We asked Birmingham experts for their best advice on college admission in 2020

Read Time 4 Minutes


Photo via BSC

Graduating high school and preparing to head off to college brings all kinds of change, uncertainty and questions. We sat down with admission counselors from Birmingham-Southern College to get some answers. Check it out!

Meet the Pros

Admission counselors are experts on the whole college process. They work with students and families from recruiting to admission to enrollment and beyond. If anyone can give advice to students starting college in 2020, it’s these folks.

Get to know a few of them better and check out this map to find who the admission counselor is for your region.

1. Alaina Elgin

Photo via BSC
  • Hometown: Birmingham, AL
  • Education: Belmont University | Social Entrepreneurship Major, Spanish Minor
  • If you weren’t an admission counselor, what would you be: An SNL Cast member. Who doesn’t love having a job that makes people laugh all the time?
  • Contact: agelgin@bsc.edu | (205) 226-4689
  • Read more about Alaina here

2. Anthony McCall

Photo via BSC
  • Hometown: Montgomery, AL
  • Education: University of Louisiana Monroe | Mass Communications, Journalism Major
  • What hobby do you wish you had more time for? Playing tennis. I picked up this sport four years ago, and I enjoy the cardio and competitive challenge.
  • Contact: aemccall@bsc.edu | (205) 226-4693
  • Read more about Anthony here

3. Jordan Porter

Photo via BSC
  • Hometown: Selma, AL
  • Education: Birmingham-Southern College | Business Administration Major, Literature Minor
  • What talent do you have that would surprise your friends?  I can recite every song on Justin Bieber’s Christmas album.
  • Contact: jmporter@bsc.edu | (205) 226-4681
  • Read more about Jordan here

4. Maddie Sampson

Photo via BSC
  • Hometown: Nashville, TN
  • Education: Birmingham-Southern College | Music and Business Major
  • If you weren’t an admission counselor, what would you be: I’d love to be a band tour manager. Music is one of my favorite things in the world, so I think I’d really like traveling all over the world with a really cool band.
  • Contact: mrsampso@bsc.edu | (205) 226-4673
  • Read more about Maddie here

5. Sydney Sullen

Photo via BSC

Time for a Little Q & A

Photo via BSC

BSC’s admission counselors talk to students and families on a daily basis. I asked them what questions or concerns are prevalent right now, and how they’re answering.

Cost + Financial Aid Concerns

“Make sure we have your FAFSA and reach out to your admission counselor to learn about your options. Know that you do not have to pay it all at once.”

Jordan Porter

“As it pertains to cost/affordability, it is super important that you file the FAFSA no matter if you feel like you’ll get something back or not. You never know! Once you get your financial aid award, get in contact with your admission counselor so they can help you go through your award.

We are (here) to explain what each scholarship, grant, and/or loan is. Also, reach out to your admission counselor to see what scholarships we have available. We want BSC to be an option for everyone.

Sydney Sullen

Fall Term Timeline

“The fear of not having in-person classes in the fall is totally valid… Changes are happening daily. While we have moved our summer orientation to an online experience, we are preparing to welcome our future Panthers to The Hilltop!

We want our incoming class to have the full freshmen experience and we are working diligently to making sure we do that effectively and most importantly, safely.

Sydney Sullen

“To address fall start timelines, it is our goal and our hope to open campus as soon as it is safely possible. Being a residential college, those in-person classes and experiences are what make BSC so special.

And, luckily for us, our class sizes are already fairly small (usually less than 20 students), so practicing social distancing has the potential to be a little easier.”

Maddie Sampson

Best Advice

Photo via BSC

Admission counselors are professional advice-givers for students considering and beginning college. Here’s what they had to say for 2020 students:

“In the world of college admissions, 2020 has been totally out of the ordinary. That said, your questions are normal. Your concerns are normal.

Your feelings are normal because they’re right in line with what many other students in the US and across the globe are experiencing. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us because we’re looking to YOU to shape our new normal.”

Jordan Porter

“I would tell a student who is starting their college career during this odd time to look forward to what is ahead and know that they are ahead of the game.

No graduating class has been through this weird, odd, unusual time. The 2020 senior class had to abruptly stop their normal and completely change their way of learning and socializing while also being brokenhearted about their senior year being stripped away from them.

This time has really challenged them and made them grow in ways they probably thought they never could. This year’s senior class will truly understand that life doesn’t always go as planned and if they can bounce back from this (which they are, it is amazing!) then they can easily bounce back from their next obstacle.”

Sydney Sullen

Looking Forward, Ever

Photo via BSC

Forward, Ever comes from Birmingham-Southern College’s alma mater. I asked the admission counselors what they were more looking forward to come fall term.

“The way the campus looks in the fall– so beautiful! But also having students back on campus and returning to a sense of normalcy.

I feel like the BSC community has grown so much during this pandemic that coming back to campus will be a sort of ‘coming home’ after a while away.”

Alaina Elgin

“No matter when it happens, I look forward to move-in day for our Class of 2024. Seeing the community rally together and unload boxes and mini-fridges out of cars has always been one of my favorite BSC traditions.”

Maddie Sampson

Before You Go

Photo via BSC

In light of all these changes, Birmingham-Southern College has extended their deposit deadline until June 1.

Get more info on the admission process here and find out how BSC is responding to COVID-19.

Interested in learning more? Be sure to follow BSC on Instagram and check out their blog.

Sponsored by:

  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.