Posted by Philip Poole on 2005-03-21

Samford University's board of trustees has approved a 5 percent increase in tuition for the 2005-06 academic year. Room and board fees also will increase 2 percent

An increase of 4 percent was approved for Samford's Cumberland School of Law. All increases are effective June 1.

Additional revenue will support a $109 million operating budget for 2005-06. Clayton Fogg, Samford's director of finance, said the tuition and fee increases were necessary to meet rising costs, though Samford's charges will still be almost 30 percent less than the national average for private universities.

According to a study published last fall by the College Board, the national average for room, board and tuition at private universities was $27,516 for the 2004-05 academic year. Samford's average cost for 2005-06 will be $20,382.

Unlike many universities faced with double-digit tuition and fee increases, Samford includes all costs except parking and some applied music fees in its tuition rates, Fogg explained. "We do not add lab fees, technology fees or building use fees that drive up the total cost to the student," Fogg said. "We even include local telephone and Internet service, as well as cable television, without additional fees."

Even with the tuition increase, the University must continue to seek additional revenue sources to meet budget demands. Revenue from tuition, room and board covers less than 70 percent of the total budget, Fogg explained, "which is very unusual for a university ranked among the top five in the South." Samford has been ranked as one of the top universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report for 15 years.

Samford's administration works "diligently to hold increases to the lowest figure possible in providing quality programs of good value," Fogg added. "Every effort is made to keep Samford affordable for our constituents."