Top Military Schools in Alabama 2024 | All You Need to Know 

Are you searching for the best military and military-friendly schools and colleges for boys, girls, or any troubled youth, you’re sure to find credible ones in Alabama (AL).

Military schools have a long and proud history in the United States, providing rigorous academic and military training to prepare students for leadership roles in both military and civilian life.

Alabama is home to some of the most prestigious military high schools and colleges in the country, each with a unique approach to education and leadership development. From strict military discipline to hands-on leadership training, these schools offer a range of programs to help students reach their full potential.

Here, we will take a closer look at some of the best military schools in Alabama, exploring their history, academic offerings, and other important factors to help families and students make informed decisions when considering their educational options. Also, we have specified the admission criteria of each of these military schools as well to help you make a choice. 

Let’s dive in!!!

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How Many Military Schools Are in Alabama?

There are 3 recognized military schools in Alabama. This offers limited options for high school and college students who want to enroll in military schools in the state. 

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Top Alabama Best Military Schools 

Alabama is a cool state in the USA. Also, Alabama is a military-friendly state with a few JROTC  available in many public high schools.

Besides possessing some of the best military schools in the USA, Alabama has many ROTC opportunities in 10 Alabama colleges and universities. Here we have listed the best military colleges in Alabama and their details;

#1. Southern Preparatory Academy

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Founded: 1898
  • School Type: Private
  • Number of Students: 95
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 8:1
  • Location: 174 Ward Cir, Camp Hill, AL 36850
  • Annual Tuition: $28,250 (in-state),  $37,000 (out-of-state).

When referring to the best military schools in Alabama,  the first one that comes to mind is the Southern Preparatory Academy. Southern Preparatory Academy is located in one of the cheapest places to live in Alabama

Southern Preparatory Academy is one of the all-boys boarding high schools in Alabama consistently ranking among the premier military schools in the state.

Since its inception in 1898, the Southern Preparatory Academy has established a track record of excellence through its military model. The academy ensures all cadets excel in academics, leadership, and character development, like most military schools in AL.

Although a private institution, Southern Preparatory Academy is a non-profit and non-denominational school with a JROTC program. JROTC classes are taken by retired Army officers and NCOs whereas cadets take a full course load of 8 courses per year. All cadets must also meet the general middle and high school requirements of the State of Alabama.

Keep in mind that the Southern Prep Academy also features the norms of a military school with its own band, drill team, rifle team, sword drill, and color guard.


#2. Marion Military Institute

  • Founded: 1842
  • Grades: Undergrad
  • School Type: Public
  • Number of Students: 410
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 14:1
  • Location: 1101 Washington St, Marion, AL 36756
  • Annual Tuition: $16,170 (in-state),  $22,170 (out-of-state).

If you’re searching for military schools, Marion Military Institute is one of the best military colleges in Alabama. Marion Military Institute (MMI) is a public junior college established in the 18th century and the official Alabama military college.

In the United States alone, Marion Military Institute is one of the four military junior colleges remaining. The institute is open to undergraduates. The institution’s founding principles are structured after one of the best military schools in Virginia:  Virginia Military Institute.

Keep in mind that Marion Military Institute is best for cadets in search of first-class military experience in college. The institute offers an Army ROTC program and the U.S. Army 2-year Early Commissioning Program (ECP). Either of these two programs affords cadets the opportunity to get commissioned in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant without having to attend college for 4 years.

There is also the Service Academy Program (SAP) which prepares cadets for West Point or Annapolis. Furthermore, there is the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) for those interested in the military branch.

Admission into Marion Military Institute is competitive and requires due diligence to get accepted. Upon acceptance,  cadets are prepared for both civilian careers and military service.


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#3. Columbus Girls Academy

  • Grades: 12-17
  • Founded: 1898
  • School Type: Public
  • Number of Students: 60
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 21:1
  • Location: 14 Motts Dr, Seale, AL 36875
  • Annual Tuition: $28,250 (in-state),  $37,000 (out-of-state).

Just like the name signifies, Columbus Girls Academy is an all-girls military school and one of the top military schools in Alabama. Unlike Southern Preparatory Academy and Marion Military Institute, Columbus Girls Academy is one of the military schools in Alabama open to troubled youth, especially girls.

Although a Christian reform school for at-risk girls, Columbus Girls Academy is also a college prep school. Unlike other military schools in AL, Columbus Girls Academy does not adopt the usual regular military disciplinary approach. Rather spiritual support, counseling, and equine therapy programs are adopted.

Columbus Girls Academy is focused on behavioral issues influenced by trauma, adoption, family discord, or peer pressure in a far healthier setting. While on campus, girls learn teamwork, and leadership skills and engage in various activities. Rebellion, social awkwardness, lack of respect for authority, and other self-destructing habits are dealt with through counseling. 

As a reform school, Columbus Girls Academy is not totally free but the tuition is very affordable and student specific. Also, the application requires no fee, only an online interview.

Keep in mind that Columbus Girls Academy is one of the military schools in Alabama accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement as well as a member of Christian Schools International (ACSI).


What is The Cost Of Military Schools in Alabama? 

Just like in most areas of the US, there is no specific tuition cost for military schools in Alabama. AL military schools have varying tuition costs depending on the program and level of education as well as school type. 

Public military schools in Alabama such as Columbus Girls Academy are free, while Marion Military Institute requires tuition although a public school and Southern Preparatory Academy require tuition as well.

Once you have made a choice of school for your child, visit the school website for details on tuition. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Military Colleges in Alabama 

What is the age requirement to go to military schools in Alabama?

Each military school in Alabama has its own age requirement. Southern Preparatory Academy accepts cadets between 6-12, Marion Military Institute is open to undergraduates and Columbus Girls Academy accepts girls between 12-17. 

What are the benefits of attending a military school in Alabama?

Attending a military school in Alabama offers several benefits, such as a

– rigorous academic curriculum
– a structured environment that fosters discipline and leadership
– and opportunities for character development and physical fitness.

Graduates of military schools in Alabama are well-prepared for a variety of careers, including military service, law enforcement, and business.

What is the #1 military academy in Alabama?

The #1 military school in AL is Southern Preparatory Academy open to cadets between 6-12.

Is there a tuition-free military school in Alabama?

There are no free military schools in Alabama. All military colleges in Alabama require little or higher tuition fees, none is free.

What types of academic programs are offered at military colleges in Alabama?

Military schools in Alabama offer a range of academic programs, including traditional high school coursework, college preparatory programs, and specialized programs in areas like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Many schools also offer post-secondary programs, including associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in subjects like leadership, military science, and physical education.

What are the admission requirements for AL military schools?

Admission requirements for military schools in Alabama vary by institution. Admission requirements for Alabama military schools include 

– minimum GPA
– standardized test scores
– and physical fitness standards
– demonstrated interest in military leadership and character development.

Some schools may also require applicants to pass a physical fitness test and undergo a personal interview.


        There are few military schools in Alabama to consider. Some schools are for high school, and others are for colleges. Some are for girls, others for boys, and others for coeducational. 

        In some cases, the schools encourage military service but do not expect a student to serve. However, in some colleges, there is an expectation of service in exchange for a tuition-free college experience. 

        Ensure to understand well before enrolling. Also, visit the school website for more details.


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