Eligibility, Selection, Enrollment, etc.

Alabama Governor’s School students are drawn from all parts of the State of Alabama. They share a common desire to explore academic and intellectual topics and to engage in creative pursuits at a level and pace not always possible during the regular school year. Courses are different from typical high school curricula in format, content and method.

Grades or Credit

Neither grades nor academic credit is given at the Alabama Governor’s School. All students who complete the program successfully receive a certificate attesting to their participation.

Participant Expectations

Students are required to attend and participate in classes, guest speaker presentations, recreation and other selected activities. Optional programs will be indicated on the master schedule.

Assignments may include the keeping of journals, the preparation of essays and position papers, library research, extensive reading, and laboratory, and other projects. Some subject concentrations involve field studies, rehearsals, preparation of exhibits, participation in public performances, or production of a video, magazine, or yearbook. Every participant should be prepared for extensive mental exercise. Alabama Governor’s School Scholars will find their participation to be one of the most challenging and stimulating learning experiences they have had.

Program Eligibility

Rising high school junior and seniors (current sophomores and juniors) who are residents of Alabama are eligible to attend, if they are identified by their schools as academically and/or creatively talented.

Selection Process

Eligible students may be nominated by their principal, head-of-school, counselor, community leader or themselves. A counselor at each high school receives information and application materials and can advise students concerning local procedures. High schools are urged to widely advertise the Alabama Governor’s School and the opportunity it represents. Nominations are made based on criteria provided by the Alabama Governor’s School. Individual students who are interested in the program should contact their principal, head-of-school or guidance office for further information.

Once nominated, students will be selected to participate based upon the student’s application, information supplied by their school and the student’s academic and character references. Students, their parents and their schools are advised of the results of the selection process.  


The Alabama Governor’s School enrolls approximately 100 students this year.

Program Fees

Students pay a nonrefundable fee of $25 at the time of application. This fee will be waived for students who are eligible for an ACT or SAT fee waiver. Counselors should email jkwestmo@samford.edu with the student's fee waiver information. Students who are selected for the program and accept their position will pay a $1000 program fee that covers the cost of tuition, room, board and activities. The actual cost of the program is just under $2000 per student but is supplemented by Samford University and a number of generous businesses, industries, foundations and individuals.

Financial Aid

If the student’s family is unable to pay the full amount, the student is encouraged to seek assistance from church, civic, business or corporate sources in the student’s local community. Limited, needs-based financial assistance is available through the Alabama Governor’s School to supplement family and community resources. The application fee may be waived for students who are eligible for free/reduced lunch programs or who qualify for a fee waiver for ACT or SAT testing. Please contact AGS@samford.edu.

Each student must provide funds for incidental and personal expenses, stationery supplies, and transportation to and from the school. In some cases, specific seminar supplies may have to be provided by the student.


The Alabama Governor’s School students are assigned to Residence Halls on the campus of Samford University. Meals are provided in the University Dining Hall.


Students may use its beautiful campus for running but are not permitted to use Samford’s workout facilities. Scheduled recreation activities are planned as a part of the program.

Services Available to Students

Residence hall counselors, campus public safety officers, and other support services are available throughout the program.

Leaves of Absence from the School

The Alabama Governor’s School is concentrated and intensive. Classes, guest speakers, performers, film programs, sports and social activities and a number of special events are scheduled for the course of the program. Absences overnight or from scheduled activities, except in extenuating circumstances, are strongly discouraged. Students accepting selection are expected to register at the beginning of the program, remain in residence for the duration, and participate in the concluding ceremonies.

Student Responsibilities

As voluntary members of a learning community that seeks to establish a high moral and ethical standard for its common activities and that chooses to emphasize values studied in its curriculum, participants are expected to show respect at all times for the rights of others and to conform to the code of behavior as outlined in the Student Handbook of Samford University.

Further Information

Further information may be obtained by emailing ags@samford.edu.