Top Nav Top Nav Footer Nav
Back toTop
Frequently Asked Questions About BSC’s Tuition Reset

Frequently Asked Questions About BSC’s Tuition Reset

Frequently Asked Questions About BSC’s Tuition Reset

 Birmingham-Southern College is lowering the published price of our tuition and fees starting Fall 2018, so that it becomes less than half the dollar amount it was before. Here’s how our reset works.

What is the new published price?

For the 2018-19 academic year (which begins Fall 2018), the published price for tuition and mandatory fees is $17,650. Room and board charges for first-year residential students in 2018-19 will remain at their 2017-18 level, totaling $12,300. The reset brings our total published price for tuition, fees, room, and board down by more than $18,000 to $29,950.

How is BSC able to make such a substantial change?

Representing a more than 50% decrease (compared to 2017-18 tuition and fees of $35,840), this change resets BSC’s tuition price back to what it was more than 15 years ago. The “sticker price” had climbed so much since then due to standard annual percentage increases; but in reality, BSC was awarding large amounts of merit scholarships and institutional need-based grants to our students to help make their net cost affordable. Ultimately, few students paid anywhere close to the full retail price—but students who were not aware of the opportunities for generous aid would not have known that.

With a lower published tuition price, not as much financial aid will be required directly from BSC in order for students to achieve their same net cost as before our tuition reset. Therefore, BSC can lower the dollar amounts of our scholarship and grant awards as well. The result is a shift from a high-tuition/high-aid model to lower-tuition/lower-aid model. While maintaining BSC’s commitment to accessibility, this change will also improve transparency by aligning our published price more closely with the actual cost paid by most of our students. It will also allow us to make the best possible use of the generous scholarship donations we receive from our donors.

What will returning students pay in Fall 2018?

All returning students will realize a cost savings of about $1,400 by avoiding the alternative for 2018-19, which without the tuition reset would have been a standard annual increase of 3.9% to the published tuition and fees price.

Federal and state financial aid will continue to be awarded to its fullest extent. For the 99% of our current students who receive scholarships and/or grants directly from BSC, the dollar amount of their awards will go down by approximately the same amount that the published price for tuition and fees was decreased.

As a result, the majority of returning students will pay approximately the same net cost in 2018-19 as they are paying in 2017-18. BSC is guaranteeing that no returning student will have to pay a higher net cost next year.

How will the reset benefit new students?

In 2018-19, BSC will have the most affordable published price among all of the South’s prestigious private colleges and universities. Prospective students and their families will see a more transparent published price that comes closer to the actual cost for most BSC students before federal and state financial aid is awarded.

What are the expected results for BSC?

By eliminating “sticker shock,” we expect our tuition reset to encourage more prospective students and their families to discover their net cost and the true value of a BSC education. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that the best and brightest will have access to the life-changing experience BSC offers. As more potential students calculate not only their affordability, but also the quality and results they will get at BSC, we anticipate an increase in enrollment and an increase in the socio-economic diversity of our student body.

We will not be limiting our educational offerings or scaling back in any way to implement the tuition reset; in fact, this comes as we work to expand programs. Because we are shifting from a model of a high published price and high amounts of institutional aid to a lower, more transparent tuition price, the move is for the most part revenue-neutral for BSC and our quality will remain just as high. We will continue to rely on the generosity of our donors and the continued strength of the three-year Bridge to the Future fundraising initiative to help provide funds for student scholarships, support faculty and staff, and continuously improve the campus and curriculum.

What will happen to the price beyond 2018-19?

Any future annual increases to our published price will be kept low as possible. And because any potential percentage increase will be applied to a much lower published price than before (thanks to the reset), the dollar amount of the future percentage increases will also be lower.