Student sitting on step of house outside.

Start South

Dual Enrollment Program: Start South
College level courses and 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.

Check out what happens on campus during the summer with Start South. Start South Summers 2023 flyer coming in April 2023.


The Fall 2022 Start South application is now closed. The Spring 2023 application will be open October 15.

Alice Abernathy, Start South Coordinator

Alice Abernathy photoAlice Abernathy is the Start South dual enrollment coordinator. 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.

Office: (251) 341-3938

  Start South Flyer  


▼   Who is Eligible?
  • High school sophomore, junior, or senior
  • 3.0 or higher GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Written approval of the high school principal
▼   Tuition
  • College and high school credit for approved courses (designated Dual Enrollment).
  • Other courses earn college credit (designated Early College).
  • Start South students can take a max of 30 credit hours.
  • Cost of Start South courses is $167 per credit hour ($500 per 3 credit course).
  • Start South Students pay no fees.
▼   Application Deadlines
  • Summer 2022: May 27, 2022 (opens April 1)
  • Fall 2022: July 31, 2022 (opens April 1)
  • Spring 2023: December 15, 2022
▼   Incentives
  • Automatic Enrollment
    • Alabama residents participating in Start South can qualify for automatic admission to USA if they:
      » Successfully complete 9 or more credit hours of USA coursework listed by August 15 of your senior year.
      » Earn a minimum cumulative 3.0 USA GPA
  • Priority housing for entering freshmen
    • When a student earns 9 or more credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA by December of the 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