Samford University provided access to more than $100 million in financial assistance during the 2014–2015 academic year. During the fall 2014 semester, more than 90% of undergraduate students and 80% of graduate students accessed financial aid resources available through Samford. We are pleased to provide these funds as an investment in your success while a member of our vibrant educational community.
Samford University abides by the Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals adopted by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
In addition to Samford communicating with you through your Samford email account and in person in the office, you always have 24/7 access to your financial account, terms and conditions of award, award letter, requirements and more through your student web portal. There is also a great deal of other information located in the portal including Samford email, grades, the e-bill system, announcements, and more. Following the information located in the financial aid and bursar sections of the portal will keep you abreast of your financial situation during your career at Samford. If you have lost your ID and/or password for accessing the portal, please contact Technology Services at 205-726-2662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students (undergraduate or graduate) are not required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, we encourage students and families to submit a FAFSA every year as the starting point for securing aid. Need-based federal aid and need-based institutional aid is determined in part based on the results of your FAFSA. Samford encourages all students to submit their FAFSA by March 1 in order to be considered for any limited need-based resources.
The FAFSA is available online each year from January 1 through June 30 of the next calendar year. Please note that the first “F” in FAFSA is free. Never use the “.com” FAFSA website where you will be charged a fee for filing your free application for federal student aid.
Any entering freshman who wants to be considered for merit scholarships must complete his or her application for admission by December 15 preceding their first fall semester of enrollment. Students who miss this deadline will not be considered for merit scholarships. Students who miss the December 15 deadline, but apply and are admitted on or before March 1 will be considered for some non-academic–based scholarships. Some Samford scholarships will require an additional application. Prospective students should check with your admission counselor for more information.
Graduate and returning undergraduate students should contact their academic department to determine whether any applications and/or deadlines exist for obtaining institutional aid. Requirements for renewal of institutional aid may be found in the student portal, on your award letter or by contacting your financial counselor.
Using the alphabetical list below, you can email the appropriate person to assist you with your various questions concerning financial issues at Samford. If you are unsure about who you should contact, please email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will direct your inquiry to the correct person.
Payments are typically due on the first day of each month. However, at the start of each new term, payment is due on the first day of class, based on the undergraduate day calendar. For Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, those due dates are August 17, 2015 and January 25, 2016, respectively. Students may always review payment due dates on their e-bill at any time.
Payment may be made on line with e-check, Visa, American Express, Master Card, or Discover. Payments made in person may be made by check or cash. Credit card payments may not be made in person in the Bursar's Office.
Students attending summer and/or Jan Term who wish to receive financial aid must have a valid FAFSA on file and complete the summer assistance form and/or Jan Term assistance form. The types of aid available will be based on the remaining annual amounts the student has not used for that aid year. The Federal PLUS and private loans do not have an annual limit, other than the cost of attendance.
If you are an eligible noncitizen, you should include your eight- or nine-digit Alien Registration Number (INS# from your certificate of citizenship) on your FAFSA. Generally, you are considered an eligible noncitizen for federal aid purposes if you are:
If you are in the U.S. on an F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or a G series visa (pertaining to international organizations), you are neither a citizen nor an eligible noncitizen, and are not eligible for federal student aid.
Learn more about Selective Service
The federal government has many rules and regulations, one of which deals with tax benefits for education. Learn more to see if you qualify for the Hope Credit, Life Learning Credit, or Loan Interest.
There’s always more information on the web. The following links may be of use to you, too:
Any entering freshman desiring to be considered for merit scholarships must complete his or her application for admission by December 15 preceding their first fall semester of enrollment. Students who miss the December 15 deadline, but apply and are admitted on or before March 1 will be considered for some non-academic based scholarships. Some Samford scholarships will require an additional application. Transfer students should contact their Admissions Counselor for information about merit scholarships.
Need-based aid will be determined based on the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), if received on or before March 1 preceding the fall semester for which you are applying.
All graduate and returning undergraduate students should contact their department to determine whether any applications or deadlines exist for obtaining institutional scholarship aid.
In order to be considered for merit scholarships, an application for admission must be completed by December 15 preceding the first fall semester of enrollment.
