Student sitting on step of house outside.

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.

New for Spring 2023

EG 101, a required course for engineering majors, is now online for the spring specifically for Start South students. The online course will include four on-campus lab experiences putting the knowledge learned online into practical use. Check out the flyer for more information.



Ready to Start South? The applications for Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 are now live! The high school authorization form can be found in the Resources section. Once accepted, students will be contacted to set up an advising/registration appointment.



Summer at South

Check out what happens on campus during the summer with Start South. Find special summer course announcements  and flyers from USA academic departments here.

CSC 120 - Problem Solving and Programming Concepts

Start South Summers 2023 flyer coming in April 2023.



Alice Abernathy, Start South Coordinator

Alice Abernathy photoAlice Abernathy is the Start South dual enrollment coordinator. 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.

Office: (251) 341-3938

  Start South Flyer  


▼   Who is Eligible?
  • High school sophomore, junior, or senior
  • 3.0 or higher GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Written approval of the high school principal
▼   Tuition


  • Cost of Start South courses is $166 per credit hour ($498 per 3 credit course)
  • Start South students pay no fees
▼   Application Deadlines
  • Spring 2023: December 15, 2022 (opens Oct. 15)
  • Summer 2023: May 27, 2022 (opens April 1)
  • Fall 2023: July 31, 2022 (opens April 1)
▼   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