Posted by Phillip Poole on 2008-02-26

Samford University's undergraduate tuition will increase 7.7 percent for the 2008-09 academic year. The increase was approved Feb. 26 by the university's trustee executive committee.

Undergraduate tuition for 2008-09 will be an additional $690 per semester for an annual total of $19,300. The current annual tuition is $17,920.

The increase, necessary to cover rising costs and to sustain Samford's standard of quality education, will be used by the university's administration in developing a budget for approval by the full board, according to Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. Samford's fiscal year begins July 1.

Westmoreland noted that tuition accounts for only about half of Samford's annual revenue and that Samford's tuition continues to be "about 25 percent below the national average for private four-year institutions."

Westmoreland told trustees that even with the increase Samford "remains near the bottom of the list of tuition charges for selected private institutions." Samford's tuition will be the lowest among the five private institutions in the Southern Conference, to which Samford moves next summer.

Trustees approved a recommendation to name Martha F. and Albert P. Brewer Plaza in front of Memory Leake Robinson Hall, which houses Samford's Cumberland School of Law. The plaza will be dedicated April 4 and honors the former Alabama governor and his late wife. Brewer retired as a law professor and now serves on Samford's board of trustees.

Trustees approved a feasibility study for Daniel House, which has housed Samford's London Centre for more than 20 years. The study will determine future use of the facility and costs for needed renovations so the university can make long-term plans for its popular London program.

Labor Day was approved as an official university holiday, effective in 2008. Samford has held classes on Labor Day for a number of years, but is one of the very few colleges and universities doing so.

A medical evacuation benefit was approved for the university's medical coverage for employees and students. The plan provides for air transportation back to Birmingham from anywhere in the world, an especially important benefit because of the university's extensive international studies program.

In a series of reports, trustees heard that annual giving to Samford from June 1 - Jan. 31 was more than $16 million, exceeding the $15.2 million given during the 2006-07 fiscal year. Freshman applications for fall 2008 have exceeded those for fall 2007, which was Samford's second largest freshman class in history.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.