Some federal student aid funds are limited, and therefore are offered on a first-come, first-served basis to qualifying students. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted by March 1 preceding the fall semester for which you are applying in order to be considered for Federal Work Study, the Federal Perkins Loan and/or the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant.
In order to receive federal loans and some other types of student aid, a student must file the FAFSA and other necessary documentation before the end of the term for which they are requesting the aid. It is recommended that a FAFSA be completed at least one month before the end of the term for which the aid is desired in order to provide adequate time for processing. If a student waits too long to file a FAFSA, he or she may become ineligible for certain types of aid for that term. It is certainly better to be early than late when it comes to filing the FAFSA.
Most Samford-funded scholarships are merit-based and do not require a student to reapply each year. However, there are certain GPA and other requirements that may have to be met in order to retain this type of aid. Although students typically do not have to reapply for a renewal of merit-based institutional scholarships, you should check your student web portal for award messages associated with your aid or review your award letter in the portal for renewal requirements.
Graduate and undergraduate students receiving departmental scholarships should check with their academic department chair or dean for requirements associated with aid awarded through their offices.
Need-based scholarship aid, however, requires the FAFSA to be resubmitted annually. The FAFSA is available on January 1 of each year and remains available through June 30 of the next calendar year.
A financial aid award packet is mailed to all prospective undergraduate students during the spring preceding their initial fall enrollment. Award notifications are also emailed to all prospective and returning students through their Samford.edu email account. Students may receive an award notice at any point in the year, based on an initial award or due to a change in the aid offer. Email is the primary form of communication for Student Financial Services. Therefore, it is important to check your Samford email account regularly. Your award notification email will contain a link to the student web portal, where you can view, accept or decline your aid offer. You may access the portal at any time.
More than likely there is a requirement that has not been fulfilled. Before contacting your financial advisor, you should log on to your student web portal and review any messages or requirements listed there. This information will guide you toward rectifying the situation. For further assistance, please contact our office at email@example.com or 205-726-2905.
Federal regulations state an undergraduate is considered to be a full-time student with 12 hours of enrollment per semester. In order to receive the full amount of aid for which you are eligible, you must be enrolled in at least 12 hours of undergraduate classes. Some aid may be disbursed for enrollment as low as six hours per semester. All Samford aid requires a minimum of 12 hours for disbursement.
Some federal aid may be disbursed to undergraduate students with for enrollment as low as six hours per semester. Undergraduate students who qualify for a Pell grant may retain eligibility for Pell funds only with enrollment below six hours. However, it is important to remember that in most cases, eligibility for Pell and other federal funds will be reduced with the student’s enrollment.
Enrollment status requirements vary at the graduate level. Graduate students should contact their financial advisor for more information about enrollment requirements for their degree program.
Depending on when you drop or withdraw from the class, your aid may be adjusted. Likewise, the amount of tuition and other fees may be adjusted when enrollment is reduced. One thing to keep in mind is drops will affect your ability to meet minimum standards for making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
There are many policies by which the awarding and disbursement of financial aid are governed. Student Financial Services strives to abide by those policies in every transaction made for students receiving aid at the university. Below are several policies with which you should familiarize yourself.
The ability to receive federal, state and some outside scholarship aid at Samford begins with each student making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Every student is measured against the SAP policy each May for the upcoming summer terms and the subsequent aid year. Students who do not meet the minimum SAP requirements are notified by Samford email of their unsatisfactory status and the steps necessary to appeal the status and retain aid eligibility.
There are three standards that must be met each May in order to qualify for federal, state and outside scholarship aid.
Students who are notified of their failure to meet the SAP 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 academic terms.
The SAP appeal form is available on the Forms page of this website. The deadline for submitting an appeal for fall is August 7, 2015. The Jan Term/spring deadline is January 4, 2016. The summer deadline is June 6, 2016. Please submit the form and all necessary documentation to Student Financial Services by these deadlines. Students who have their appeal approved will be notified in writing and the notification may include an academic plan intended to assist the student bringing him or her back into good standing in regards to SAP.
