Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning. Sign Up

‘Distressed’ colleges loan fund now available

Financially struggling Alabama colleges can now apply for loans from the state.

The Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Revolving Loan Program, created by lawmakers this year, is now accepting applications, State Treasurer Young Boozer said in a recent press release.

The legislation setting up the loan program was sponsored by Sens. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, and Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, as a way to help Birmingham Southern College, which sought a $37.5 million government bailout late last year.

The loan program is open to public and private schools in operation for at least 50 years. Colleges must be experiencing a financial hardship that could lead to its closure, and have sufficient assets to pledge as a collateral. The money will have to be repaid with interest, according to Boozer’s office. 

Lawmakers in May allocated $30 million to the fund from a supplemental education spending bill.

The legislation also says applying institutions have to have a significant impact on their communities.

In February, an economic impact study published by Economic Research Services found that Birmingham Southern has a direct economic impact of $97.2 million in 2022, $70.5 million of which was in Jefferson County where the school is located. The study also found that spending by school facility and students amounted to $52.9 million that same year.

Application does not guarantee a loan, according to the treasurer’s office, and all applications will be public record. 

In June, Birmingham Southern President Daniel Coleman praised Gov. Kay Ivey and the Legislature for the help.

“This program is an important part of the college’s financial package, and we look forward to continuing to work with the state treasurer and others to ensure that it has maximum impact for BSC while protecting Alabama taxpayers,” Coleman said.

Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Web Development By Infomedia