2012-2013 Samford University Catalog 
    Jun 02, 2023  
2012-2013 Samford University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Assistance Guidelines, Programs, and Scholarships

A financial assistance program has been established to aid students in attending Samford University. Federal and State financial aid in the form of grants, loans, and on-campus job opportunities is provided to assist students in meeting the financial responsibilities they incur at Samford. These programs are based on financial need as demonstrated by approved financial assessment instruments. In addition, the University provides scholarships, based on criteria such as academic achievement, leadership skills, need, athletic ability, or field of study. All financial aid programs are administered by the Office of Financial Aid (OFA).

Application Guidelines

Application for financial assistance begins when the student applies for admission to Samford University. All students are urged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for all types of assistance. The FAFSA may be filed at www.fafsa.ed.gov. An application priority date of March 1 has been established, with students meeting this priority date comprising the first group of students awarded aid for the upcoming academic year.

The financial assistance received may be from one source, such as the federal government, or may represent a combination of sources, such as the federal government, the state of Alabama, private donors, the Alabama Baptist State Convention, the University, and lending institutions. Financial assistance awards are based on the number of credits taken by a student. Some programs require that a student be enrolled full-time. Awards may be adjusted should the student not be enrolled full-time.

Federal Assistance Programs

Students may apply for the following federal programs which provide funds directly to the qualified student. All need-based aid requires the student to file the FAFSA in order to establish eligibility

Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants are need-based grants that are available to eligible under-graduate students who are enrolled as full-time students. Other students may receive a pro-rata portion of a full-time grant.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to our most needy Pell Grant recipients.

Perkins Loans

Federal Perkins Loans are need-based loans awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible students.

Stafford Loans

Federal Stafford Loans are available to students who qualify. The application process begins with certification of the application by the OFA. Application forms, available through the OFA, should be processed through the OFA at least four weeks before the beginning of a term. There are two types of federal Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Need-based Stafford loans are subsidized (interest is paid by the federal government). For unsubsidized Stafford loans, interest is charged on the loan from the time funds are disbursed. Eligible freshmen may borrow up to $5,500/year, sophomores $6,500/year, juniors and seniors $7,500/year, and graduate/professional students $20,500/year.

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. Eligible parents may borrow up to the difference between the estimated cost of attendance and other financial aid per year.

Federal PLUS Loans for Graduate Students

Federal GradPLUS loans are available to students who qualify. Students may borrow up to the difference between the estimated cost of attendance and other financial aid received per year. Students must file the FAFSA in order to be considered.

Health Professions Student Loan Program

Health Professions Student Loan Program provides loans on a limited basis to students in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. These loans are awarded on a first-come, first-served, and need-based basis to eligible students. Parental data on FAFSA is required, even if student is independent.


Federal Work-Study provides on-campus and off-campus employment to students. Work-Study awards compensate students for actual hours worked.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Federal Assistance Programs

In order to receive financial aid, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress, as defined in the Academic Policies and Regulations  section of this catalog.

Eligibility for financial aid will be evaluated as part of the initial application process and again at the end of each academic year. In the evaluation process, all grades of W (Withdrawn) and INC (Incomplete) will be counted as credits attempted but not passed. Repeated courses will be counted as attempted.

Students cannot receive aid after they have attempted 150 percent of the credits required for completion of their academic program. Attempted transfer credits will be used to reduce that time frame.


Qualitative-Students must be accepted for admission and be eligible to enroll in classes. In addition, students must achieve and maintain a cumulative 2.00 GPA on all Samford University coursework.

Quantitative-Students must average passing 80 percent of all credits attempted in the previous year. Both Samford and transfer attempts are included in the 80 percent calculation.

Graduate: Law, Pharmacy, and Divinity

Qualitative-Students must be accepted for admission and be eligible to enroll in classes. In addition, students must achieve and maintain a cumulative 2.00 GPA on all Samford University coursework.

Quantitative-Students must average passing 80 percent of all credits attempted in the previous year. Both Samford and transfer attempts are included in the 80 percent calculation.

Other Graduate Programs

Qualitative-Students must be accepted for admission and be eligible to enroll in classes. In addition, students must achieve and maintain a cumulative 3.00 GPA on all Samford University coursework.

Quantitative-Students must average passing 80 percent of all credits attempted in the previous year. Both Samford and transfer attempts are included in the 80 percent calculation.