As discussed in the SAP section, Student Financial Services does not round grade point averages when determining eligibility for certain types of aid. Receipt of most institutional aid requires that a student have at least a 2.0 cumulative Samford GPA. Some pieces of aid require a higher standard such as a 2.5, 3.0 or even a 3.3. Please review your award messages in your student web portal for specifics concerning your Samford aid.
Some courses taken outside of the student’s degree program may be accepted toward degree completion (those applied as electives, for example). However, courses taken outside of the student’s program that will not be applied toward degree completion are not eligible to be covered by financial aid. Please contact your financial aid advisor if you are considering taking courses that will not be applied to your degree program’s requirements.
All official communication will take place through one mode of communication—your Samford email address. While we will send some things to you through regular mail, we will always make sure a copy of everything we send goes through your Samford email as well. Please check your Samford email often for updates, requests and announcements concerning your financial aid at Samford.
Loans will be cancelled at the request of the borrower up to the point of disbursement. Once a Stafford, Parent PLUS or Grad PLUS loan has been disbursed, it is the responsibility of the borrower to work with the loan servicer to cancel the loan. For those wishing to cancel a loan prior to disbursement, our loan cancellation form may be found on the Forms page of this website.
Loans may be reduced before or after disbursement. Once a loan has disbursed, the borrower has up to 14 days to ask for a reduction. The loan reduction form may be found on the Forms page of this website.
The financial aid process can be confusing and many of the terms used in this arena are not very familiar. For your convenience we have provided a link to a glossary for financial aid. Finaid.org provides exhaustive listings of financial aid terms. Please refer to that site for plenty of other information relative to financial aid.
Federal financial aid funds are awarded with the expectation students will complete the entire period of enrollment. Students “earn” a percentage of the funds that are disbursed to them with each day of class attendance. When a student who has received Title IV aid from the U.S. Department of Education withdraws from the university during a semester or term, the university must determine the amount of Title IV aid the student may retain.
To calculate the amount that is to be returned, the university must establish when the student last attended class. That information/date is typically provided by the student, with the signature of approval by an academic advisor, on the withdrawal form submitted to the registrar. Student Financial Services will then utilize materials provided by the U.S. Department of Education to determine if any Title IV aid should be returned. When that date is not indicated on the form or if the student leaves the university without submitting a withdrawal form (an unofficial withdrawal), then the university will determine what date to use for the last day of attendance.
If any administrative office is made aware of a student who has unofficially withdrawn, the Office of Student Records will work with the student’s faculty to determine the last date of attendance or the last date of an academically related activity for the student and use, whichever is later. This could include: class attendance, turning in an assignment, activity in Moodle or any other class management software. If a last day of attendance or last date of an academically related activity cannot be determined, the midpoint of the term will be used. Furthermore, at the end of each term, Student Financial Services will review all students who have attempted as least one credit hour for the term but failed to earn any credits. The Office of Student Records will then contact the student’s faculty to determine the last date of an academically related activity. Once it has been determined a student has either officially or unofficially withdrawn from the university, the withdrawal process begins and will be completed within 30 days.
Student Financial Services utilizes materials provided by the U.S. Department of Education to determine if any Title IV aid should be returned. In an instance whereby aid must be returned, non-need– based student loans are returned first, followed by need-based loans, PLUS loans, then federal grants, including Pell and SEOG.
When or if any Title IV funds are required to be returned to the federal government on the student’s behalf, the student may be left owing a balance to the university. The student must pay in full the resulting balance to Samford before proceeding toward further enrollment at the university.
Verification is the process of confirming the accuracy of the data submitted on your FAFSA. It can be a complicated process, so we have provided a policies and procedures document to help answer some of the questions you may have related to verification. If you still need help with verification, you may always contact your financial aid advisor or access your student portal to gain further clarification.
Drops, adds and other changes in a student’s class schedule that do not involve complete withdrawal from school are subject to the following rules.
