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UWA ranks highest among Alabama colleges & universities in national study

UWA students at Covered Bridge
30 key factors place UWA as top in the state with combined experiences, diversity, value

The University of West Alabama has been ranked as the best among colleges and universities in Alabama in a national listing of 2019 College & University rankings. The WalletHub report ranking includes both public four-year schools and private, not-for-profit, four-year schools nationwide, and UWA is the highest ranking school in Alabama.

For the 2019 ranking, nearly 1,000 higher education institutions were compared, with 30 key measures grouped into seven categories including student selectivity, cost & financing, faculty resources, campus safety, campus experience, educational outcomes and career outcomes.

UWA ranked exceedingly high in all of the categories, including first in admission rate as well as gender & racial diversity, fourth in student to faculty ratio, and fifth for net cost. UWA is the only Alabama school to rank in the top 50 for the south region of the nation.

“It is most encouraging to see our University ranked at the top in Alabama with all of these factors taken into consideration,” said UWA President Ken Tucker. “We work diligently to identify the needs of our students, both current and prospective, and marshal our resources to meet those needs and provide additional opportunities for students to develop the knowledge, skills, and ability to be successful throughout their lives.”

The ultimate goal of the ranking is to provide information to students who will be announcing early decisions for enrollment in the coming weeks. The ranking is a determination of the top-performing schools with the lowest possible costs to undergraduates. In addition, the ranking analyzes post-attendance metrics, like student loan default rate and post-graduation earnings.

“A ranking such as this one, based on sound methodology and solid figures, gives us affirmation that we are moving in the right direction and that we are indeed serving our students and providing a quality education at a reasonable cost and in an environment that becomes both a welcoming and safe campus,” Tucker said.

“We are concerned with every aspect of our students’ college experience, including post-graduation and the career opportunities that we can help them find. The data shows that our students are poised for success when they graduate,” Tucker said. “In particular, we take pride in the low-cost of attendance at UWA, combined with our offering of scholarships and other support, so as to not leave students with a heavy burden of debt as they enter their careers.”

Ranking in the 86th percentile for the highest quality educational experience compared to the costs of attendance further confirms UWA’s position as a leader in workforce development for the Black Belt Region of Alabama and beyond.

“At UWA, we want to provide the tools, resources, and “real world” academic experiences that our students need to become successful graduates and have a positive and lasting impact on the communities where they will live and work,” Tucker said. “Every school provides an education, but the way we serve our students in every aspect of their college experience, then matching their educational goals and abilities with meeting the needs of our region through economic, workforce, and community development is what sets the University of West Alabama apart.”

Learn more about the methodology, findings, and ranking:

For more than 180 years, the University of West Alabama has served the educational needs of state, and particularly the Black Belt region of Alabama. The University values a diverse student enrollment, with students from throughout the U.S. and abroad. To learn more about UWA, visit