Do I believe in Samford? I guess I don’t

RACHAEL HEADLEY, Features Editor

“Do you believe in Samford?”

A video that has been shared, liked and promoted on my Facebook timeline bears this title and asks the question again at the end of its two and a half minutes.

Well, of course I do. Why wouldn’t I?

My time here has been wonderful. I’ve made my best friends, been involved in a variety of campus organizations and learned so much about the world and even more about myself.LoanGraphic copy

Most people who know me know that I’m all about Samford, but can you imagine my surprise when I realized that this video was for a senior giving campaign?

As a private institution, Samford does not have the benefit of some of the subsidies and government funded programs that are available through the state university system.

Donations are crucial to keeping the Samford experience alive, but to ask me—as a broke college senior that has been paying tuition for four years—to give money before I even graduate? I find that laughable.

Without scholarships, the average Samford student will spend over $100,000 at Samford during their four years, based on 2013 to 2014 tuition prices, (which are only going up, by the way).

In many situations, I do believe that you get what you pay for, which is why people turn their pockets inside out to attend school here.

I’m not complaining about tuition, but the university should consider the tremendous responsibility students take on by making the financial commitment to hand over that kind of money.

My story is similar to many Samford students – I balance classes, work and internships and try to have some semblance of a social life while trying to make ends meet financially.

Yet, as a current senior and soon-to-be alumni, after many years of paying high tuition my contributions are somehow still inadequate.

In the description area at the end of the video it says, “Do you believe in Samford? Prove it!”

After the sacrifices that students, or their parents, make daily to afford Samford, now we have to prove it by making a donation as an undergraduate?

From a business perspective, it is also a bit troubling that Samford’s business model relies on student donations at all.

Many students graduate with crippling debt from loans they take out to attend college.

While the lucky ones may only spend the first part of their young professional career paying it back, many will spend a large part of their adult lives paying off educational loans.

Depending on how long it takes, many are not only paying the loan itself, but also the significant interest it accrues over time.

I love Samford and want to support the mission of the university, but will not be able to for some time, like many current students.

If that’s what it takes to prove that I believe in Samford, then I guess I don’t.

Rachael Headley is a senior journalism and mass communications major. Email her at

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