Appeal Procedures

Students failing to meet satisfactory academic progress standards may believe there are mitigating circumstances which contributed to their failure to meet these standards. Students may choose to appeal in writing to the director of financial aid for an exception to be made based upon these circumstances. Decisions made by the director, relative to appeals, will be communicated in writing and will reflect any conditions imposed upon the student for continued eligibility. The decisions of the director are final and cannot be appealed within or outside of the University.

State Assistance Programs

Alabama Student Assistance Grants

Alabama Student Assistance Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to our most needy Alabama resident Pell Grant recipients.

Alabama Student Grants

Alabama Student Grants are available through a state entitlement program for undergraduate Alabama residents attending accredited private postsecondary institutions in Alabama. Need is not a factor and grants (subject to annual variations in funding) are available to non-church vocation majors.


Scholarships Provided By Samford University

Samford University provides considerable financial resources to students who have the capacity to contribute to the life and values of the campus community and to benefit from educational experiences offered by the University. University gift scholarships are provided to students in recognition of achievement or to assist students who have demonstrated financial need.

General Guidelines

The Competitive Scholarship Program of Samford University is administered by the Office of Admission. Applicants are automatically considered for these merit-based awards provided all requirements/deadlines are met. Students must be enrolled full-time in order to receive scholarships. Interviews for certain scholarships may be required and will be arranged by the Office of Admission. Please contact the Office of Admission with any questions.

If a student receiving institutional aid (e.g., academic, athletic, ministerial) is guilty of a values violation and the sanction is loss of privilege, probation, residence hall suspension, University withdrawal or expulsion, the person and/or department head responsible for recommending the aid award to the student will be notified.

Beeson Exceptional Scholars Program

Students who exhibit exceptional academic and leadership ability are nominated by their Alabama high schools. Regional winners are interviewed and selected by the Beeson Scholarship Committee. Beeson Scholars must maintain a 3.30 GPA to be considered for a scholarship renewal.

Other Types of Scholarships Available

Graduate Scholarships for Certified Teachers

Graduate Scholarships for Certified Teachers are granted to students who hold a professional teaching certificate or who have completed requirements for it. These scholarships apply to master’s level graduate classes in education. Application should be made prior to registration to the dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies.

Preministerial Scholars Program

Samford is committed to fielding and developing ministerial students with the highest potential for effectiveness in ministry. The Preministerial Scholars Program contributes to this effort by offering a limited number of merit scholarships reserved for students who exhibit (1) clear calling to full-time ministry in a traditional church-related position, (2) high academic standards, (3) giftedness and competence in areas demanded by church-related ministries.

Applicants must have a sense of calling to full-time ministry in one of the following traditional, professional, church-related ministry vocations: senior pastor, associate pastor, minister of education, minister of music, minister of youth, minister of children, career missionary (non-medical), hospital chaplain, campus minister, counselor, seminary/religion professor, or church-related non-profit minister. Students who intend to engage in part-time, bivocational, or voluntary ministry, or in fields such as media, elementary or secondary education, medicine, etc., do not qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must commit to a religion major or a religion minor. They must be committed to furthering ministerial formation by being admitted as degree seeking students at an accredited seminary, divinity school or religion graduate program within two years of graduation from Samford. Seminary or divinity schools must be accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. A minimum score of 26 on the ACT is required to apply for the scholarship.

Students in the program must maintain a 3.00 GPA. They must undertake ministry internships that are connected to a religion course for at least four semesters. One hour of elective credit will be offered for each internship, which may count toward a 20-hour minor. Each internship will involve regular hours of service in a local church or church-related mission organization, or through the Samford Sunday preaching program. Internships are coordinated by the ministry mentoring coordinator in collaboration with the director of preministerial scholars. Students must participate in at least two semesters of Ministry Cadres. Cadres supplement classroom and field experiences by providing communal, vocational and spiritual growth through scheduled gatherings. Students share ministry experiences, and specialists address critical issues of church related ministry. Cadres meet weekly on Tuesdays or Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. Because the program is a part of the University Ministries Cadre program, students also receive convocation credit for attending cadre meetings.

Preministerial scholarship amounts may be as much as $11,000 per year. Scholarship recipients who successfully complete the requirements in the first two years may receive a total of up to $16,000 per year. Increased amounts depend on the recommendation of the Department of Religion and the Preministerial Scholars Committee.