Charges will be adjusted according to these financial policies and the credits taken by the student. Complete withdrawal from the university is covered under the refund and withdrawal policy. Dropping a class or withdrawing completely will more than likely have a negative impact on your ability to access federal aid for the next academic year. See Satisfactory Academic Progress policy under the Aid Policies drop-down menu on the Student Financial Services webpage and check with your financial counselor before dropping a class or withdrawing.
Students will be allowed to withdraw without penalty from the university and receive a 100 percent tuition remission (less any financial aid that the student may have received for the semester) upon presenting an original copy of their orders to the Registrar.
Alternatively, incomplete (INC) grades with no tuition reimbursement may be more appropriate when the withdrawal is near the end of the semester and INCs are agreed to by the instructor(s) and the student and approved by the dean of the school or college. In the latter case, the student will be allowed to complete the coursework according to a written agreement submitted to the Office of Student Records. Incomplete grades may affect your financial aid eligibility, so please notify your financial advisor of your plans prior to your departure.
Students or parents who believe they have individual circumstances warranting an exception to published refund policies may appeal. The student or parent should contact:
Office of Student Records
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
Federal financial aid funds are awarded with the expectation that students will complete the entire period of enrollment. Students “earn” a percentage of the funds that are disbursed to them with each day of class attendance. When a student who has received federal financial aid (Title IV funds) leaves school before the end of the semester or period of enrollment, federal law requires the university to calculate the percentage and amount of “unearned financial aid funds that must be returned to the federal government.” This calculation may have the effect of requiring the student to repay funds that have already been disbursed to the student account.
The university will not reduce the amount a student has been charged simply due to of the loss of eligibility of financial aid as a result of withdrawal. Thus, withdrawal prior to completion of the semester may result in the student having to pay from personal funds the amount of financial aid required to be returned to federal sources, in addition to any institutional costs owed to the university. Students are urged to consider these financial implications prior to making the decision to withdraw from school. Please speak with your financial advisor before finalizing your decision.
Notification that a new e-bill has been generated will be sent to the student via the Samford University e-mail account, which is considered the official means of communication with students, so it is important to check this account regularly. Paper billing statements will not be provided. Students and authorized users may also access the e-bill system at any time via the Samford University web portal.
Students registering during the early registration period will receive an e-bill at least 15 days prior to the payment due date. The e-bill reflects activity up to the date the e-bill was generated. Any activity transpiring after the e-bill generation date can be viewed on the Current Activity section of the online e-bill system. The Current Activity page provides the current account balance that is due including any unbilled charges and payments. To review the detail by term, select the appropriate term from the drop down box. Payment for a term e-bill will be due in accordance with the schedule included within this policy. Students who register/make schedule changes/add room and board, etc., after the e-bill generation date must consult the online system to view their account summary and make payment arrangements for all charges by the due date for the term regardless of whether or not the charge(s) have been billed.
A late fee of 5% (capped at $100) on the past due tuition, room, board and mandatory fees balances will be assessed the day after the payment due date. The payment for the entire e-bill, including charges incurred after the e-bill generation date must be received by the bursar’s office on or before the due date to complete financial settlement for the current term.
To appeal the late fee, students must log in to the student portal and submit the completed form within 14 days of the late fee posting. Any documentation supporting the appeal must be submitted at the time the appeal is made. Students must file appeals timely with the bursar’s office. The decision of the Appeal Review Committee is final.
Students not paying their bill by the due date are subject to having their registration cancelled until payment is received. A student may be reinstated by paying their balance in full, plus a $100 reinstatement fee. Following this payment, students will receive a clearance slip from the bursar’s office for them to present to student records to re-establish their class schedule. Late fees are not reversed upon reinstatement.
Students making changes to their schedule (usually at the beginning of a term or during drop/add) after the e-bill has been sent are required to immediately make payment in full. E-bills are generated monthly. Therefore, additional charges resulting from any of the changes mentioned above should be paid prior to receipt of the next e-bill notification in order to avoid registration cancellation. Failure to make full payment on or before the next business day after the end of the drop/add period as noted in the academic calendar for your classification, may result in registration cancellation.
E-bill generation, payment, late fee assessment and registration cancellation dates for each semester/monthly e-bill are noted on the payment schedule.
