Alabama’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Alabama offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Alabama’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Alabama

The 54 colleges and universities in Alabama allow students to pursue associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in many fields all over the state. Some of the most notable degree areas include law, nursing, biology, history, engineering, and religious studies.

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Students hoping to obtain a four-year degree at a larger university can attend one of the two largest — as well as rivalry — schools, the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Both schools’ tuition is about $11,000, though the University of Alabama’s student population, at nearly 36,000 students, is larger than Auburn’s. Students also have the option of attending one of Alabama’s 18 private higher education institutes, many of which have religious affiliations. Tuition costs and student populations range greatly among these schools, from $36,000 to $4,000 and nearly 15,000 students to less than 100, letting students factor in their budget with their class size demands.

Additionally, students who need more flexibility can take advantage of the satellite campuses, like at the University of North Alabama, or the 70 online degree programs offered at the University of Alabama, to easily obtain their degrees. For more information on higher education in Alabama, check out some of the state’s top programs and their corresponding career paths.

For die-hard football fans and lovers of sweet tea, obtaining a higher education degree in Alabama can seem like an obvious choice. The Yellowhammer State, however, is also home to a unique mixture of coastal, mountainous, and swamp environments, making it a great choice for students who love soaking up the outdoors.

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What are Alabama’s Colleges & Universities?


Alabama’s Best Overall


We’ve identified 21 community colleges in Alabama. In order to be included in this list of the best community colleges, a school needs to satisfy the following three conditions:

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How do we determine Alabama's best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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Alabama’s Best Community Colleges

  1. #1

    Marion Military Institute

    #3741 institution's historical influence
    #1090 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/22

    Marion, AL

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  2. #2

    Bishop State Community College

    #11250 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    2K

    Mobile, AL

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    What is Bishop State Community College known for?

    Bishop State Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Nursing
  3. #3

    Chattahoochee Valley Community College

    #14736 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    1K

    Phenix City, AL

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    What is Chattahoochee Valley Community College known for?

    Chattahoochee Valley Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Jefferson State Community College

    #9580 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    6K

    Birmingham, AL

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    What is Jefferson State Community College known for?

    Jefferson State Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Calhoun Community College

    #8907 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    7K

    Tanner, AL

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    What is Calhoun Community College known for?

    Calhoun Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Southern Union State Community College

    #11937 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    4K

    Wadley, AL

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    What is Southern Union State Community College known for?

    Southern Union State Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Shelton State Community College

    #8571 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    3K

    Tuscaloosa, AL

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    What is Shelton State Community College known for?

    Shelton State Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Bevill State Community College

    #11656 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    3K

    Jasper, AL

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    What is Bevill State Community College known for?

    Bevill State Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
  9. #9

    Lurleen B. Wallace Community College

    #11864 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    1K

    Andalusia, AL

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    What is Lurleen B. Wallace Community College known for?

    Lurleen B. Wallace Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
  10. #10

    Enterprise State Community College

    #9611 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    1K

    Enterprise, AL

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    What is Enterprise State Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Gadsden State Community College

    #11152 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    4K

    Gadsden, AL

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    What is Gadsden State Community College known for?

    Gadsden State Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
  12. #12

    Central Alabama Community College

    #13053 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    1K

    Alexander City, AL

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    What is Central Alabama Community College known for?

    Central Alabama Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
  13. #13

    Coastal Alabama Community College

    #13170 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    6K

    Bay Minette, AL

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    What is Coastal Alabama Community College known for?

    Coastal Alabama Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Snead State Community College

    #15090 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    2K

    Boaz, AL

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    What is Snead State Community College known for?

    Snead State Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Wallace Community College

    #10460 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    3K

    Dothan, AL

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    What is Wallace Community College known for?

    Wallace Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
  16. #16

    Wallace Community College Selma

    #14215 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    1K

    Selma, AL

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    What is Wallace Community College Selma known for?

    Wallace Community College Selma’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
  17. #17

    J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College

    #17397 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    7%

    Student body

    <1K

    Huntsville, AL

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    What is J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College known for?

    J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
  18. #18

    Northwest–Shoals Community College

    #17148 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    2K

    Muscle Shoals, AL

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    What is Northwest–Shoals Community College known for?

    Northwest–Shoals Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #19

    Northeast Alabama Community College

    #14492 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    2K

    Rainsville, AL

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    What is Northeast Alabama Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #20

    Wallace State Community College

    #9914 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    4K

    Hanceville, AL

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    What is Wallace State Community College known for?

    Wallace State Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #21

    Reid State Technical College

    #17372 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    <1K

    Evergreen, AL

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    What is Reid State Technical College known for?

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