Mississippi Schools Offer Scholarships To Students At Soon-To-Close Birmingham Southern

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — After hearing the news of the impending closure of Alabama's Birmingham-Southern College, Mississippi University of Women said it welcomes affected students and will provide scholarship offers to those who qualify.

“I am saddened by the closure of Birmingham-Southern College, a liberal arts college with 168 years of history. It’s a sad day for their students, faculty, staff, alumni and the city of Birmingham,” Mississippi University of Women President Nora Miller said in a news release Thursday.

On Friday, Mississippi College said it was offering a scholarship to those who transfer to the school, based in Clinton, at the end of the spring term.

In an open letter to students at the private Alabama university that will close its doors May 31, President Blake Thompson extended an invitation for qualified students to apply for a $13,500 transfer scholarship for each eligible year of study to attend Mississippi College.

“Similar institutions whose primary purpose is to serve students feel the weight of your circumstances, and we want to help,” Thompson wrote.

Tuition at Mississippi College, the second-oldest Baptist-affiliated college or university in the United States and the oldest college or university in Mississippi, is about $18,000 a year.

Full-time undergraduate student tuition at Mississippi University of Women, which is known as “The W,” is currently $4,046 per semester. Applications are free.

“The Office of Admissions at The W is ready to assist and meet the needs of all Birmingham-Southern College students. We understand that this is a difficult time, and we are committed to making the transition as easy as possible so that the students can continue to pursue their dreams in higher education,” said Dr. David Brooking, executive director of enrollment management.

Birmingham-Southern College's campus west of downtown Birmingham is scheduled to close at the end of May after running into financial difficulties and being unable to secure a financial lifeline from the state, officials announced Tuesday. The announcement came after legislation aimed at securing a taxpayer-backed loan for the college recently stalled in the Alabama Legislature.

The college has about 1,000 students.

Miller's office said four scholarships through The W are available to eligible students based on the transfer's GPA:

— Presidential Scholarship (3.8-4.0 transferable GPA): $5,500 per year

— Whitfield Scholarship (3.6-3.79 GPA): $4,500 per year

— Franklin Scholarship (3.3-3.59 GPA): $3,000 per year

— Kincannon Scholarship (2.75-3.29 GPA): $2,000 per year

The W, based in Columbus, is home to more than 2,000 students and has 70 majors and concentrations.