Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA System to offer expedited transfer process to Birmingham Southern College students

Courtesy of Birmingham-Southern College (via Instagram)
Birmingham-Southern College will close its doors for good in May.

The University of Alabama System agreed to expedite applications and waive application fees for eligible Birmingham-Southern College on March 27.  

On March 26, the BSC board of trustees voted to cease all college operations at the end of May after the college could not secure a $30 million state-funded loan. 

The UA System schools — The University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama in Huntsville — will work with each transfer student to create a financial aid package based on available funding.  

The University of Alabama System is fully committed to supporting Birmingham-Southern students in this time of transition and ensuring they have the opportunity to remain in-state and receive an excellent educational experience,” the statement read. 

Scholarships obtained at BSC will not follow students if they transfer to another college, and most employees will be laid off before May 31, with the remaining staff losing their jobs over the summer. Seniors who are planning on graduating over the summer will be able to complete their courses online or through other institutions, according to BSC.   

“UAB’s deadline for Fall 2024 Transfer Merit Scholarships has been extended on a funds-available basis to accommodate for our BSC transfer students and in light of the FAFSA delay this year,” Andrew Colson, UAB’s director of undergraduate admissions, wrote via email.  

Students transferring to UAB can apply for the waitlist for housing and reach out to UAB’s Office of Off-Campus Student and Family Engagement. Transfer tours will be offered for students to learn more about admissions and scholarships. 

UA and UAH have not responded to a request for a comment about the expedited applications and waived application fees.  

In 2009, BSC lost $25 million in value of its endowment due to the crash of financial markets. Five majors and 29 faculty positions were eliminated, causing $12 million to be cut from 2009-10, according to BSC’s media release 

The statement went on to say that an error in the budgeting of federal student financial aid was found in 2010 at BSC and caused a $5 million annual debt for the college. However, in 2016, Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith, the 15th president of BSC, sought out a group of lenders who bought BSC’s debt and reduced the annual debt service to about $1 million.  

Senate Bill 278, which created the Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Revolving Loan Program, was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey in 2023. However, State Treasurer Young J. Boozer III denied BSC a loan in October 2023, calling the institution a “credit risk,” despite BSC’s argument that it met the qualifications for the loan. BSC’s board of trustees then met with the treasurer in November, but Boozer denied the loan again in December.  

Sens. Jabo Waggoner and Rodger Smitherman introduced a bill to amend the prior 2023 legislation that created the loan program on Feb. 6. The bill added a review to ensure the state’s position, set the loan terms and specified a time frame for approval or denial; that bill passed the Alabama Senate on March 5, according to the media release.  

“On March 20, through the efforts of Rep. David Faulkner, the House Ways & Means Education Committee approved a substitute bill that further strengthened the State’s position. Even so, subsequent conversations with House members and leadership confirmed that the bill did not have enough support to move forward,” the media release stated.  

On March 26, due to lack of support for the new bill in the state House, the board of trustees decided to close BSC. 

According to BSC’s media release, “Daniel B. Coleman, BSC’s 16th president, said the College has exhausted every option to obtain the loan through the Distressed Institutions of Higher Learning Revolving Loan Fund, established by the Alabama Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey in June 2023.” 

Leaders at BSC met with students on April 1 to answer and provide more information. A transfer fair is planned for April 5 to help students decide where to transfer.   

The UA System said that for any questions BSC students have, they can reach out to Jim Landers at The University of Alabama, Colson at UAB or Chris Pinto at UAH.   

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