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800 George Wallace Blvd
Muscle Shoals, AL 35661
p. 256-331-5200
w. www.nwscc.edu

Northwest-Shoals Community College

Northwest-Shoals Community College Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes)

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Northwest-Shoals Community College is a two-year college located in the state of Alabama. This higher education institution features two comprehensive campuses; one of them is located in Phil Campbell, while the second campus has a home in Muscle Shoals. The counties served by Northwest-Shoals Community College-Muscle Shoals include Colbert County, Franklin County, Lauderdale County, Lawrence County and Winston County. Northwest-Shoals offers a variety of programs of study, including some programs leading to different associate degrees and certificates in specific occupational professions. Northwest-Shoals Community College-Muscle Shoals has an enrollment of approximately 5,000 to 6,000 students and prides itself in offering quality education to the residents of the aforementioned counties in order to promote the growth and economy of northwest Alabama.


As a comprehensive two-year institution for higher education, Northwest-Shoals Community College- Muscle Shoals thrives in offering a variety of programs of study for its students. Students who apply for admission at Northwest-Shoals will be invited to choose a major and a path of study; whether they decide to opt for the associate degree route, in the hope of transferring to a four-year university, or to simply undertake a career certificate program and get to work right away. With many different majors and specializations offered, Northwest-Shoals is able to cater to a wide range of different students with unique interests and will provide those students with the best tools and knowledge for them to start a successful career in the field of their choice.

Certificate Programs

Students who are enrolled at Northwest-Shoals Community College have the possibility to study courses leading to a certificate. The certificates offered by Northwest-Shoals are divided into two distinct categories; career certificates and short-term general certificates. The career certificates can usually be completed within 1 to 2 years, and some of the disciplines include accounting technology, cosmetology, welding, office administration, EMT-Paramedic and more. These certificates will help the students gain the necessary knowledge to be launched in their career immediately. The short-term general certificates will usually last less than 27 semester hours and provides thorough training on certain subjects, such as carpentry, child development, biomedical equipment technology, computer technology and more.

Associate Degrees

Some study programs offered at Northwest-Shoals Community College will lead to the award of an associate degree. Northwest-Shoals currently offers the Associate in Arts and the Associate in Science Degree. The Associate in Arts program includes various disciplines, such as art, general liberal arts, music, pre-law and teacher education. On the other hand, the Associate in Science Degree is much more varied, with specializations in agriculture, business administration, child development, computer information systems, and many more. Both of those degrees will allow students to transfer to a complete 4-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Similarly to most community colleges in the United States, Northwest-Shoals Community College encourages the application of state residents, out-of-state students as well as international students coming from out of country. While admission requirements will differ depending on the student’s particular residency situation, every applicant will receive the same objective evaluation when it comes to applying for admission at Northwest-Shoals. The admission application can be downloaded directly from Northwest-Shoals’ website, printed and mailed to the admissions’ office or filed online (for US citizens only). All applicants who are granted admission at Northwest-Shoals Community College will have to submit themselves to placement testing. The COMPASS testing system offers placement testing in math, English and reading in order to offer students with classes in which they are more likely to succeed. Admission at Northwest-Shoals Community College is available for Fall, Spring and Summer semester, with periods of pre-registration and open registration available a few months before the end of each semester.

Financial Aid

The Financial Aid office at Northwest-Shoals Community College offers a few different options for students who need additional help to cover tuition and expenses related to school. As an accredited community college, Northwest-Shoals participates in government programs, including the Pell Grant, work-study program, and Direct Student Loans and Academic Competitiveness Grant. On top of making federal financial aid programs available to its students, Northwest-Shoals Community College also offers a variety of scholarships based on different criteria. Some of the scholarships offered by this institution include academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, art and performance scholarships, as well as a scholarship for senior citizens who are 60 years old and above.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5978th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Alabama.


