Alabama Financial Aid
With over 100 trade schools, community colleges, and 4-year colleges and universities, students who choose to pursue a postsecondary education in Alabama can have many degree programs to choose from. Mostly every student in Alabama can benefit from obtaining money to help pay for their undergraduate or graduate college education. Depending on the source, aid may be used toward a certificate programs, career training, associate transfer degree, bachelors degree or masters degree.
Alabama Scholarships and Grants
Alabama students find scholarships and grants the most appealing as they provide “free” money toward their college education. Alabama scholarships may either be granted based on the financial need, or the merit of the student, so people from all walks of life are able to take advantage of the college financial assistance.
The Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) administers the state's financial aid programs. Here is a list of scholarships and grants offered by the ACHE; to find additional information, or to apply to these financial aid programs, check out the General Information About Student Aid Programs on the ACHE Website:
- Alabama Scholarships for Dependents of Blind Parents: This award covers the full tuition and instructional fees for children from families in which the head of the household is blind and whose family cannot meet the costs of postsecondary education. The award covers the costs of instructional fees and tuition at the Alabama state institution.
- Alabama Student Assistance Program: An Alabama state grant that covers from $300 to $2,500 per academic year of the undergraduate student’s tuition and fees.
- Alabama Student Grant Program: This award is offered to any student, regardless of need, attending an eligible independent Alabama college or university. The award amount is $1200.00.
- American Legion Auxiliary Scholarship Program/American Legion Scholarship Program: Award funding may only be used toward tuition, fees and board expenses at a public college or university in Alabama. Only students who attend an institution with on-campus housing and are daughters, sons, grandsons, or granddaughters or veterans of World War I, World War II, Korea or Vietnam are eligible to apply. The award amount is $850.
- Alabama Nursing Scholarship Program: Provide scholarships of varying amounts to students who are residents of Alabama and are pursuing a nursing career.
- Junior and Community College Athletic Scholarship Program: This award is determined based solely on the student’s demonstrated athletic ability during school try-outs. These are not need-based scholarships, and the award amount may not exceed in-state tuition.
- Junior and Community College Performing Arts Scholarship Program: Students are judged for their artistic talent through competitive auditions. This award is not based on financial need and may not exceed the total amount of in-state tuition.
- Police Officer’s and Firefighter’s Survivor’s Educational Assistance: This grant covers books, tuition, fees and supplies for undergraduate students who are the dependents and eligible spouses of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
- Two-Year College Academic Scholarship Program: Students who are enrolled in a public 2-year college or university in Alabama who demonstrate academic excellence as determined by the institutional scholarship committee.
- Senior Adult Scholarship Program: Covers the total cost of tuition for persons aged 60 or over who meet the admissions requirements and are attending a public 2-year college or university in Alabama.
- Technology Scholarship for Alabama Teachers: Full-time regularly certified Alabama public school teachers enrolled in approved technology courses at eligible postsecondary institutions in Alabama may apply to this scholarship.
Scholarships from Alabama Colleges and Universities
Students who need additional assistance paying for college should look at the Alabama college or university they plan on, or are already enrolled in. Most colleges have scholarships, grants and fellowship opportunities for freshman, transfer, current and international students. Exclusive scholarships are offered at the following colleges and universities:
- University of Alabama, Birmingham Scholarships
- University of Alabama, Huntsville Scholarships
- The University of Alabama Scholarships
To find out what financial aid programs are available at your college or university, visit the financial aid department either in person, or online.
Although there are colleges and universities throughout Alabama, the cities of Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa have the greatest number of colleges in the entire state. This means that there may be a larger amount of scholarship, grant and other financial aid opportunities.
Other Scholarships for Alabama
After looking at Alabama state, college and university grants, the next place to look for help is at private and public foundations that offer scholarships and grants.
- Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments (AAVFD) Scholarship Program: Open to children and spouses of firefighters in the State of Alabama, or surviving dependents or spouses of a deceased firefighter.
- Les Hilliard/Sebastian Thomas Scholarship Program: Named after two influential members of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), this scholarship is open to a student who is majoring in Agriculture at a Historically Black College or University in Alabama.
- Horatio Alger Alabama Scholarship: Open to Alabama residents who have overcome personal adversity and wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree at any postsecondary institution in the United States. There are seven $5,000 scholarships awarded per academic year.
- J.L. Bedsole Foundation: This is restricted to high school graduates in Southwest Alabama who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Students who show exemplary grades, leadership potential and demonstrate financial need.
- Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) Scholarship Program: High school seniors residing in one of the 11 participating cities who demonstrate financial need are eligible for this scholarship. In 2004, AMEA created the Technical School Scholarship for those seniors pursuing training at a technical or trade school.
Alabama Student Loans
Alabama students who have received their FAFSA award letters, but are still in need of financial assistance to cover the costs of their tuition and fees, may apply for federal, state or private student loans. The difference between Alabama student loans and scholarships is that student loans charge interest and require repayment. Apply for student loans through the FAFSA form, and manage your loans with the Alabama College Loan Program, which has teamed up with The Student Loan People to create, finance and collect federal student loans to Alabama residents.