BSC takes lead in reducing tuition “sticker shock”


Taking decisive action to reverse the trend of skyrocketing college costs, Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) will decrease its published price for tuition and mandatory fees by more than 50 percent for the 2018-19 academic year, to $17,650.

Known as a “tuition reset,” Birmingham-Southern’s new pricing initiative reverts tuition and mandatory fees back to the level they were more than 15 years ago. BSC will also hold room and board charges steady at this year’s rate for 2018-19. The result is a total published price for tuition, fees, room, and board that will fall below $30,000, with merit scholarships and need-based aid from BSC still available to reduce a family’s actual cost even further.

“The marketplace spoke, and we listened,” said BSC President Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith. “Students and families are telling colleges all across the United States—and they’re telling us—that encountering a high published price is a real barrier to a high-quality education. We want to make sure that the best and brightest students have access to the kind of personalized, challenging, hands-on educational experience that BSC provides.”

BSC is one of the most prestigious private colleges and universities in the South, routinely lauded in national rankings for its return on investment and for providing a life-changing educational experience. The tuition reset comes as BSC is launching new programs in Creative and Applied Computing, Health Sciences, Poverty Studies, and Public Health, among others; renovating residence halls and the Norton Campus Center; working on dual-degree agreements with local graduate schools in law and nursing; and engaging faculty and staff in a campus-wide exploration of even more innovative program ideas.

“True college value comes from the quality and results you get. But a too-high published price creates two problems: It causes people to stop at the sticker price and lose sight of how the published price is very often not what they’ll really pay. And it also prevents them from learning how an investment in a high-quality education pays out over a students’ lifetime,” Flaherty-Goldsmith said. “BSC aims to correct both of those problems with our tuition reset.”

With tuition, fees, room, and board at private colleges and universities in the South similar to BSC averaging more than $43,000, Birmingham-Southern’s total published price of $29,950 (for tuition, mandatory fees, room, and board) makes it one of the most affordable private colleges in the region.

BSC will continue to award its own merit scholarships and need-based grants on top of federal and state financial aid to reduce the published tuition price even further for eligible students. The new price will also apply to current students continuing next fall; the amount of their financial aid coming directly from BSC will be reduced by roughly the same dollar amount as the tuition reduction, resulting in a net cost similar to what they are currently paying—and less than they would have paid with a standard annual increase of about 3.9 percent.

“The difference with our reset is that now our published price more closely matches a student’s actual cost before need-based financial aid is awarded,” explained Flaherty-Goldsmith. “With this better pricing transparency, we hope more students will be able to discover both the affordability and the value of a BSC education.”

More information about Birmingham-Southern College’s tuition reset is available online at

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