Minister Dependent Scholarships

Minister Dependent Scholarships are available to undergraduate students who are dependents (claimed as such on the federal tax return) of a Southern Baptist minister who is licensed or ordained and serving a church or nonacademic agency of the Southern Baptist Convention. These scholarships are renewable if the student maintains a 2.00 GPA on coursework completed at Samford. Applications are available through the OFA. Students may not receive both the Minister Dependent and Preministerial Scholars Program Scholarship.

The scholarship may be awarded for a maximum of eight semesters; however, maximum aggregate eligibility will be pro-rated for entering transfer students and upperclassmen receiving this award for the first time (for example, a second semester sophomore who receives the scholarship for the first time will be eligible for a maximum of five semesters). Minister Dependent Scholarships will not be awarded for Jan Term or for summer terms. The maximum annual award is $3,200 ($1,600 fall and spring semesters).

Board of Aid Scholarships

Board of Aid Scholarships are available to undergraduate Alabama Baptist ministerial students through the Board of Aid of the Alabama Baptist Convention. Application must be made each semester through the Office of the University Minister.

Art, Music, and Theatre Scholarships

The School of the Arts at Samford University awards talent scholarships of varying amounts for students pursuing academic majors in art, music, and theatre. The Arts Web site (http://arts.samford.edu/) contains information about audition and interview weekends, the separate application for admission to the School of the Arts, and other audition and interview materials. Please contact the arts recruiter at arts@samford.edu for more information.

Band scholarships are available through an audition process to students of all academic majors who participate in marching band in the fall and either the wind ensemble or symphonic band in the spring. Information about band scholarship auditions can be obtained at http://band.samford.edu or by contacting the arts recruiter at arts@samford.edu.

Air Force ROTC Scholarships

Air Force ROTC Scholarships are available for students majoring in engineering, physics, computer science, math, and nursing. Students may compete for a four-year scholarship as a high school senior and the deadline is December 1 of their senior year. Students already in college may compete for two- or three-year scholarships. Scholarships pay all tuition and fees, reimbursement for required textbooks, and a monthly tax-free allowance.

Army ROTC Scholarships

Army ROTC Scholarships of two years, three years, four years, and five years are available through the Army ROTC Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For details, contact the Professor of Military Science, Building 1045, 9th Avenue South, UAB, Birmingham, AL 35294, or telephone (205) 934-7215.

Scholarship Renewal Policy

Presidential, academic, and music scholarships are renewable for students who are enrolled for a minimum of 15 credits and who maintain a 3.00 Samford GPA. The scholarships are available for a maximum of four years (eight semesters).

Athletic aid is awarded annually on the basis of athletic ability (rather than on the basis of need and academic qualifications) and is awarded at the recommendation of the head coaches of the respective sports and by the approval of the athletic director. Student athletes will qualify for athletic aid as long as they have been admitted to the University and continue to meet the University’s stated standard for satisfactory academic progress that permits them to remain enrolled as full-time students, even if they do not qualify for other types of financial aid.

Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits

Students who are veterans or dependents of veterans may be eligible to receive benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Contact the Office of Student Records and your VA representative. The telephone number to call concerning veterans benefits for students in the State of Alabama is (888) GIBILL1 [888-442-4551]. Samford University is approved by the VA as an eligible institution for federal benefits. In addition, the VA requires that each time a student attempts a course, the grade received must be included in the cumulative grade point average.

In order to obtain education benefits from the VA, any veteran or dependent who plans to enter Samford should:

  1. Be admitted to a degree-seeking program or to an approved NCD (non-college degree) program. See the School Certifying Official for details.
  2. Establish eligibility for VA benefits by completing the appropriate paperwork with the Office of Student Records or with a VA Service Office. Four to six weeks are required by the Department of Veterans Affairs for processing.


All veterans (Chapters 30 and 32), reservists and guard members (Chapter 1606, 1607), and veterans’ dependents (Chapter 35) are responsible for paying fees and charges on the same basis as other students. Veterans under the Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chapter 31) should make arrangements for their tuition, fees, and books to be paid prior to their first payment due date by working with their assigned vocational rehabilitation counselor. Veterans using Chapter 33 (the Post 9/11 GI Bill) must coordinate with the School Certifying Official (Student
Records, Samford Hall) prior to the beginning of each term so that all paperwork can be filed, ensuring that Chapter 33 tuition/fee benefits are sent directly from the VA to Samford in a timely manner. While VA Payments are usually received regularly, Chapter 33 students are advised NOT to depend upon VA Housing Payments for the payment of rent or other vital expenses.

For more information on veterans affairs education benefits, see the following URL: http://www.samford.edu/studentrecords/registration.aspx?id=45097162171