Samford University’s trustee executive committee approved the tuition and fee schedule for the 2011-12 academic year during their regular meeting March 22 in Birmingham.
Trustees approved tuition increases in most degree programs, as well as increases for room, board and some academic fees. Even with the increases, Samford’s total annual cost per student remains more than 25 percent below the national average for private universities and compares favorably with Samford’s peer institutions, according to university officials.
Increases in residence hall fees reflect significant updating that has been done in the last year and will continue this summer, including remodeled bathrooms in several facilities and new furnishings in the Beeson Woods residential village, according to Sarah C. Latham, vice president for operations and planning. The university also is adding a new wing to Pittman Residence Facility. Other improvements include sidewalks in some residential areas and improved accessibility.
Samford’s competitive tuition rates allow the university to attract and maintain high-quality faculty and strong academic programs, said Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. Modest, merit-based compensation increases for employees are part of the proposed budget after three consecutive years of minimal or no increases because of the recent recession.
“Providing the best educational product we can is our first priority,” Westmoreland noted. “That begins with the faculty. Our students and their parents expect the best, but that does not come without cost.”
Technology and campus life fees that have been implemented in recent years also have provided new or expanded services for students, noted Harry B. Brock III, Samford’s vice president for business and financial affairs. The entire campus now has wireless access, and computer labs are being upgraded to meet student technology needs. Also, the classroom technology initiative has placed learning technology in every classroom on campus.
Additional program enhancements are planned in academic support services, Brock added, as well as in several academic programs.
Revenue from the campus life fee is being used for new and refurbished student recreation facilities across Lakeshore Drive from the main campus.
Undergraduate tuition for full-time students will be $11,711 per semester. Tuition for the undergraduate evening degree program will be $368 per credit hour.
Law school tuition will be $17,264 per semester, and pharmacy tuition will increase to $14,967 per semester. Tuition for the master of science and doctoral programs in nursing will increase to $672 per credit hour. Tuition for the master of science in nurse anesthesia will be $8,241 per semester.
Divinity school tuition increases to $5,099 per semester for full-time students. This is the first tuition increase for divinity students in several years.
Tuition for all other graduate programs will increase to $655 per credit hour.
Residence hall fees will range from $1,659 to $2,176 per semester, based on residence facility. Meal plans will range from $1,134 to $1,903 per semester, based on the meal plan selected.
“We are very aware of the economic impact of any increase in costs to our students and parents,” Brock said. “We were very serious in our deliberations about what increases were absolutely necessary for next year as we tried to ensure that Samford provides quality education and services to our students while considering the impact of increases.”
Brock noted that tuition and fees cover only about 68 percent of the total annual cost per student. The university covers the remaining costs through annual gifts, investment earnings and revenue from auxiliary enterprises.