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Cost Comparison

The Lowest-Cost Path to an Arts Degree

Yes, a career in the arts is a good choice for your future! Our students get an exceptional private arts college experience at a fraction of the cost of most schools.

Tuition at the ACA is about one-third the cost of attending a typical four-year institution.

  • For example:
    • Average tuition cost for a three-credit class at a four-year institution: $1,174
    • Tuition cost for a three-credit class at the Alabama Center for the Arts: $375

At the ACA, you can take three classes for the cost of one class elsewhere – without sacrificing academic quality or the private arts college experience.

Salaries for Careers in the Arts

Our alumni have harnessed their creative abilities in diverse fields within small businesses and multinational corporations, working as independent artists or even teachers.

With an ACA arts degree, we give you all the tools you need to succeed. Where you take them is completely up to you. Explore a selection of the career paths our students chose and their annual salaries.


Craft & Fine Artists


Graphic Designers


Art Educators


Special Effects Artists & Animators


Producers & Directors


Art Directors

Reflects 2021 Median Pay, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Ongoing Career Support

Because Alabama Center for the Arts is a partnership between Alabama’s largest community college and the state’s most affordable public university, it is simply the most affordable way to get your arts degree.

Meet Some of our Graduates

The success of our graduates is a testament to the outstanding education and lifelong career support provided by the ACA. Don’t just take our word for it. Learn about the experiences some of our students have had directly from them.

Meet Phillippia

Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education with Minor in Educational Technology

Graduation Year: 2019

Current Career: Art teacher with East Limestone Middle School

During her time at the ACA, Phillipia was introduced to new art forms that she now incorporates in her classroom, including printmaking and ceramics. The wide range of course offerings at the ACA strengthened her confidence as a teacher candidate.

“I was able to learn art forms that I did not have access to in middle school and high school,” Phillipia says. “It meant a lot to me to have the resources to experiment with new materials, which I knew would strengthen my abilities as a teacher.”

Phillipia shares that the support she received from professors at the ACA went above and beyond what she expected. On top of preparing her for her career from a technical standpoint, they also prepared her to face practical issues in the classroom by teaching her productive classroom management skills. These skills put her a step ahead during her job search. “My professors were committed to helping my classmates and I find teaching jobs after graduation,” she says.

Meet Brooke

Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art with Minor in English

Graduation Year: 2015

Current Career: Assistant professor at the University of Mississippi

After graduating from the ACA, Brooke went on to continue her education at the University of Mississippi, where she obtained a master’s degree in Studio Art. Now, Brooke works as an Instructional Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Mississippi, a position she says she would not have without her experience at the ACA.

Brooke remembers her ACA professors encouraging her to take more risks with her art. Their courageous spirit helped her and her peers work harder and push the envelope.

“I remember the incredible, infectious energy the professors brought to the classroom,” Brooke says. “It’s an energy I now try to bring to my own classroom.”

Perhaps, most important, was the encouragement she received to pursue her dream of having a career in the arts. She was met with faculty and staff that believed in her, instructed her, and built her confidence. She was given resources and experiences to know that her career path was not only possible but that she could succeed.