Birmingham-Southern cutting tuition costs by 50 percent

Birmingham Southern College

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Birmingham-Southern College is implementing a “price reset” for fall of 2018 that will set tuition costs back to the way they were 15 years ago.

Wednesday, BSC President Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith explained that, “the marketplace spoke” and “we listened”.  Flaherty-Goldsmith said at tuition’s current level, including room and board, students are paying about $50,000 to attend BSC.  Next year, they will be paying around $29,950.

“What we determined is most students can only–and will only–look at colleges that cost $30,000 or less including all fees,” said Flaherty-Goldsmith.  She explained that the school has been doing research and surveying prospective students for the last 14 months.  Administrators feel that BSC wasn’t getting a second look at the current costs–even though the college is generous with scholarships and other forms of financial aid.   BSC reports that more than 90% of their current students don’t pay full price.  However they feel that the $50,000 sticker shock has scared other students away.

“Anytime you go against the grain it’s risky,” explained Flaherty-Goldsmith of their decision–compared to other area colleges and university’s tuition hikes.  “In my opinion, it’s less risky than continuing to raise prices to a point that your students can’t afford to come here.”

The administration is anticipating that the price reset will result in a lot of growth and enrollment.  Flaherty-Goldsmith explained that the current enrollment is around 1,300 students, but the campus is built to accommodate 1,800 students.

“We want a more diverse student population,” she said.  “We want students from all different kinds of backgrounds.”

Flaherty-Goldsmith said that there will still be scholarships, but that they will be proportional to the tuition changes.  Along with that anticipated growth, the college hopes to offer more programs and new majors in the future,

Here’s how the numbers for Birmingham Southern will break down for the average student:

Current Level: $35,000                  Add room and board: $50,000

Fall 2018/New Level: $17,650      Add room and board: $29,950


For comparison’s sake, CBS 42 looked at online tuition records for another private institution: Samford University.  Samford lists it’s 2017-2018 prices for the “typical freshman” as follows:

2017/2018 Tuition and Fees: $30,490

2017/2018 Room and board: $10,280

Total: $40,770


CBS 42 also looked at public universities, such as the University of Alabama:

2017/2018 for in-state student estimates: $24,804 (which includes tuition, fees, room and board direct costs)

$30,184 (this is the amount listed for indirect costs including books, transportation, etc.)


Finally, CBS 42 sampled tuition costs at Miles College for the 2017/2018 semester.  The numbers listed below are the highest price point for a full-time student living on North Campus:

Tuition (one semester): $5,316.00

Comprehensive Fee: $581.00

Residence: $3,105.00 (with roommate)

$4,658.00 (private)

Total            $9,002.00 (with roommate)

$10,555.00 (private)/ $21,110.00 for two semesters


To read more about Birmingham-Southern’s plan and price reset, click here.

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