University of Alabama-Birmingham or University of New Mexico?

I am currently a junior and high school and plan on majoring in accounting and possibly minoring in entrepreneurship. UAB is a local school for me and offers good financial aid, but I am looking to go out of state, and the University of New Mexico seems to give very good aid as well. However, I’m not sure about how good of an education I could receive there. Is there anyone who knows which school would be the better option?

University of Alabama is a very good school and very esteemed on these forums, due to the strong financial aid/merit scholarship opportunities. If you can get the ACT/SAT score within range for full tuition scholarship, I would definitely consider UAB. You can receive a fine education there. I’ve honestly never heard of University of New Mexico as much as I’ve heard of Bama.

I would prefer New Mexico, in all honesty. UAB isn’t as good as Tuscaloosa.

new mexico has some of the scariest looking creepy crawly bugs I have ever witnessed not in a museum!(I have been to the amazon)
but the education will be very good I am sure.

There is no earthly reason to attend school out-of-state at UNM if you have the option of U of Alabama-Birmingham (not Tuscaloosa; two distinct universities). If UNM will offer you a free ride or has some fabulously enriched accounting program, fine. Otherwise, if it’s between these two, stick with UAB.

UAB’s strength is in life sciences and health sciences. I understand that the Business School is essentially in its infancy.

What are your stats? Did you run the NPC on UNM’s website? Do you know how much your parents will pay?

UNM has some good merit scholarships for high stats, but it’s not going to give you much need based aid.

I have only taken the ACT once without studying and received a 25. I plan on taking it multiple times again and believe I can earn anywhere between a 32-34. UAB gives “full tuition and fees” (not sure if that includes dorm) starting from a 33 ACT, and I believe UNM gives almost a full ride with a 31. My parents earn just enough to not receive need based aid, but I also have a sibling about to go to graduate school, so my parents cannot not pay more than a few thousand.

No, that doesn’t include dorm.

I took the online practice test provided by the ACT and got a 27. My highest section was the Reading in which I made a 30, and my lowest section was the Science, in which I made a 23. What are the best ways I can study to make a 36 for the test in June?


Good luck with future tests. You may need to get some test books.

Are you a rising junior, or rising senior? You have more time if you are a rising junior.

Get The Real ACT prep book. Maybe GC has some older prep tests. How are you on the SAT?

ACT Science was difficult for my one - you have to look at the information and determine very quickly what you need (they often put way excess info and you don’t have the time to study it all). She got ACT 30 by having stronger scores on all the other sub scores. One science test for my older student had almost all chemistry on it (and she had a strong science score, I believe 31).

You need to work out timing, not spend too much time on easy questions and also not make mistakes that you should not make - test prep helps. Familiarity with the testing helps. You also work on your good areas so those help overcome the low areas for you.

Getting composite ACT score 30 is tough (a number of great students get stuck on 29); going up every composite point from there is more challenging. You are starting at a 25, and have a practice test at 27. Statistically it is not possible for many to achieve an ACT score of 32-34, especially starting where you are. Going up 5 or 6 points, perhaps.

Paying to take a prep class, get the prep book, spend the time to work on the test sections.

I have one at UA and one at UAB. Both worked hard (and during first semester senior year) to improve scholarshipsI know students that have attended business school at UAB and done great. B’ham offers more PT work opportunities. Although you may not want to live at home, it may offer you a great education with some scholarship $$. As you know with UA, UAB and others, the ACT/SAT score is key along with GPA for merit.

UNM may sound exotic to you. Don’t overlook options ‘in your own back yard’. With parents kicking in only a small amount, you do not want to take out student loans when you have great options w/o (or at least taking less student loans). Since you want to study business, econ 101 lesson in why you want to stay out of debt as much as possible.

I’m not sure why UNM is the target school either, but if you’re looking for some more affordable options, check this thread out:

In the end, many students who desire to “go away to school,” realize they can’t afford to. Still, if you want to go somewhere beyond Birmingham, there are many choices in state, especially if you meet the criteria for a full-tuition scholarship at UAB. UA (Tuscaloosa) is strong for business (including accounting) and they have that STEM Path to MBA program that might be of interest to a student interested in entrepreneurism. With 60% of the student body coming from OOS, you’re likely to make friends from other parts of the country. Auburn is strong in business as well, although the majority of students will be from in state. Still, it’s supposed to be a great town to live in

Thanks for the advice, SOSConcern. I am a rising junior. With the ACT Science, I have figured out my main issues were with concentration, as it is the last section of the test. Otherwise, it is similar to the ACT Reading, but with numbers and charts instead of words (for the most part). As I have a full year left of studying, and as many tries left on the test as I could want, I think a 30 is certainly achievable. However, considering my financial status, it is necessary for to aim for a 32-34 in order to receive as much scholarship aid as possible. It is good to hear that UAB does have decent business programs, because all I’ve ever heard about it is from science related fields.

Thanks for the link LucieTheLakie, I’ve been looking at UNM mainly because of their generosity with merit aid and it does not seem to be a bad school. However, I’m still not sure about its quality compared to UAB, and there’s not a lot of information about the school, particularly its undergraduate business programs. Other schools I’ve considered are the University of Utah, which does offer a nonresidential president’s scholarship, although the statistical requirements for that scholarship are unknown. Temple University is another school I’ve looked at as well, but the most they offer is full tuition, and having to pay for dorm, books, fees, etc. I could end up having to spend 15-20k a year there even with the scholarship, which I couldn’t afford without taking out loans. Nice to hear that Auburn has some good business areas as well; all I ever seem to hear about them is engineering and with UA, I hear about mostly law.

UA and AU with room and board costs, with parents only contributing $2,000 a year is going to be a financial strain. However if there is a strong desire, and can find a PT job. Opportunities in B’ham are very good for business students, be it with summer internship or during school year with attendance at UAB.

Be sure to get the stats for a good 4 year scholarship. That will help a lot.

My parents live in NM and really you don’t want to go to UNM. It’s okay, and that’s about it. The quality of public schools (K-12) in NM is AWFUL and UNM has a 56.7% acceptance rate. You don’t want to be in there with kids who went to schools that allowed students to get through into high school unable to write cohesively. My dad read me the letters they published in the newspapers of high school SENIORS unable to spell “acceptable” or write a sentence that made sense. They had dozens of examples.
UAB is a good school… go there.