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Students may not register for the next semester, receive transcripts, participate in commencement or receive a diploma until past due amounts are cleared. A hold will be placed on a past due account, preventing participation in one or more of the activities mentioned above.
Past due accounts assigned to a collection agency may be reported to credit bureaus. Students are responsible for attorney fees, collection fees and interest associated with accounts handed over to a collection agency. The university may also charge interest on all amounts past due.
The university is required to contract for a substantial amount of goods and services in advance. Most of these expenses are fixed and are not subject to change on short notice. Under certain circumstances, refunds are available to students who officially withdraw from the university. A student desiring to withdraw from the university must obtain an official withdrawal form from the Office of Student Records. The form must be submitted to the Office of Student Records when it is completed. This policy applies to all terms including semesters, summer terms and Jan Term. If a withdrawal results in a tuition reduction and the student has received financial aid, some of the aid may be required to be returned by the university on the student’s behalf. In such cases, the student will be required to reimburse the university.
Jan Term refunds are based on days instead of weeks, and the following applies. In the case of withdrawal or suspension:
Summer term refunds are based on the number of weeks as follows:
Students may authorize parents or other designated individuals to access the e-bill system and make payments on their behalf. To enable this feature, a student must access the e-bill system and set up those individuals responsible for payment of their student account as an authorized user. Students may set up an authorized user by clicking on the link in their e-bill message, selecting the Authorized User tab and following the instructions.
Authorized users will receive an email notification when a new e-bill statement is issued. Click on the link in the email or enter the link in your browser to access the e-bill system and make a payment.
Payment by electronic check using the e-bill system is free. It is also the most efficient method and Samford’s preferred method of payment. Payment by electronic check can be made by using your checking account. Money market accounts and savings accounts may not be used through the e-bill system.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express can be used to make online payments. A 2.75% (minimum of $3) convenience fee will be assessed by a third-party web processor for each transaction. There are no fees associated with electronic check payments. Reminder: Fee (2.75%) will not be assessed if payment is made by electronic check.
The bursar’s office continues to accept payment by check through the mail, but the university is not responsible for delays of the postal service, and late fees will apply if payments are received after the due date. Payment by check or cash can be made in person.
The Samford University Portal and associated online student services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for scheduled maintenance and unforeseen circumstances. Maintenance is scheduled in advance with notice to all students.
Should you encounter log-in problems, please contact the Samford University Help Desk at 205-726-2662.
The Loan Office of Samford University is located on the first floor of Samford Hall, across from the Financial Aid Office and next to the bursar’s office.
ECSI (Educational Computer Systems,Inc.), a billing service provider for Federal Perkins, CIOS, NDSL, HPSL, Cohron and other institutional loans, is under contract with Samford University to perform loan servicing for these loan programs, including collection efforts for past due borrowers.
If you have been awarded Federal Perkins, CIOS, Cohron or Health Professions loans through Samford University, you will be contacted by ECSI when your MPN has been generated and is ready to be signed. The amount of funding available for loan programs serviced by ECSI is limited. If you are not interested in accepting the funds that have been offered to you, please email Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let them know you would like to decline the loan(s). If you have questions about Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS), please contact your financial advisor at email@example.com.
To find documentation regarding your student loans, contact NSLDS (The National Student Loan Data System). This is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for federal student loans and grants. Their website is http://www.nslds.ed.gov/. Click on the Financial Aid review link to view all your federal student aid information. You will need your FSA ID (used to sign your FAFSA) to log in to the site.
Another source for loan information is the Federal Student Aid Information Center. You can contact them at 1-800-433-3243. They are available to provide student loan information Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight Eastern time. Stay on the telephone for operator assistance (do not press options 1, 2 or 3). When speaking to a representative, ask for help with borrower tracking.
If you have questions about your loan account, you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone.
We’ve compiled some of our most commonly used forms below to help with the financial aid process. If you have any questions, please contact your financial advisor at email@example.com.
Office of Financial Aidofa@samford.edu(205) 726-2905
Bursar's Officebroffice@samford.edu(800) 888-7214
Loan Officeloans@samford.edu(800) 888-7214