Interested in going to school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but want to make sure you can afford the University of Alabama tuition? There’s more to the financial side of college than just tuition to consider. And you need all the information you can get to make sure you’re prepared for college and making the best financial choice for you and your family. If you want to learn more about the cost of University of Alabama tuition, cost of attendance, and the role of financial aid in your college career, then keep reading.
Tuition vs Cost of Attendance
Every year, I work with so many students that have the misconception between the two.
Tuition is how much the school charge students for the classes they take. Some schools have a flat rate while others charge students per credit hour. Tuition can also include fees associated with taking classes, such as a technology fee, and charges associated with being a student, such as an activity fee. When schools talk about how much it costs to go to their institution, they're typically talking about tuition and fees. The cost of tuition is typical raised every year to accommodate services they provide to you as a student. And since you may not take the same amount of credits each semester, how much you pay in tuition will change.
But tuition doesn't paint the complete financial picture.
On the other hand, we have cost of attendance. Unlike tuition, cost of attendance covers things like room and board, textbooks and supplies, even personal money for items like toothpaste or shoes. Cost of attendance can be a little more difficult to predict, because there are so many factors to consider. For example, living on campus may have a different cost than living off campus. If you live on campus, you'll have different meal plans to choose from, but if you live off campus, you'll be paying for all of your groceries. Some classes will even have more expensive textbooks than others.
Now that we’ve established what the differences are, let’s talk about how much University of Alabama tuition is and the estimated cost of attendance.
How Much is the University of Alabama Tuition?
With the differences between tuition and cost of attendance out of the way, we can delve into the actual numbers you’ll be looking at. There are different costs depending on if you live in Alabama or if you live out of state. We’ve also divided the costs up by costs directly related to attending college like the University of Alabama tuition and indirect costs like transportation.
Direct CostIn-StateOut-of-StateTuition and Fees$11,270$27,750Room$8,850$8,850Board$4,200$4,200Total Direct Cost$24,320$40,800
Indirect CostIn-StateOut-of-StateBooks$1,200$1,200Transportation$1,736$2,876Miscellaneous$2,380$2,380Loan Fee Estimate$66$66Total Indirect Cost$5,382$6,522
TOTAL (Direct + Indirect)$29,702$47,322
Keep in mind, these are the estimated costs for the entire year and that tuition costs usually rise. Indirect costs are a little more challenging to guess on so it’s best to round up and give yourself some wiggle room.For those of you looking at these numbers and thinking there’s no way you can afford to pay at least that amount for four years, I know how you feel. Here’s the good news: most of the time, you won’t be paying the full amount, because of a little something called financial aid.
Financial Aid at the University of Alabama
Financial aid is money that offsets your total cost of attendance for attending the University of Alabama. I wasn’t kidding when I said you’re typically not expected to pay full cost for your college education. 75% of University of Alabama students receive some kind of aid to help alleviate the financial costs of attending college. Financial aid can look like any of the following:
- Need-based grants for low-income families or students facing financial difficulties
- Merit-based scholarships for students meeting specific academic benchmarks
- Student loans, which you can learns more about here
- Student employment through Federal Work Study that you can request on your FAFSA
Now that you know the types of financial aid available, let’s talk about how you’re actually awarded money.
Using your FAFSA financial profile and any other information you may give to the University of Alabama, the school will determine your financial need and what grants and scholarships you are eligible for first. Your financial need is your Estimated Family Contribution, how much your family can reasonably contribute to your college education, subtracted from your Cost of Attendance. The remaining balance is called your Net Price, which is the only amount you will be required to pay out of pocket.
Keep in mind that the only scholarships and grants the school will look at on its own are the ones that the institution itself funds. You can easily search for additional scholarships on your own by going here or by talking with your college consultant. After the scholarships and grants are run through, loans will also be looked at. Make sure you read up on them before signing anything so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Want to know what your Net Price could look like so you can start saving or figure out if you need to look at other universities that you can afford? The University of Alabama offers a Net Price Calculator. Basically, their Net Price Calculator gives you an estimate of how much financial aid you could expect as a full-time, first time student at the University of Alabama. Remember, this is only an estimate and not a guarantee or an offer.
The University of Alabama tuition is incredibly reasonable for a public college. Their financial aid office ensures that about 75% of the student population receives some type of assistance with funding their college education. And now that you know the difference between tuition and cost of attendance, you’re better able to prepare for college and make the right decision for you and your family.
Have any additional questions about financial aid? Still confused about how schools determine what money to give you? Leave your questions in the comment box below!