Start South student standing in front of her High School.

Start South

Start South:
College level courses with a pathway to USA

Start your journey to South as early as 10th grade through USA’s dual enrollment/early college program. Start South provides high school students the opportunity to enroll in courses that earn both high school and college credit while experiencing some of South’s best faculty. Start South offers online and on-campus courses for high school students in search of a learning experience that not only hits the academic note, but also creates a smooth entry into collegiate life as a first-time freshman.

Students qualifying to be Start South students (3.0 GPA and a high school sophomore, junior, or senior) are able to enroll in 100 and 200 level courses for which they meet the prerequisites.


Apply to Start South

Once accepted, students will be contacted to set up an advising/registration appointment. Summer 2024 classes begin May and June, and Fall 2024 classes begin August 20. Course registration for Start South will close the first week of class. Current Start South students will be able to register beginning in mid-April, and new Start South students will be able to register the latter part of April.

For those seeking dual enrollment credit, the high school authorization form can be found in the Resources section. For students taking courses for the college credit only, a current high school transcript can be uploaded in the application portal.

Students can find our Start South Digital Folder under the Resources tab. This document gives complete information on the application process and the registration process as well as a listing of the Start South class sections available for the semester.

Ready to Start South? Click to apply for Summer 2024 and Fall 2024.




Alice Abernathy, Start South Director

Alice Abernathy photoAlice Abernathy is the Director of Start South.  Mrs. Abernathy earned a BS in Secondary Education with concentrations in French and English at the University of Alabama in 1993, an MA in English at Jacksonville State University in 2006, and an MS in Instructional Leadership from JSU in 2017. Mrs. Abernathy has been actively involved with NACEP, the National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships since 2014 and was a member of their first leadership academy in 2018. Mrs. Abernathy served as an adjunct for the English department at JSU, and she was also a K-12 classroom teacher for 19 years in both private and public schools in Alabama and Georgia before moving into higher education.

Current Start South students who need to schedule an advising Zoom can schedule an appointment by going to the Advising Calendar


▼   Tuition


  • $166 per credit hour, $498 per 3 credit course
  • Start South students pay no fees
▼   Incentives
  • Start South seniors qualify for automatic admission to USA if they complete 9 or more credit hours of USA coursework by August 15 of senior year with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must have a completed Freshman application to qualify.
  • Priority housing for entering freshmen when a student earns 9 or more credit hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA by December of senior year of high school
  • Reduced Cost to Degree
  • Reduced Time to Degree
  • Satisfy Prerequisites for Majors in:
    • Allied Health
    • Arts & Sciences
    • Business
    • Computing
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
▼   Application Deadlines
  • Fall 2024: July 31, 2024 (opens April 1)
  • Spring 2025: December 15, 2024 (opens Oct. 15)
  • Summer 2025: May 23, 2025 (opens April 1)