54.3 F
Mobile
42.8 F
Huntsville
44.6 F
Birmingham
40.2 F
Montgomery

State treasurer seeks AG opinion on loans for ‘distressed’ colleges

State Treasurer Young Boozer has requested guidance from Attorney General Steve Marshall for the loan program for “distressed” colleges and universities. The program was enacted by the Alabama Legislature this year. 

The Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Revolving Loan Program Fund would offer temporary aid to successful applicants through a state loan program, overseen by the state treasurer’s office. In total, $30 million was approved for distribution to universities that meet certain criteria. 

“We have been developing the application and procedures to administer this program,” Boozer said in a statement Friday. “In addition, we have sought an opinion of the Attorney General on the constitutionality of such a loan program.

“Once we have received the opinion, we plan to proceed as expeditiously as we can, taking into account the findings of the Attorney General’s opinion. We will make more information available about the Program on the State Treasurer’s website.”

RELATED: With BSC in mind, Legislature OKs loan program

According to the law, to qualify for a loan, an institution – any public or private college or university in Alabama – must have been in operation in Alabama for more than 50 years, have a substantial impact on its local community, and be in danger of closing due to financial distress.

It must continue operations, commit to fundraising efforts during the loan period, and have assets to pledge as collateral.

Boozer’s office specified that each applicant will be required to submit information and documentation in support of the application. The applications will be reviewed and vetted  to determine each applicant’s qualifications and ability to repay. 

Proposed by Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills), the loan program legislation received strong approval from lawmakers and was backed by a bipartisan effort from Waggoner and Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham). 

Jefferson County legislators advocated for keeping Birmingham-SouthernCollege, a private liberal arts college that grappled with severe financial issues, open for the long haul.

Throughout the process, lawmakers such as Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), said the program should be enacted to apply to similarly struggling institutions, including Miles College and Stillman University.

Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

Don’t miss out!  Subscribe today to have Alabama’s leading headlines delivered to your inbox.