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Alabama HBCUs Ready to Welcome Birmingham-Southern College Students

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Students from Birmingham-Southern College, which is closing May 31, looking for a school to attend in the fall should consider an area HBCU, including Miles College, say officials at those institutions. (File)

By Sym Posey | The Birmingham Times

Students from Birmingham-Southern College (BSC), which is closing May 31, looking for a school to attend in the fall should consider an area HBCU, say officials at those institutions.

“Any [BSC] student interested in transferring to Miles College will receive our free application fee, expedited review, transfer credit evaluation, and a new student transfer fee waiver,” said Miles College President Bobbie Knight. “Our transfer admissions team will work diligently with each student to offer the best competitive financial aid package including the Bridge scholarship based on available funding and eligibility.”

Miles, an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) located in Fairfield AL, is not far from BSC, which is on the west side of Birmingham.

Kenneth Mullinax, Director of Media Relations at Alabama State University in Montgomery said, “We are awfully sorry to hear another liberal arts school having to close its doors especially one of the great caliber and reputation such as Birmingham-Southern. However, Alabama State is more than welcoming to students who are looking to further their education. … Our campus is very new and modern. Whatever it takes them to get them to come, we are very interested. We are more than willing to accommodate for them.”

BSC, a private liberal arts school on the west side of Birmingham announced Tuesday it will close at the end of May after a nearly 170-year history. There are approximately 700 students enrolled at BSC this semester.

Mullinax encouraged students to contact the ASU admissions office, “we are more than happy to assist them. As America’s oldest, state sponsored HBCU, ASU has a fabulous state and faculty and classes that are the right size for learning,” he said.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) weren’t the only ones reaching out to students.

The University of Alabama System announced on Wednesday it will offer an “expedited transfer process” to BSC students that include “waved application fees and expedited review and credit transfer processing, if eligible.”

“As a fellow institution of higher education, the University of Alabama System is grateful for Birmingham-Southern College’s distinguished contributions over the past 168 years and is saddened by the college’s recently announced closure,” the system, which includes the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said in a statement.

“As such, the UA System will offer an expedited transfer process to all eligible students currently enrolled at Birmingham-Southern College. The expedited transfer process will be available at all UA System campuses …”

The campuses will also “maximize Birmingham-Southern students’ transfer credits to help work toward timely degree completion,” adding, “Deadlines will also be “adjusted as necessary to accommodate affected students,” the system said.

Spring Hill College in Mobile is offering prospective transfers $5,000 scholarships.

“Already one of the most affordable private colleges in the country, Spring Hill College is pleased to offer a $5,000 scholarship for BSC students who transfer,” Mary H. Van Brunt, the private Jesuit college’s president, said in a letter to BSC students. “Grant Allen, our transfer admissions counselor, will work with you personally to help you with whatever you need.”

Other colleges like Montevallo and Jacksonville State University have also reached out to BSC students.

“Montevallo stands ready to make the transfer process seamless to allow BSC students to successfully complete their academic careers,” the school said on its Facebook page Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Matthew Dale, a graduating senior from BSC, said they, along with community members, did everything they could “to keep a staple piece of Birmingham alive … Losing something that so much time and love has been invested into is the hardest part about it all,” he told the Times, “but in the spirit of Forward Ever, I believe we will be okay as we part ways; it’s in us to keep pushing.”