Northwest-Shoals’ students’ community is rich and varied. With a wide range of programs offered, students with unique interests attend Northwest-Shoals Community College. As some programs do not require a high school diploma or GED, the student body at Northwest-Shoals does not only feature traditional college students but also adults looking to specialize in a new area, working professionals branching out of their chosen field, and even senior citizens who wish to expand their knowledge. Northwest-Shoals also accepts transfer students who bring a breath of fresh air to the campus as well as a small community of international students who promote cultural diversity on both campuses of the college.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Local Community

Located in the northern area of Alabama, both campuses of Northwest-Shoals Community College are staples of the rural community. The community surrounding the Phil Campbell and Shoals campus is hospitable and welcoming, and students are encouraged to take part in the various events that take place around town.

The school itself is also actively involved in the community, offering continuing education programs and helping local businesses with training for business & industry services.

Additional School Information

Founded in 1963, the Phil Campbell campus was the first public junior college in the organization now known as the Alabama College System. The Shoals campus was founded 3 years later in 1966, and at the time, only offered occupational and technical training. Since its humble beginning, the Northwest-Shoals Community College has branched out from its narrow focus and now features program of studies that cater to a much larger pool of students.

It was in 1993 that the two campuses joined forced and renamed themselves Northwest-Shoals Community College. The primary mission of the Northwest-Shoals College was to provide quality education and learning opportunities to the rural area of northwest Alabama.


  • Northwest-Shoals Community College. Northwest-Shoals Community College. 2011. Web. 23 July 2011.
  • Northwest-Shoals Community College. Northwest-Shoals Community College Admissions. Web. 23 July 2011.
  • Books LLC. “Community Colleges in Alabama.” General Books, 2010. Print.

Information Summary

Ranks 48th in Alabama and 2927th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 50 0.38
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 1 0.01
Forcible Rape 2 0.02
Robbery 12 0.09
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 129 0.98
Larceny 413 3.13
Vehicle theft 34 0.26

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Muscle Shoals, AL 35661
Surrounding communitySmall city (inside urban area, pop. under 100,000)
Total Population16,104 (11,572 urban / 4,532 rural)
Households6,401 (2.49 people per house)
Median Household Income$39,514
Families4,764 (2.93 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Rural-serving Medium
Undergraduate PopulationMixed part/full-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingMedium two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAssociate's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District104

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 3980th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $3,330 $3,330 $6,660
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $810 $810 $810
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $111 $111 $222
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $5,790 $5,790 $9,120
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $16,500 $16,500 $19,830
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $11,000 $11,000 $14,330

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $4,020 $4,080 $4,020 $4,080 $7,230 $7,350
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,300 $1,350
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $4,500(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,463 $3,681
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,463 $3,681

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 86 29 2 4 629 1 754
Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping 5 5
Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, General 9 7 46 63
Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician 4 2 1 19 26
Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician 4 5 17 27
Biomedical Technology/Technician
Cabinetmaking and Millwork 3 5 8
Carpentry/Carpenter 5 15 20
Chemical Technology/Technician 1 1 2
Child Care and Support Services Management 5 1 24 1 31
Computer and Information Sciences, General 4 4
Cosmetology and Related Personal Grooming Arts, Other 2 3 5
Cosmetology/Cosmetologist, General 10 15 25
Criminal Justice/Police Science 7 7
Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, General 3 1 16 20
Electrician 1 4 5
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) 1 3 47 51
Energy Management and Systems Technology/Technician
Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology 1 1
Fire Services Administration 3 3
General Studies 19 8 164 192
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering Technology/Technician 4 4
Industrial Electronics Technology/Technician 8 8
Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology 1 16 17
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 2 35 37
Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse Training 2 7 9
Machine Shop Technology/Assistant 6 6
Medical/Clinical Assistant
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 11 1 39 51
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 2 1 1 69 73
Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Technology/Technician 8 8
Welding Technology/Welder 4 1 41 46

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 2918th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $54,977 ($56,864 male / $51,128 female)
Number of FT Faculty 75 (40 male / 35 female)
Number of PT Faculty 153
FT Faculty Ratio 0.5 : 1
Total Benefits $2,198,171

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