Northwest-Shoals Community College


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.

Information Summary

Ranks 39th in Alabama and 2648th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 55.3
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $6,496
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 19 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 59% / 44%
Enrollment Total (all students) 3,539


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


Training Class :: Northwest-Shoals Community College
Hydraulic Class :: Northwest-Shoals Community College


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 5981st 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.

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