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. Nearly all financial aid programs at Samford are administered by Student Financial Services (SFS).
Financial Assistance Guidelines, Programs, and Scholarships
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.gov. An application priority date of February 15 has been established for 2019-2020, with students who meet this priority date comprising the first group of students awarded aid for the upcoming academic year. The FAFSA will be available on October 1, in the year prior to fall enrollment. The application priority processing date is July 15, 2019.
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 University, and private lending institutions. Financial aid packages are based on the number of credits taken by a student. Some programs require that a student be enrolled full-time. Packages 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 to qualified students. All need-based aid requires the student to file the FAFSA in order to establish eligibility
Federal Pell Grants are need-based grants that are available to eligible under-graduate students earning their first bachelor’s degree. Students may receive a pro-rata portion of a full-time grant for enrollment less than 12 hours.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to our most needy Pell Grant recipients.
Federal Stafford Loans are available to students who qualify. The application process begins with accepting the loan online through the student portal. There are two types of federal Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Need-based Stafford loans are subsidized (interest is paid by the federal government, while in school). For unsubsidized Stafford loans, interest is charged on the loan from the time funds are disbursed to the student’s account. Eligible freshmen may borrow up to $5,500/year, sophomores $6,500/year, and juniors and seniors $7,500/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 all other financial aid per year.
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 federal financial aid, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP), as defined below.
Eligibility for federal financial aid will be evaluated 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 134% of the credits required for completion of their academic program. Accepted transfer credits will be used to reduce that time frame.
SAP Measurements/SAP Standards
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 and transfer coursework.
Quantitative-Students must average passing 75% of all credits attempted and applied to their current program. Both Samford and transfer attempts are included in the 75% calculation.
Students who are notified of their inability to meet the SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) standards will be offered the opportunity to appeal the decision. A successful appeal will be based on whether or not a student’s performance was affected by personal injury or illness and/or death of an immediate family member or relative. Immediate family member is defined as mother, father, sibling, spouse, child, and grandparent. Also, a successful appeal will outline what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow for him or her to be successful, academically, in subsequent terms.
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. The application may be found on the Student Financial Services website: www.samford.edu/go/onestop
The University provides numerous opportunities for earning scholarships. The Office of Admission is responsible for awarding the bulk of Samford scholarships as students enter as freshmen or transfers. For a listing of current scholarships awarded through the Admissions process by the Admissions Office, or in conjunction with that office, please see www.samford.edu/admission/scholarships. Scholarship maintenance and renewal requirements are found here and in the online student portal.
Upperclassmen may receive some scholarship funding from their academic programs of study. Academic departments should be contacted directly to determine scholarship availability. Student Financial Services does not award any merit-based scholarships.
Samford competes at the Division I level of NCAA athletics. Athletic scholarships are awarded through the Department of Athletics. Please contact the team in which you have an interest to obtain additional information concerning the recruitment process and availability of athletic scholarships.
Certain restrictions may apply to the payment of campus housing costs with university-funded aid. Specifically, full-ride scholarships will not cover the full cost of living in the West Village. The maximum amount a full ride scholarship will cover is equal to the double occupancy rate of the next highest housing option below the West Village.
For most Samford scholarships, students are given a one-semester grace period to raise a deficient cumulative Samford grade point average to the appropriate standard. During this grace period, the student is typically allowed to keep their Samford scholarship. If, by the end of the grace period, the cumulative Samford grade point average is not sufficient, the scholarship will be forfeited immediately and permanently. Also, if a student is found to have violated the University’s Code of Values, sanctions may include revocation of some or all Samford-funded 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 school certifying official in the Samford One Stop office. 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. Samford University will comply with in-state tuition for Veterans as it applies to federal regulations.
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 school certifying official in the Samford One Stop 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 and submit approved paperwork to the school certifying official at Samford One Stop.
Veterans using Chapter 33 (the Post 9/11 GI Bill®) must coordinate with the School Certifying Official (Samford One Stop, Ingalls 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.
Additionally, for veterans under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, starting August 1, 2018, the VA will calculate the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) based on the location of the campus where the student physically attends the majority of his/her classes. (The MHA will no longer be based on the zip code of the facility the student is attending.) In cases of internships, externships, practicums, and student teaching sites, the University will work with the departments offering those courses to determine physical location as it pertains to MHA.
For students receiving VA education benefits, any complaint against the school should be routed through the VA GI Bill Feedback System by going to the following link: http://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/Feedback.asp. The VA will then follow up through the appropriate channels to investigate the complaint and resolve it satisfactorily.
For more information on veterans affairs education benefits, see the following URL: https://www.samford.edu/departments/registrar/veterans