On September 14, 2020, we announced a new era at Spring Hill: we are reducing our tuition in order to make our Jesuit, Catholic education and all its value more accessible and affordable to more students than ever before.

The Details

  • Our new tuition price has been reduced by approximately 50%, from $41,868 in 2020 to $21,100 in the Fall of 2021.
  • Standard room and board rates have been reduced by nearly $3,200.
  • This price reduction moves Spring Hill College from having the highest direct costs in Alabama to among the most affordable private colleges in the country.
  • This lowered price takes the uncertainty out of our College costs and affordability concerns for families. It allows students and families to focus on what a degree from Spring Hill can mean to them and the robust new programs, growth and professional opportunities open to them at our College.
  • Our tuition change also means we are providing more price transparency for new and continuing students and their families. By stating our direct costs, students will know that what they’re paying more closely reflects the real costs at Spring Hill prior to the awarding of merit and need-based aid.

The Spring Hill College Value

  • Lowering our costs does not mean lessening the distinction of a Spring Hill degree. In fact, everyone here on The Hill has been working hard to enrich the Spring Hill College education and experience for our students.
    • We added new, practical majors as well as plans for new and improved facilities.
    • We launched the Center for Online Learning
    • We’ve been awarded a number of national and state accolades including for Nursing and Education
    • We’ve been ranked as one of the Top 10 colleges for return on investment by Forbes Magazine and have been designated a College of Distinction.
    • Our graduates continue on their paths to success after college. In 2019, 99.5% of our students either placed professionally, entered graduate school or opted for a nonprofit or service opportunity.
  • We’ve also been awarded a number of exceptional local and national grants from agencies and foundations:
    • National Endowment of the Humanities grant will immerse K-12 educators in the history of the slave ship, Clotilda, and the Africatown community.
    • Innovative equipment and high-tech microscopes in our biology labs.
    • National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Scholarship grant to develop programming to promote STEM careers in K-12.
    • Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) grant will provide millions in scholarship funds for help grow and diversify the nursing workforce.
    • U.S. Department of Education grant to provide academic support services for our students and help up to 140 students succeed in and graduate from SHC. This is the fourth grant that SHC has received so far this year, totaling almost $4.8 Million.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does this change in tuition mean?

Our new tuition price has been lowered by nearly 50%. Tuition and fees were reduced by approximately 50 percent, from $41,868 in 2020 to $21,100 in the Fall of 2021. Not only that, all room and board rates were reduced $1,722 and $1,540 respectively, a $3,262 total reduction.

Why is Spring Hill repositioning tuition?

To make an SHC education accessible to qualified students who may not have otherwise considered us based on our “sticker price.”

When will the reset become effective?

School year starting August 2021.

What is the new tuition price?

Tuition and fees will be $21,100.

Why now?

It’s an accessibility and affordability issue, so why not now? This is the time to lean into who we are as a Jesuit, Catholic institution. We’ve heard from families that college is simply too expensive. We couldn’t continue in our spirit without putting this model into action.

What about current students; how will the reset affect me and my financial aid?

No student will pay more after the new price takes effect than they did under the old high tuition, high discount model.

What should new and current Spring Hill College students expect, starting in fall 2021, their tuition cost to be?

Final, bottom-line tuition and room and board costs (room and board only for residential students) will depend on what merit scholarships are awarded to the student and what need-based aid the student qualifies for after they submit their FAFSA.

Will this affect room and board rates?

All room and board rates were reduced $1,722 and $1,540 respectively, a $3,262 total reduction. (Meal plans for students living in the Fairway Apartments and Poitier Place will not be reduced.)

Will the new tuition be the same for every student?

Yes for undergraduate, traditional students.

Will scholarships and other merit awards levels change?

The College will always reward students for their excellence and achievements. The amounts of scholarships and merit awards may change, due to the lowered costs to attend, starting in fall 2021. Please contact admit@shc.edu.

How can Spring Hill lower tuition in light of its current budget reductions?

