Samford University is adding a new payment option for students and families beginning with the fall 2014 term. The payment plan was approved recently by the board of trustees and covers tuition, fees, room and board.
The plan is designed to help make a Samford education more "accessible and affordable" for families, said Jason Black, Samford's dean of admission.
The new plan provides students and families with a choice to make payments "in a way they are used to using," Black said.
The new plan provides for a 10-month payment period or five months each for the fall and spring semesters. Payments can begin up to three months prior to the first day of classes.
Although the payment plan is interest-free, there is $75 per semester fee for using this option, according to Lane Smith, Samford's director of financial aid. If payment is made using a credit card, there is a 2.75 percent per transaction fee.
Student and parents using the university's eBill system have the option of paying with cash, check or credit card, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa, Smith said. If payment is made other than through eBill, American Express is not accepted.
"We have found that more and more families do not readily have the level of savings necessary to pay for an entire semester at one time," Black added. "By providing this new option, which many of our peer institutions do, we hopefully are making a Samford education affordable for families who want the type of rigorous academics and collegiate experience that Samford offers."
Black said the admission and financial aid staffs have been promoting the new payment plan for several weeks to the fall 2014 entering class. "We have heard repeatedly that this new option will allow families to invest in a Samford education that might not have had that opportunity," he added.
In addition to the new payment option, students and families can continue to use the current payment plan which provides for 50 percent at enrollment and 25 percent of the balance for each of the following two months.
And, Black noted, students and families still have the option of paying the full amount up front, if they prefer to do so.