Admission is competitive with a 35% acceptance rate.
Founded in 1968, the Alabama School of Fine Arts is tuition-free for Alabama residents. The school is located in the downtown Birmingham arts district and has a dormitory for students who live beyond daily commuting distance. The school offers a college preparatory education with six majors: creative writing, dance, visual arts, theatre, music, and math and science.
With an extended school day and intensive classes, the school does not have sports teams and only a few extracurricular activities. In the most recent three years of data, 94 per cent of graduating seniors went on to four-year colleges.
History of ASFA
The ASFA started in 1968 as an after school program when a group of community leaders received discretionary funding from then Governor Lurleen Wallace. In the 1970s, the school was formally established. Before becoming a permanent fixture of Birmingham’s Cultural District, the school had existed on different college campuses for a short time (Samford University and Birmingham-Southern College). In 1992, the school received more specific authorization (Code of Alabama, Section 16-26B-3) that allowed it to move to its current facility in Birmingham.
The Alabama School of Fine Arts let’s students pursue one of six specialty areas of study: Creative Writing, Dance, Math & Science, Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts, while also fulfilling general education requirements. It’s an intense and demanding schedule that let’s students delve deep into their passion in a way that most schools don’t offer. That’s one of the things that makes it so competitive to get into, aside from it being tuition-free.
“The mission of the Alabama School of Fine Arts, a diverse community of explorers, is to nurture
impassioned students by guiding and inspiring them to discover and fulfill their individual creative
abilities in an atmosphere distinguished by the fusion of fact and feeling, risk and reward, art and
science, school and society.”