Spring Hill has for a long time been practicing a high-tuition, high-discount model. In fact, our discount is among the very highest in the country. The discount is in the form of very high academic and need based awards that are actually discounts on tuition and room and board costs that negatively impact net revenue. When the tuition and other direct costs are reduced, institutional financial aid like scholarships and grants are also reduced. Even though students will see lower scholarships, they will not pay any more. Spring Hill can expect to see more students enroll because of the new competitive tuition rates and the cost transparency.

Will a lower tuition mean less services, classes and activities for Spring Hill students? Or will other fees go up?

As the price is lowered, so is institutional aid resulting and revenue per student remains the same. Students then will not see a decrease in services. As more new students enroll because of the new competitive prices, revenue will actually increase so the college can eventually increase services, classes and activities.

What about graduate, online adult learning? Does the reset affect those students?

The new prices only impact traditional, undergraduate residential students. Graduate and online tuition prices are already among the most competitive of any regional institution.

Will tuition in future years rates reflect this same level of reduction?

Most likely, there will be annual increases for tuition and room and board after the 2021-22 academic year. College operating expenses continue to increase each year. However, even though annual increases can be expected at the same percentage as before, the actual dollar increase will be less than it would have been at higher rates.

How will Spring Hill make money if the College tuition is lowered?

Enrollment increases are expected each year because with the new prices, a Spring Hill education will be more affordable and accessible.

Will a lower tuition be perceived as a negative message and overall negative perception of Spring Hill?

The price reposition is being done from a position of strength. Spring Hill is adding two new undergraduate programs in the fall of 2021. Projections are that at least two new degrees will be added each year for the next three years. A new nursing facility is being designed and developed to include new simulation labs with state-of-the-art equipment to enable more students to major in what is already the most popular and highly rated major at the College. The College has attracted new grants and rankings including recognition as a top 10 college degree by Forbes Magazine. It is listed as a College of Distinction in several categories. A new Center for Online Learning has been developed which will increase online offerings to non-resident, non-traditional students throughout the South and beyond interested in completing undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates completely online.

Will faculty tenure be affected?

Faculty tenure is in no way affected by a price reposition.

Will a lower tuition mean lowering our standards for student enrollment, faculty hiring and new programs for the College?

A more competitive price will attract more applicants and admission may become more selective because as enrollments grow, College capacity may become limited. As previously mentioned, there are plans to create two new academic programs each of the next three years creating the need for even more faculty.

Have you asked students what they think about this change?

More than a year and a half of market research was done studying the results of other institutions who have implemented a price reposition. A market study was conducted that included thousands of prospective students and their parents.

Have you asked donors or alumni what they think about this change? Will alumni and donors feel they’ll now be asked to give more the make up any revenue deficits?

There are no planned revenue deficits. Alumni on the Board of Trustees have been supportive and donors will continue to be asked to support the College with their time, talents and treasure as they have been for almost 200 years .

Additional Resources for Real World Ready Initiative

Spring Hill College: an OpenStax free textbooks partner

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Jamie O’Bryant and Gentry Lankewicz Holbert, Spring Hill College was chosen to participate in this strategic partnership with OpenStax after a rigorous application process that included demonstrating willingness to drive adoption of open educational resources (OER). Spring Hill College is one of 12 schools chosen to participate in the 2020 – 2021 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program to encourage use of free, peer-reviewed textbooks. Spring Hill College will receive individualized consulting from OpenStax and join a cohort of schools advocating widespread use of OER at their schools.

The high cost of textbooks not only impacts students’ ability to attend college but also their ability to continue and complete coursework. Open educational resources, including the free, peer-reviewed textbooks offered by OpenStax, eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully. They are comparable to textbooks that cost $200 or more and are available for free online and in PDF and are available at very low cost in print.

Spring Hill is committed to student success by reducing high textbook costs for students while still presenting high quality content and protecting academic freedom. We want to partner with faculty in the coming months to consider OER to help ease the financial burden for students and welcome all faculty to attend our consulting sessions.

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