Best Private Colleges in Alabama 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Alabama.

Best Private Colleges in Alabama 2022

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. If flexibility is what you need, Alabama has over 20 colleges and universities offering online degree programs.

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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.


What are Alabama’s Colleges & Universities?


Alabama’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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How do we determine Alabama's best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 14 private universities in Alabama. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Alabama, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Alabama

  1. #3

    Faulkner University

    Montgomery , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/20

    What is Faulkner University known for?

    Faulkner University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #4

    Birmingham–Southern College

    Birmingham , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/25

    What is Birmingham–Southern College known for?

    Birmingham–Southern College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • History
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

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  3. #5

    Spring Hill College

    Mobile , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1112/22

    What is Spring Hill College known for?

    Spring Hill College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #6

    Miles College

    Fairfield , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Miles College known for?

    Miles College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #7

    Oakwood University

    Huntsville , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    980/19

    What is Oakwood University known for?

    Oakwood University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #8

    Columbia Southern University

    Orange Beach , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    15K

    What is Columbia Southern University known for?

    Columbia Southern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #9

    Huntingdon College

    Montgomery , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1107/20

    What is Huntingdon College known for?

    Huntingdon College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #10

    Stillman College

    Tuscaloosa , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Stillman College known for?

    Stillman College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #11

    Talladega College

    Talladega , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Talladega College known for?

    Talladega College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #12

    University of Mobile

    Mobile , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/23

    What is University of Mobile known for?

    University of Mobile’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #13

    Amridge University

    Montgomery , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Amridge University known for?

    Amridge University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
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Alabama’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Tuskegee University
  2. Birmingham–Southern College
  3. Samford University
  4. Huntingdon College
  5. Spring Hill College
  6. Oakwood University
  7. Talladega College
  8. Judson College
  9. University of Mobile
  10. Faulkner University