 colleges, including the College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Julia Tutwiler College of Education, Ira D. Pruitt School of Nursing, Division of Online Programs, and Division of Technology. The university also offers Division II athletics.

UWA has a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:13 and an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2100.

7. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Another great university is the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which is a public research university established in 1936. This institution offers over 56 undergraduate programs, 140 areas of study to choose from, and 12 academic divisions. There are also over 150 student clubs and organizations at UAB for students to explore. UAB has also ranked first in the Times Higher Education list of Top Young U.S. Universities.

The faculty-to-student ratio at UAB is 1:19, with an undergraduate enrollment of over 13,000.

8. Huntsville Bible College

Huntsville Bible College, formerly known as Huntsville Baptist Institute, was first established in 1986 as a post-secondary biblical institution. It is an institution of higher education that is also registered as a non-profit foundation in the State of Alabama. Its core values give importance to the balance of family, work, and church.

Since its establishment, this cheap college in Alabama has made it its mission to prepare individuals looking to become preachers and church leaders. Over the past 30 years, however, the institution has since expanded its course offerings covering various fields of study. This was done in an effort to address the demands and needs of its students and the community it has chosen to serve.

HBC gives its students much-needed flexibility in terms of their class schedules. For instance, students have the option to attend daytime and evening classes. Alternatively, students can also choose Saturday classes. There is also an online learning option.

9. Central Alabama Community College

  • Tuition Fees: From $131/credit hour (Domestic) | From $262/credit hour (International)

The Central Alabama Community College (CACC) was established in 1989 following the ruling of the Alabama State Board of Education to merge two educational institutions, the Nunelly State Technical College and the Alexander City State Junior College. The main campus of the Central Alabama Community College (CACC) is located in Alexander City, Alabama. It also has three other campuses, namely, the Childersburg campus, the Millbrook Instructional Site, and the Talladega Center. It currently hosts around 2000 students.

As an academic institution, Central Alabama Community College gives priority to the comprehensive and holistic development of its student body. This cheap college in Alabama does so by offering a conducive academic environment that fosters learning and success while also promoting community development and cultural enrichment. CACC focuses on providing its students with the academic foundations they will need as they pursue their goals.

10. Stillman College

  • Tuition Fees: $4,774/semester

Next on our list of cheapest colleges in Alabama is Stillman College. Founded in 1876, it is a Presbyterian and liberal arts college that is based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At 144 years old, Stillman boasts of a long and proud history, one that is inextricably tied with the education of the black community of Alabama. Originally established to help train young black men for their entry into ministry, Stillman College has since expanded its scope and course offerings without losing sight of its heritage and its mission.

Stillman College upholds its tradition of academic excellence and seeks to provide the right type of opportunities for its student population. It currently offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science program for its students in 17 disciplines. Students can choose between three academic schools, namely Business Administration, Education, as well as Arts and Sciences – all of which give premium to community engagement and experiential learning.

The institution is currently accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

11. Gadsden State Community College

  • Tuition Fees: $162 -$293/credit hour

Gadsden State Community College is a public higher learning institution. It was originally established in 1925, with present-day Gadsden being an amalgam of four educational institutions. It came about with the merger of the Harry M. Ayers Technical College, Gadsden State Technical Institute, Alabama Technical College, and the Gadsden State Junior Technical College.

Over the years, it has played a crucial role in helping its students achieve their educational and professional goals. It has made it its mission to ensure that all of its students are primed for success. It does so by providing them with a quality education that focuses on innovative workforce development ensuring that the students are well-equipped to deal with the highly-competitive job market.

Currently home to no less than 5200 students, Gadsden State currently has 5 campuses located in the counties of Etowah, Calhoun, and Cherokee. There are currently 70 programs being offered divided into 4 main categories. Namely, the Academic Programs, Technical Programs, Skills Training, and Health Sciences. These programs are crucial and give students the freedom to choose between directly entering the workforce or transferring to a four-year course in a university.

12. J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College

  • Tuition Fees: $131 – $262/credit hour

J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College is a two-year public institution that seeks to uphold a student-centric type of education. As the first and only institution of its type in the state of Alabama, it has made it its mission to imbue its students with the right combination of technical training and academic knowledge.

Students have the option to choose between a Certificate or an Associate Degree in Applied Science. The programs are divided into four distinct categories. Namely, these are General and Development Education, Health Sciences Technologies, Applied Services Technologies, and Business, Computer Science, and Engineering Technologies.

Throughout its illustrious history, this cheap college in Alabama has played an active role in the development of its local community in Huntsville, Alabama which came as a direct result of Drake State’s focus on practical learning. It has produced countless skilled workers, technicians, and entrepreneurs in various industries, most of whom play a direct role in the development of the local economy.


Alabama is a state that houses many lower-cost institutions, including the above options and more. Alabama offers a multitude of accessible options for students across the globe. Fees may be subject to future change as per the institution’s rules and standards. The fees listed above do not always reflect the costs of residence and other expenditures, so be sure to consult official university websites for the most accurate fees depending on your situation and on which year you are applying.


We hope that this article on cheap universities in Alabama was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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