I met with a local representative from the University of Alabama this week. Why would a California student consider attending this school? Take a look at some interesting information I learned:
- Alabama’s debate and forensics team has won 19 national championships.
- Alabama is ranked 6th among public universities in enrolling National Merit Scholars. [National Merit semifinalists are given full-tuition scholarships; finalists are given the same, plus housing supplements and cash stipends]
- Alabama has over 80 majors in eight different colleges; not one is impacted.
- Alabama guarantees you will finish your bachelor’s degree in four years.
- Alabama offers the opportunity for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students to begin taking graduate-level MBA courses during their undergraduate time, and earn an MBA in just one additional year.
- Alabama has the fourth-largest engineering school in the nation.
- Alabama’s business program is well-respected.
Just over half of Alabama’s freshman class are from out of state, and California is sixth on the list. The local representative notes that students coming from California will learn quickly about the Southern culture, including warmth and hospitality, and that large cities like Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta are each about three hours away. New Orleans is about five hours.
The cost to attend the University of Alabama is reasonable and can be highly offset with their generous financial aid. The tuition plus room and board for out-of-state students is about the same as the in-state tuition for the UCs. Scholarship opportunities for out-of-state students are based solely on a minimum GPA of 3.5 (Alabama will take weighted or unweighted, whatever the high school reports on the transcript), and SAT or ACT scores.
While Alabama has rolling admissions, the scholarship priority deadline is December 1. There are no letters of recommendation or essay required.
Greek life is huge at Alabama and football reigns. If you’re planning to visit, let the admissions office know, as they will set up a very detailed visit for you, tailored to your interests.
FYI, the Hillel at Alabama is large and active. A quick glance at their website reveals that one of the Hillel Vice Presidents is a Californian!
With 29,000 undergraduates, Alabama can offer California students a change of scenery coupled with strong academics and a supportive community. If you’re interested in learning more, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the local rep.