Birmingham Southern College Works to Transfer Students Amid Closure

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Birmingham Southern College closes in May. Photo courtesy of Jwrandolph/Wikimedia Commons.

Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) leaders are working to assist in transferring students affected by the institution’s recently announced closure, which takes place on May 31.

BSC is a 168-year-old private liberal arts college, enrolling around 1,300 students from 34 states and nine countries. Approximately 28% of BSC students self-identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian, or other, according to the university website

The decision was made by the Board of Trustees after legislation that established the loan program on which BSC’s “future depended” did not receive adequate support by the Alabama House of Representatives, according to a university announcement by Rev. Keith D. Thompson, chair of the BSC Board of Trustees.

The loan in which BSC leaders were working to obtain is known as the Distressed Institutions of Higher Learning Revolving Loan Fund, established by the Alabama legislature in 2023. After months of delay, the State Treasurer denied the loan in October 2023, and although revisions to the program through a new bill have been proposed, leaders recently learned this approach lacked legislative support. The $30 million set aside in 2023 for the loan program remains unused, BSC reports.

BSC announced the institution will assist students in transferring to new colleges. To aid in this effort, institutions across Alabama, including Alabama State University (ASU), Faulkner University, and Auburn University, are offering transfer support. 

“We are looking at many ways to assist [BSC students], which includes an expedited transfer process,” said Quinton T. Ross, Jr., president of ASU, in a statement. “I have instructed our Office of Academic Affairs and our Admissions Office to work closely with all of Birmingham-Southern’s students who are in need of a way to complete their education.”