According to Forbes, Auburn is the best choice of college in Alabama.
Forbes selected the best college in each state according to its list of America’s best colleges in 2015. The magazine said it bases rankings on value provided from a degree versus the cost of attending that school.
For the state of Alabama, Forbes selected Auburn as the best college decision in Alabama.
Located about four hours from the Florida coastline, Auburn University (Top College No. 218) was originally founded in 1856 as an all-male college but has transformed into a co-educational, public research institution. The university offers over 140 formal majors housed in 12 colleges. Students can choose to participate in over 300 clubs and organizations. Greek life is big on campus, with 17 sororities and 28 fraternities. Known for their friendliness, students annually dedicate an entire day called “Hey Day” to saying “hey” to each other. The NCAA Division I-A Auburn Tigers have earned national recognition, winning the 2013 Southeastern Conference football championship, eight men’s swimming and diving championships and five women’s swimming and diving championships.
The two schools tend to be ranked closely together. A U.S. News and World Report ranking for 2016 put the University of Alabama at #96 and Auburn at #102.
According to data released by the Department of Education in the College Scorecard, in-state Auburn students spend an average of $17,541 per year and have a median salary of $45,400 10 years after graduation. The same scorecard said Alabama students spend $20,916 per year on average to attain a median salary of $42,400 10 years after graduation.
Students from both schools beat the national average income for college graduates, $34,300. Sixty-six percent of Alabama students and 71 percent of Auburn students earned more on average than people with only a high school diploma.
When it comes to the highest post graduation salary, however, neither Auburn or Alabama's main campuses can claim victory. The University of Alabama at Huntsville boasts a median salary of $46,600 for its graduates after 10 years.
The national average of one year of college (in-state) is listed as $16,574. Both Auburn and Alabama clear that bar, though not by much for Auburn. Thirty-six percent of Auburn students receive federal loans to cover this cost. That number of 41 percent for Alabama students.