University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
September 13, 2013
Contact: Alice Jackson, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6639

USA Named Seventh Most Affordable College Online

A nationally recognized Web site that analyzes the affordability and return on investment of higher education has named the University of South Alabama as seventh on its list of the “54 Most Affordable Online Colleges.”

The Web site,, is based in San Francisco and has a growing reputation for is analysis of both online and on-campus learning.

Online enrollment at USA has grown 225 percent since fall semester 2008. Sixty-two percent of the online enrollments are in graduate courses.

“USA offers a number of degree programs, and numerous other courses, in an online format. The quality of our offerings is outstanding, and we are pleased that this Web site also recognizes the affordability of our programs and courses,” said Dr. David Johnson, senior vice president for academic affairs. “USA offers great value to students in all of its academic programs, and in the online environment our faculty and staff have worked hard over the last decade to ensure that our academic quality is second to none. This recognition is well deserved.”

Dr. Jack Dempsey, director of the Innovation in Learning Center and USAonline, said 25 percent of USA’s total enrollments for the 2012-2013 academic year were for either solely online courses or blended courses. About 16 percent of those students were enrolled in fully online classes with the remaining percentage in blended courses, meaning online learning replaced classroom time by at least 15 percent but not more than 85 percent.

“Online courses are not necessarily cheaper tuition-wise. Even so, fully online students do not have all the fees that on-campus students do. Also, there are other savings. For example, transportation costs to commute, child care costs for single parents, the flexibility to adapt to work schedules, and so forth,” Dempsey said. “We are also seeing an increase in blended learning here and at other university campuses. Currently, blended learning formats account for about 10 percent of USA enrollments. These partially online programs often feature a ‘flipped classroom’ with online lectures viewed at home before on-campus sessions and active learning approaches in-class including projects, group inquiry exercises, or focused discussions, for example.”

USA offers a variety of online courses leading to degrees for both undergraduates and graduate students including in business administration, information systems, interdisciplinary studies, nursing and education. Many certification classes in a variety of disciplines are also available online.

For more information about online learning at USA, visit, or call (251) 461-1888.



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