University of Alabama system freezes tuition for 2023-24 in-state students

By: - June 14, 2023 7:01 am
A glass entrance to Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, with a bronze statue holding a University of Alabama flag.

A statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama before a game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The University of Alabama system Board of Trustees will keep tuition unchanged for resident Alabama students for the 2023-24 school year. 

Estimated in-state tuition for University of Alabama students in the 2022-23 school year was $11,100. Out-of-state tuition is $31,460. For the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), estimated in-state tuition was $11,040. Out-of-state-tuition was $26,550. For University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) students, in-state tuition was $10,120. Out-of-state tuition was $23,012.

“We would like to keep it flat any year that we can,” said Finis St. John, University of Alabama system chancellor in a Tuesday .

Alabama raised tuition for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, the school had kept tuition flat for five years for in-state students at University of Alabama, and for four years at UAB and UAH. 

Nonresident tuition will increase 3%, to about $32,400 per year. 

Chair of the Senate Finance and Taxation Education committee Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said in a phone interview Monday that he believes the increased allotment for colleges and universities in the Education Trust Fund helped this decision. The state’s four-year colleges and universities are expected to see funding go up by roughly 7.2% in the FY 2024 education budget, which goes into effect on Oct. 1.

The University of Alabama System’s state funding next year is expected to go from $629.4 million to $672.5 million, an increase of $43.1 million, or 6.8%.

Orr, who has been in the Senate since 2006, said that cuts to college and university funding during the Great Recession forced schools to raise tuition. 

“There’s a definite correlation between what they receive in the budget and what they feel like they need to increase tuition by each year, or not increase in this case,” he said.

St. John said that the money from the Education Trust Fund made a “big difference” in this situation.

Each year, he said, there’s a balancing act between trying to keep up “excellence” and keeping the school accessible for Alabama students.

He cited rising costs of inflation over the last few years as areas where they needed to control costs, such as in decisions on capital projects, to help keep the school accessible.

“All of those things go into the very complex fiscal management of a system that’s as large as the University of Alabama system,” he said.

St. John said that out-of-state students are essential to the University of Alabama system, and they want to keep as many as those students in the state after graduation. But as a taxpayer-supported public school, he said, their priority is in-state students.

“Our first loyalty is to Alabama residents,” he said.

Auburn University will raise its tuition and fees for Auburn campus students by 3% and 4% for Auburn University Montgomery students, according to a September news release provided by Jennifer Adams, executive director of public affairs Tuesday. Tuition and fees for an Alabama resident attending Auburn will be $12,536 for the 2023-2024 school year. Non-Alabama residents will pay $33,944. Estimated tuition and fees for an AUM in-state undergraduate student are $10,170 and $21,714 for an out of state student for 2023-204.

Matt Clower, senior director of communications at Troy University, said Tuesday the university approved a tuition increase for the upcoming year. Undergraduate tuition will be $408 per credit hour. Graduate tuition will be $475 per credit hour and doctoral degrees will be $550 per credit hour.

He said the university froze their tuition in the 2022-23 year, as well as in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, the school eliminated a number of fees such as all technology fees, facilities fees, lab fees, course fees, registration fees, and recreation fees.

“Troy University remains committed to providing students with affordable, quality academic programs and an enriching and valuable college experience,” he said in an emailed statement.

The University of Alabama’s decision to freeze tuition comes ahead of an expected Supreme Court decision of whether to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt.

According to the Education Data Initiative, 12.6% of Alabama residents have student loan debt.

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Jemma Stephenson
Jemma Stephenson

Jemma Stephenson covers education as a reporter for the Alabama Reflector. She previously worked at the Montgomery Advertiser and graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.