Start South student standing in front of her High School.

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.

Students qualifying to be Start South students (3.0 GPA and a high school sophomore, junior, or senior) are able to enroll in 100 and 200 level courses for which they meet the prerequisites.


Summer at South

Start South Summer 2024 information will be available March 2024. The application for Summer 2024 courses will open April 1.

Apply to Start South

Ready to Start South? The application for Fall 2023 is now live!

For those seeking dual enrollment credit, the high school authorization form can be found in the Resources section. For students taking courses for the college credit only, a current high school transcript can be uploaded in the application portal.

Once accepted, students will be contacted to set up an advising/registration appointment. Fall 2023 classes begin August 22, and registration through Start South will close the first week of class.

Alice Abernathy, Start South Director

Alice Abernathy photoAlice Abernathy is the Director of Start South.  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.


▼   Tuition


  • $166 per credit hour, $498 per 3 credit course
  • Start South students pay no fees
▼   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
▼   Application Deadlines
  • Fall 2023: July 31, 2023 (opens April 1)
  • Spring 2024: December 15, 2023 (opens Oct. 15)
  • Summer 2024: May 27, 2024 (opens April 1)