BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham Southern College is in jeopardy. Without significant help from the state they risk closing for good.

$37.5 million is the magic number Birmingham Southern needs from the state to bail them out. There is a lot of push-back on this but congresswoman Terri Sewell visited BSC this afternoon and shared a message of hope.

Congresswoman Sewell came not only to issue a check for student internships, but to issue a challenge.

“I think we should focus on what it is we can do and get to the table instead of closing down negotiation by just saying no,” said Rep. Sewell.

But according to CBS42 political analyst Steve Flowers, the Alabama legislature has its mind made up.

“They’re already getting so much pressure to help them bail out Birmingham Southern, that they’ve already made a decision, you know, prior to this session, and it’s pretty adamant, I think,” said Flowers. “It’s not even equivocating. They’re just saying we’re not going to do it.”

Even still, BSC president, Daniel Coleman is asking those opposed to understand what could be lost- economic impact and the impact their students have on our city.

“They learn the responsibility of giving back to their community here,” said President Coleman. “It’s really critical we save this institution for the future of our state because of the students who come here and the alumni that leave here.”

Congresswoman Sewell says we cannot afford to lose institutions like BSC because education is the great equalizer.

“How else can kids who grow up in inner city Birmingham go off, or me- inner city, Selma Alabama, rural Alabama- go on to be able to compete with the best and the brightest if not through the power of education,” asked Rep. Sewell.

President Coleman says they are working hard to find a way to make this work. Flowers says the legislature would like to help BSC, but likely won’t because they don’t want to set a new precedent for this kind of request.